a journal of observations, obsessions and inspirations

March2015

Posted in: Uruguay

The bookstore

Fue a la libreria. Had to ask for algunos libros en dos idiomas, on facing pages (suggested by my teacher) so got the Dickens and London short stories, with corresponding CD. Muy importante leer y escuchar. Also picking up some young person’s books, age 6 or 7 or 8, for stories I can read and (mostly) understand. Not toddlers’ picture books with only a few words on a page. Small[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

La playa

The beach is about a 10 – minute walk from the place I’ll be renting, starting mid-May. That’s the Río de la Plata, even though it looks like the ocean. The transition from the river to the Atlantic Ocean extends along the Uruguayan coast from Montevideo to Punta del Este, about 130 kilometres. The name probably comes from the silver-like sheen the surface of the water takes on when the[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Estoy aprendiendo español

Mi profesor, Juan, patiently writing out my lessons at Spanish Uruguay School. The best part is the first half hour of our class meeting, where we just talk. I get practice listening and trying to come up with the vocabulary to say what I mean. It can be a recitation of what I did that morning (going to the farmacia) or questions about customs or history of Uruguay, or traveling[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Visit to the farmacia

Today I went to the farmacia all by myself to get sunscreen – crema protector solar. Asked for what I wanted, how much it cost, all that. Talking to BF on Skype afterwards, he asks, “You did that in Spanish??” Well, duh. What else? The farmacia is more like a “drugstore” in the US, with skin care products and makeup, nail polish, chewing gum, band-aids and similar stuff. They also[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Business as usual

Still handling some loose ends from EE.UU. Yesterday had an email with an attachment that needed to be unzipped, printed, filled out and signed, then faxed back. You’d think the university system would have online forms, but noooo. After numerous discussions, Lillián (amazingly kind and wonderful madre de mi host familia) said there was a place nearby where we could do that. I’m pretty sure my limited Spanish didn’t fully[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

La vida tranquila

I’ve been here 3 days and it’s gorgeous. Already I’m sleeping 8 hours a night, not to recover from travel exhaustion but because I’m getting rid of the stress that had become normal for me. Getting ready to leave San Diego, that last mile of the marathon of planning and taking action was the hardest, but 24 hours before getting on that plane, everything looked good. The prevailing attitude here[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

First view of Montevideo

First day of Spanish class. Lillián went with me in a taxi to show me how to get there. And to get a quick look at part of the city, too. Kami’s photographs of Montevideo are terrific. And on this morning’s ride, I’d agree: “Lively but not overwhelming. And it kind of looked like the time has stopped there but at the same time it felt really modern. The sun[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Departure

Flew out of Lindbergh Field and some 26 hours of travel later, I’m in Montevideo, putting my feet up at casa de mi “host” famlia for the next 4 weeks. Getting here was half the fun. Three of the smoothest flights I’ve ever had plus 2 even smoother touchdowns. Mechanical issues had delayed the flight from Houston to Panama City, leaving me with about 11 minutes to make my connection.[…]

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