Friday, January 19, 2007

sorry its been a while... hey im going to the USA

yeah, so i havent posted anything in forever.. which means i probably have 2 people reading this regularly as opposed to 3.
anyways, i hear there is a cold blast even down in texas. yesterday it was about 98 here and i went swimming. I did a lot of my christmas shopping after Christmas.
I went to a small german town called villa general belgrano to pick up some artsy/craftsy type gifts. here are a couple of pics.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Uruguay, travel, and a visit to the dentist

How is it possible to describe new lands and new countries in words??? I arrived in Montevideo, the capitol of Uruguay, after a 17 hour bus ride from Cordoba. The buses have these great chairs that recline almost all the way back, unless you are the lucky one that has a ticket for the very back row of the bus, which doesn’t have quite the same room for the chairs to decline. I turned out to be one of those lucky persons!
I found a ticket for my next bus to Chuy, which left at 2:30 pm. The bus ride from Montevideo to Chuy was great. It was about a 5 hour trip, and the road remained close to the coast almost the whole way. Every now and then we would pull a bit away from the ocean, which would bring long, green, rolling pastures, full of cows and other animals. The tree formations and different shades of green were very interesting to me. Some of the tree formations far off in the distance almost looked like a painting that someone had painted in the background, along with the blue sky. The bus headed into small towns/villages on the ocean shore line every once in a while. These towns/villages are sprinkled every 20 miles or so along Uruguay’s long beach line. These sleepy beach villages were quite unique. I would describe them as a mixture between Mexico, Hawaii, and Key West, wrapped up into one, without the resort glitz and glamour and with the flavor of a third world country. In these towns, there are all kinds of houses/cabins for rent, and there are many different kinds of people moving about the streets. Many of these are travelers from North America or Europe, with backpacks on, with a nice tranquil look on their face, with the aim of going wherever the wind carried them next. The colors of the flowers in these towns also caught my eye. After all kinds of green in the pastures, the brilliant mixes of reds, blues, oranges, yellows, and purples, provided a delight to the eyes. You would be hard pressed to find someone with closed toe shoes on in these towns. No, these are villages where flip flops, hair down, and no makeup is the norm. I almost expected to see Jimmy Buffett sipping on a cold drink as the bus strolled by some laid back open air restaurants. In these kinds of towns there is no difference between Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday, every day is a vacation, and your soul breathes a little bit deeper as the noise of all the things of the city are not there to get in the way, only a nice ocean breeze with the sound of the waves crashing in. Uruguay, what a place that God painted you to be.
Coming home, I did not have much of a game plan, but in the end it worked out fine. We (me and the marshall family) had to get up at 4 am in order to get to montevideo at 9 am. the night before we got to bed at 1 am, so i was travelling with 3 hrs sleep. we were cramped in the marshall van from chuy until montevideo. Upon arrival, i caught a bus from montevideo to another uruguayan town, colonia. That was a 2 hr bus ride. In colonia there is a ferry that goes to Buenos Aires, so i took that. That also took a couple of hours. By this time it was afternoon and i was dead tired, and the thought of taking an overnight bus ride or staying the night in Buenos Aires did not sit too well in my head. I flagged a taxi down and headed to the Airport. I got lucky and got a flight for cheap heading to cordoba that same afternoon. I arrived home at around 8 pm. what a day of travel!!! oh yeah, in that day of travel i crossed the widest river in the world (the ferry between colonia and buenos aires) and also i crossed the widest street in the world (in taxi in buenos aires).
A few days ago in chuy, i chipped a tooth. It was very annoying because the tooth had a sharp point and my tongue was getting aggravated from that, making it hard to talk or chew food. Today, i looked for a dentist. Obviously, i have no dentist here, so i just wandered the streets looking for a dental office. A few were closed as many stores are on vacation here. I stopped into a doctors office and talked to a dr. He recommended a place for me to go. he called ahead and told the secretary i was coming. I walked into the office, the secretary took my name, and told me to go down the hall. I arrived into a room, where the dentist was just sitting there waiting for me. Im thinking, wow this is totally different than the states, where if u are a first time patient, you know, you are sitting there filling out 3,000 forms, waiting for the dental assisstant, then waiting more for the doctor. anyways, i sat in the chair, she looked over my teeth, pulled out the tool, and smoothed off my tooth. So then im thinking, ok.. how much is this gonna cost?? "that will be 10 dollars" what 10 bucks???? are u kidding me??? thats nothing! crazy! i was in and out in about 20 minutes. enjoy these pics, click on them for a better, bigger version.

a day at the beach can be very tiresome!
Rachel, Nicole, and Nathan in the back of the van

me in Brazil!