24 7 / 2012

After a day in Sucre, we took a bus through the Andes to the highest city in the world: the very historic silver-mining town, Potosí. We spent only a few hours in the city before leaving for Uyuní that same day, but I did manage to snap a couple pics between huffing and puffing from lack of oxygen!

24 7 / 2012

Well folks, in 2 hours I’ll be headed to the airport, then to Miami, Chicago, and finally Minneapolis. I’m so excited! The past couple of days, I’ve spent my time doing some last minute things around Montevideo… went to the Cerro and to a few lookouts of the city. It was a great way to spend my last couple of days… looking over the city and thinking, “Well Montevideo, it was fun. Nos vemos.”

Last night Fredy made risotto, Teresita made a cake, and they had a going away dinner for me. It was really sweet, and a great last night here. I’ll miss everyone I’ve met here, and I’m really going to miss how easy it is to use my Spanish, NOW THAT I’M UNDERSTANDING EVERYTHING I HAVE TO GO…. boo.

The Bentancurt’s new exchange student arrived Saturday from Austria… so I took him around the city and to the university. It’s so weird seeing the cycle starting again… looking at myself leaving, and at him just getting here. I know why they say study abroad is the best part of your undergrad career….. because IT IS. I’ve had a blast here, I’m sad to leave, but so excited to come home!

Stay tuned for the rest of my updates about Bolivia… we still have Potosi, Uyuni, La Paz, Copacabana and Lake Titicaca to cover. I’ll try to finish up soon.

See you all soon! :)

Julio, Laura, me, Teresita, Fredy

Pero ¡Qué rico el risotto!

Laura, Seba, Julio, me, Sabri, Teresita, Christoph (de Austria), Fredy!

22 7 / 2012

Well I’m back in Montevideo! After 12 amazing days in Bolivia, about 2 or 3 of which spent on a bus, my eyes have seen so much. Casey and I got home Friday morning, and I was exhausted. With 3 days left in Uruguay before I head back to the states, I’m realizing how much I haven’t seen or done! Today I’m heading to the Cerro to check out the mirador (look-out point) over the city…. should be fun! 

As for my Bolivia trip, I think I’ll start in sections… today with Santa Cruz and Sucre. In 12 days, I took more pictures than I’ve ever taken during my 5 months here in Uruguay…. so sorting through them will be a task that I’m trying to avoid. Haha.

BUT I’ll start: Casey, Emily, and I started our journey on a 1 hour bus from Montevideo to the airport, a 45 minute flight to Buenos Aires, 12 hour layover and a night spent in the Ezeiza airport, and finally 3 more hours on a flight to Santa Cruz and we had made it. Our adventure began in Santa Cruz, where we met Mariana and Zeta, our friends from Spain. 
Day 1: Chinese restaurant and walking around the city.

Our hostel was next to a park that was FILLED with people on Sunday when we got there. Dino statues? ok!

Bolivian home security: shards of broken glass nailed to the wall. Seemed effective to me!

Day 2: Jardín Botánico (Botanical Gardens) and our bus to Sucre! 

Tons of mariposas in the jardín! I wish I could have snapped a pic of this bright blue one. Beaut.

Cacti in the Jardín!

After the jardín, we grabbed our stuff and headed to the bus terminal to head to Sucre. What was supposed to be a 10-12 hour ride turned into 15 hours literally off-roading it in our little bus. I was lucky enough to sit next to a girl who was vomiting out the window the whole ride, fell asleep with the window open and the ice-cold night air blasting through, and kept elbowing me in her sleep…. and on my other side was a couple with a box full of live chickens! needless to say, I was glad when we finally arrived in Sucre…. probably the most beautiful city in Bolivia.

Day 3: Sucre

Marian and Zeta in the park!

07 7 / 2012

Last night I finished my last exam and today I go to Bolivia. Have a great July everyone, I know I will! :)

03 7 / 2012

2 exams down, 2 to go… Leaving for Bolivia in 3 days, leaving for the nifty fifty in 20 days. Time has flown….. I’m going to be sad to leave, BUT I’m super excited to come back to the MN summer and all it brings!

03 7 / 2012

Last week we finished up volunteering at Obra Bané… the kids had a final project where we had them make biographies in English (My name is Tanner./ I am 21 years old. / My favorite color is green./ My favorite animal is a dog…. etc.) It was a fun way to end the class, hopefully they’ll use them to continue practicing. By the end of our 3 months with them, they were pretty enthusiastic about their English skills, and could belt “head, shoulders, knees, and toes”- let me tell you!

For our last day they invited us to Parque Rodó to walk around on the rambla and hang out in the park. I’ll miss those little kiddos, hopefully they stay with their studies and continue their education. Our teacher was a hoot too… literally 3 feet tall WITH her Skechers shape-ups, so she blended right in with the kids. Super helpful, and knew how to keep those kids in line. Here’s a few pics I managed to snag from other people’s facebooks…. haha:

Looking at the seals at the zoológico!

The kids and their books!

Fútbol in the park!

03 7 / 2012

This weekend I got to enjoy a bit of the arts! Saturday I went with a few friends to a play on a bus. Like…. it took place on a bus. We all got on in front of Teatro Solís and the bus took off with the characters hidden amongst us, driving around the city as the play went on. We had a stop and change of scene in a brothel-type setting (not kidding), got back on the bus and continued, with characters getting off at different “stops” and others getting on… i didn’t understand a whole lot cause they talked super fast, but it was still a REALLY cool idea and super entertaining!

Then Sunday I had one of the best experiences since being here. Candombe is one of the national types of music, popular during the Carnaval in January and February, but people get together all year long to play. It’s a type of African drumming that was brought over by slaves way back when. This particular group practices every Sunday around 8 in the Centro, and all the locals come to listen, dance, and walk with them. So a group of us decided we’d check it out this past weekend. We bought some beers and sipped on them while we watched the players dry out their drums with a fire they had made in the street (it had rained earlier. also, making fires in the street is a pretty common thing here.) then around 9, they started forming and we took to the streets in a parade of Candombe! The drummers played in a group, changing the beat every once in a while, and the rest of us danced! Old people came, young people, babies… all walks of life. The really good dancers led the group and we paraded down the street for about a half hour, until the drummers were drenched with sweat and needed a break. So the crowd hung out and chatted for another half hour, then we turned around and started our parade, this time going back to where we started. Lorena, Mariana, and I decided we wanted to go dance in the front with everyone else, so we cut in front and danced around with everyone else. Then, about 10 minutes in, it started to pour. and we started SPEEDING UP. It was honestly the funnest thing.. we were all running, dancing, jumping, screaming, and laughing in the rain. The crowd had an awesome energy!! SUCH an awesome experience, makes me mad I waited until now to go for the first time!

Drying the drums

03 7 / 2012

2 weeks ago Thursday and Friday I was super sick… runny nose and lots of pressure so I seemed to be crying all day Friday, but nonetheless I made it out of the house for a couple hours to head to a winery outside of Montevideo with some friends! We got a little tour of the vineyard and the winery at Bodega Bouza, a winery that started in 2003 with its current owners, that brews (is that the right word?) Chardonnay, Albariño, Merlot, Tannat (the wine Uruguay is famous for), and Tempranillo. So we got a little tour, then went inside for a wine tasting and some cheese & bread. They had BLEU CHEESE (or some type of moldy cheese… i couldn’t tell exactly what it tasted like… the wines either… considering the condition of my nose) and BRIE…. cheese with flavor! If there’s one thing about Uruguay, they don’t really care much about a good, strong cheese. Pepperjack? Swiss? They ain’t here. BUT it was a nice afternoon and a fun experience!

Lots o wine!

Fancy, rite?!?!?!! our side of the table definitely finished our bread and cheese before the other table… i was personally more interested in eating than drinking the wine….. haha.

But they were really great!

18 6 / 2012

Hey everyone! Ready for a few countdowns?

I have 6 more days of classes.

In 2.5 weeks I’ll be done with finals and the semester.

I’m going to Bolivia in 19 days!

In a month and 5 days, I’ll be on a plane on my way back to the U.S.

We don’t have very much time left here… which is such a weird thought. After finals, people will start to head back to their home countries or do some traveling, and I’ll have to start saying my goodbyes to all of my new friends. I’m really going to miss a lot of the great people that I’ve met, and I’m going to miss the availability of speaking Spanish… it’ll be so hard to practice it once I come back!

I really am looking forward to enjoying the end of the summer though! I’ll be going from the coldest week in Montevideo to the hottest week in Minneapolis… BRING IT ON. I can’t wait to lay out in the sun! I’m looking forward to coming back to work at Brother’s too… so many people have left, so it’ll be weird coming back to a new staff.

I can’t wait to go to Chipotle. and Amazing Thailand. I can’t wait for the dollar menu. Peanut butter. Thrift stores. Going to the beach. Friends and family! So much to look forward to! :)

This past weekend I went with a group to Punta del Este to get away for one of the last times before the end of the semester. We rented an apartment in the downtown and spent the weekend lounging, cooking, eating, watching movies and Modern Family. It was sooooo nice to get out of Montevideo for the weekend! I loved it!

Me n teh goilz!

The marina in the background!

Punta!

Posin with the Lobos marinos! 

More pics with the dedos when we were the only tourists! 

Our view from the apartment!

Overall, a very nice weekend. And I came back today and went to a film that was part of a film festival at the Teatro Solis. No school tomorrow! It’s Artigas’s birthday! Happy Father’s Day everyone, have a great week! 

18 6 / 2012

Thursday we went on another tour at the Teatro Solís… the fancy and most important theatre in Uruguay. It was a super, super foggy day…. the weather has been a little warmer the past couple of days… I haven’t had to sleep with my head under my covers for a few days! The tour was really good- they had actors appear multiple times during the tour that performed a skit and sang a couple of songs. So cool!

Didn’t get the best pics… and my camera ended up dying.. but these are the balconies in the main sala…. Sooo beautiful! 

I don’t think I’ve taken a picture of the outside yet… I’ll see if I can snap one within the next couple of weeks.