Rainy Day

>> Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today we went to the Alianza, an institution that teaches English in Uruguay. We will be volunteering there throughout the semester.

We had our first Advanced Spanish Conversation class, and it was good to finally meet Amelia, our teacher. It was a good class, but I really need to review some grammar rules before our next class.

It is pouring rain right now, and I have been warming up with the space heater. This is the window in our room, and what I am doing for now:


First Day of Class

>> Monday, August 30, 2010

1.Classes began today... nothing too strenuous.

2. Today I learned that one of the best female boxers in the world is from Uruguay!

3. I had fun Skyping the family today... it was a four-way wi-fi reunion!

4. We had "faina" (a soft dough-bread made from garbanzo bean flour) and coffee at Papiros while Ronnie taught the group a card game called "Descomfio"

5.Caitlin and Audrey and I have learned our lesson about staying up late, and we are going to hit the hay earlier than usual tonight.

6. Here is a slideshow of additional photos from our leisure Sunday:

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Our First Sunday

>> Sunday, August 29, 2010

We went to church Sunday morning at El Chana. Casa ACU and the church share the building, which is a refurbished coffee factory. At church, everyone greets everyone else with a little kiss on the cheek, which is welcoming. This is the building we live in:

After service, Ronnie cooked a great meal of raviolis for his mom and me. Yum!
Later, we went to the feria, which is a huge street market where people sell everything from food and clothes to books and ceramic tiles.
afterwards, we walked with the youth down to Parque Rodo, where we sat on the green grass and drank mate, laughing and stumbling over words. It was pretty chilly sometimes, so Audrey and I had an armpit-warming session:

We continued through the park to the Rambla, or the "boardwalk" by the beach. We spent time there skipping rocks, climbing around, and just enjoying the scenic view. This is a view of the Rambla:


Room and Roomies



>> Friday, August 27, 2010

After a long 29 hours of travel, I am happy to say that my feet are on the ground in Montevideo.
Because I have chosen to deviate from the group's return date, I flew alone to Uruguay via Santiago, Chile, while the rest of the group went through Buenos Aires. My first flight was a 10-hour overnighter, but I only got one hour of sleep due to some rowdy passengers. The good thing was that the flight was very underbooked, and everyone was able to spread out and get comfy!
Afterwards, I had a five hour layover in Santiago, which I mostly spent trying to catch some light sleep while awkwardly bear-hugging my carry-on luggage... an interesting challenge!
I thought our plane was going to crash on the next flight. As we flew over the snow-capped Andes, I experienced the worst turbulence of my life: it feltlike we were going to drop and flip to the ground any minute. My heart was racing and I was praying hard, but when I looked out the window, all I could think of were those Rugby players that crashed in the Andes and had to turn to cannibalism to survive their 2 months of being stranded... not comforting! (Anyone seen "Alive"?)
Fortunately, I became friends with the Chilean man next to me who informed me that the turbulence is always extreme over the Andes in the winter.
(Fortunately, it will be summertime when I fly back!)

(This was my view of Chile around sunrise)

As it turns out, the guy was into ninjutsu, and he taught me some pressure points and Japanese characters. We talked about the Chilean miners that are stuck underground, natural disasters, engineering, art, and Christianity. He said that even though he knows ninjutsu, without Christianity, he is powerless. We had a nice time, which calmed me after seeing my life flash before my eyes!

Ronnie picked me up from the airport and we took the scenic route back to Casa ACU, so he could point out significant places. The sun was up, which I did not expect, and the temperature was lovely. The group went to dinner and dove right into delicious Uruguayan asado, milanesas, chivitos, and canalones!
We topped it off with dessert, and now exhausted,we're hitting the hay.

Thanks for your prayers!
Love y'all!


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