Posts Tagged ‘Study Abroad’

Self-Eval, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

I have something I need to declare, and I need to state it publicly because it’s harder to back out of something once you’ve told other people you’ll do it (I hope.) Starting tomorrow (only because I already can’t remember today’s list) I’m writing every single thing I eat or drink in that little book in the image above (which also happens to be my impromptu knitting idea book, so the incentive to carry it around is good.)I haven’t decided what to do with that information yet.

I think I just need to take stock.

I know I eat a ton of those cute high-fiber crackers with suns and wheat stalks imprinted on them.
I know I eat a ton of lite Finlandia cheese (cream cheese but a lot lighter.)
I know I eat a lot of Activia yogurts, because they have the best flavors…(unfortunately the low-fat one’s suck.)
I eat a lot of tomatoes…

My energy is really low, and I’m always hungry.
I can’t summon the energy to go out with Ceci and friends because I can’t handle having to speak The Language all night.
My mood is swinging violently.
I can’t seem to kick the cough lodged in my chest.
I think I’m sleeping way too much.

I think I’ll add also that I’m keeping track of how much I sleep, how much I get out of the house and how my energy levels feel throughout the day.

Basically I want to be able to write a post like this. Or this. Or this.

I feel like with all the hustle before I left for this trip I didn’t get to do my yearly self-evaluation and re-adjustment and I think now is the time. Something’s gotta give or I’m going to waste this adventure away…


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Together Anything is Possible

I made my flatmate laugh today…in Spanish. Through her I am beginning to find faith. Faith in the power of human connections that erase all barriers of language and culture and make all things possible for those who are willing to open their hearts and minds.

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(Click any photo to enlarge)

…was spent in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay, population 80 people, 90 diseased dogs, and thousands of fleas.

Above is a photo of our shack, and us waiting outside in the rain for the monster truck to come carry us away. (Little did we know that there wouldn’t be another bus out for six and a half hours.)

(My bedroom)

(The shower…also the bathroom)

Cabo Polonio is first and foremost a beach town, and seeing as it was pretty much raining for the entire time, there wasn’t much to do once we had visited the 6 little vendor stands and climbed the lighthouse (which is not called “casa de luz”, just so you know for future reference). Below you’ll find a view of the entire town…

We spent the better part of the trip sitting in the one open restaurant drinking wine and watching the waves and the rain. Really that’s about all we did in the 18 hours we were there. The people (all three of them) in the restaurant were very nice, and we practiced lots of Spanish, sang some songs, and ate a couple meals there. The waiter even brought me some flan with a candle in it!

Somehow we slept in the icky beds in the icky house (it helped that there was no electricity so we could not see where we were sleeping) and the following morning (my real birthday) we woke up to a drippy roof, and that brings us back to the first photo of this post. We caught the monster truck (here’s a shot of ours from when we first arrived) intending to catch the bus that should have come at 8:40am.

We got the the bus stop, it was pouring rain by then, and waited for a bit. No bus. Nikki and Alison went to ask when the bus would be coming and discovered that since it was raining there would only be one bus…at 3pm…
They asked to use the phone to call a cab to get us into a town. No minutes left on the phone…So they asked to buy a phone card from the little stand next door…”The kiosco won’t be opening today because it’s raining…”
Not taking no for an answer, but ready to kill someone, Alison found an old man to drive us into town in the back of his truck for UY$400 pesos. They assured us there would be more buses leaving from the terminal there in Castillos. Turns out the bus didn’t leave there until 2:45…the same bus we would have caught. Fine, we say, we’re in a town at least! Turns out Castillos has the highest suicide rate in Uruguay, because there’s nothing to do there…

Anyhow, we eventually made our way back to Montevideo, hooked up with the rest of our travel group and some new friends found in Punta del Diablo, and the new friends took us out for a fabulous Asado! It was a grand old party and we went out later and they sang me happy birthday in 6 languages!

Back to our familiar and comfortable hostel for the evening, and then we caught the Buquebus ferry home in the AM. Can you see how happy we are to be going home? It was a great trip, and I’d do it all again, but it certainly got a bit tense at times! For 9 people to head of on an adventure like that when half had only known one another for 24 hours is pretty crazy, but the fact that we all came home fabulous friends is a gift!

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(click any image to enlarge)

We made it home from Uruguay! It was quite a trip! Our group ranged from 7 to 9 on any given day, and we got quite a bit of traveling done in only 6 days. We started out in Montevideo, which was a great little city, although we really had no idea where anything was, and there didn’t seem to be many people there when we arrived on Friday. I think people must head out to the beaches on the weekends. The boat left late (typical) and it was pretty much dark when we finally got off in the city. We wandered a bit until we found a hostel with room for 9, and then went out for some dinner and dancing.

(This is what happens when you order a hamburger with the works…)

From Montevideo we went on to Punta del Diablo, out on the eastern coast of Uruguay. It is a quiet little beach town with no ATM and only a handful of restaurants. Nikki was brilliant this time around and called ahead to make a reservation at a hostel owned by a young couple from Wisconsin. It still took us forever to find, and when we got there our reservation was under some strange name, but we got to stay!

The beach was just a short walk away, and on the beach was the restaurant that belonged with the Hostel. Both were great! Some of us went horseback riding through a national park one evening, which was much more painful than we remembered it being from when we were young, but was an adventure none-the-less!

I’m going to stop here, but we did do further traveling, it just needs its own post because it was ridiculous! Punta del Diablo was definitely our favorite spot the whole trip, and when we made the decision to move on to Cabo Polonio we really had no idea what we were in for…

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Hola Todos! I arrived safe and sound in Bs. As. yesterday. You can’t tell, but the view from the plane is of New Paltz and Newburg! I thought it was pretty funny that we flew over:)

Yesterday was mostly about adjusting…I unpacked in my new home and had some lunch with my host mother, Carmen, and my housemate Nikki. I had no idea there would be another student here, but was relieved to meet her. She arrived only hours before I did, and is a bit more comfortable with city life, and South America. We are becoming fast friends.

Today we went on our first big adventure, tracing our route to UCA so that when we go for orientation tomorrow we have it figured out. The Subte is our main mode of travel, and is very inexpensive. We ride the Green line all the way to Catedral, the government center (you see that in the picture above)and from there we have a bit of a walk to school in Puerto Madero. We are getting a bit more comfortable with the system, and on our trip back we even managed to purchase multi-trip cards (I asked in Spanish and the woman at the counter understood me!!)

After finding UCA we made our way up to San Telmo and found the market. There were vendors selling handcrafted goods, and also there is an indoor market for antiques. It was all very overwhelming! So many interesting things!

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