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Sweet Uruguayan Beef

Día #21 – General impressions of an amazing country

semi-overcast 55 °F

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller

You don’t see many canines stuck together.

Dogs and cats live peacefully. No visible ill will by dogs towards felines.

I was never chased by a dog.

You are not officially considered Uruguayan if you don’t have a thermos tucked under your left arm and a hot cup of mate in your right.

I don’t like mate, but I totally redeemed myself when they found out I liked dulce de leche.

The national dish of Uruguay is any part of the cow.


The national desert of Uruguay must have some part of dulce de leche in order to be considered Uruguayan and edible by the general public.

Vegetables are rare. Just like schools in New Mexico, you have to look for them.

Classes are characterized with students yelling over each other as the teacher yells over them sharing information.

Students from the United States and Uruguay are very similar; they love to sing Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Gone On” from Titanic.

Uruguay’s Ceibal program, where every student receives a laptop, is an excellent way for students to talk with students from other countries . . . on Facebook. If only the teachers knew how to use the computers in class.

All 3 million inhabitants of Uruguay have a Facebook, and they want to be your friend.


Every Uruguayan is a fan of one of two teams, Nacional or Peñarol. The other teams in the professional soccer don’t have any fans. Only their parents come to their games.

Schoolgirls are huge fans of Justin Beiber. I was asked if I knew him personally. That’s like asking a New Mexican what is more important, education or green chilis, and expecting them to answer education. It’s just not possible you’ll get the answer you would like to hear.

Surprisingly (compared to other Latin American countries), Uruguayans take physical activity seriously. Every morning, afternoon, or evening, you would see people out running, playing soccer, riding a bike, and occasionally after a workout, they would Tebow.

The presidential offices do not have the character of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, it looks more like a posh hotel.

Uruguayans are very friendly, they will greet you in the street with a warm “hola”. They remind me a lot of Texans.

Never once while walking in the street did anyone yell at me, “Oye gringo” or whistle at me. It makes me think that I am losing my sexual appeal in Latin American. Sometimes a guy just wants to be treated like a piece of meat.


The most common form of transport is the bus. So you don’t feel lonely or far from your loved ones, buses come equipped with onboard wifi.

Even though I visited the vineyard Bouza (read it with a Boston accent, i.e. Boozer) and lived in the town that brewed Patricia beer, I never saw Uruguayans sitting around drinking anything other than mate. Mate has a hold on this country.

Countries bordering Uruguay are Spanish and Portuguese speaking, and the closest country that speaks English is in the Caribbean (unless you count the Falkland Islands and that’s mostly sheep), it is impressive the English language ability of many of these teachers.

A lot of slang that I was taught on the trip to Colonia all revolved around digestive functions, fast as a fart, lazy as a fart, etc. Maybe that had more to do with the person teaching it to me. It could have also been the recipient of said slang.

Students still use libraries. What are those used for again?

Schools lack central heating creating frigid learning conditions. I have never worn so many layers of clothes in a classroom. I stopped wearing shorts soon after my first couple of days in Montevideo.


Scarves are stylish during the winter.

Nike tights are mandatory to go running along La Rambla.

Students call their teachers by their first name.

Class sizes can be large. That is if you consider 40 students a large number for one classroom.

There are no stop signs in Minas. Four way stops go to the person on the right, right?

The pastries alfajores are delicious. They contain dulce de leche.

Food prices are very similar to those in the U.S.

Ziplining in Uruguay is in its’ infancy. It will take years to become the mecca of ziplining like Costa Rica.

Overall, Uruguay is a very clean country.

It’s considered odd to take home leftovers from a restaurant.

Punta del Este is beautiful. It reminds me of Miami Beach.

La Mano Ahogando was cool, worth the visit, but we arrived late in the afternoon during gale winds out of the south, limiting our time and light at the five sinking fingers.

My definition of classroom management and that of an Uruguayan teacher are drastically different.

I really like Uruguay. I would like to return someday.

P.S. Uruguay likes to eat cow meat.


Posted by TulsaTrot 20:56 Archived in Uruguay Tagged american_councils fulbright_uruguay

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"The national desert of Uruguay must have some part of dulce de leche in order to be considered Uruguayan and edible by the general public."

"Uruguay likes to eat cow meat."


by mateo96

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