So it has taken me a while to get to this point. For many months I have fought the pressure to get a blog started merely because I don’t know if I have the commitment to keep it up. I will try my best but no promises. I figured it would be the best way to send updates and post pictures. Where to start…. well I am constantly berated by friends and acquaintances for my tendency to relocate every so often. Currently I am living in Montevideo, Uruguay. To date, I have been here for nearly 3 months. It’s definitely been an interesting experience to say the least.
This trip, unlike any of my previous endeavours was really diving head first into unknown waters. I came here knowing little about the country, no Spanish to speak of, and no clue what I just got myself into. I figured I should seize the opportunity. The process of getting here was such a daze, in the midst of dissertation madness, I stumbled upon this current fellowship during my bouts of procrastination/ near mental breakdown of piecing my dissertation together. With my dissertation deadline fast approaching (or in reality a self-imposed earlier deadline, in order to cross the pond to make it to my beloved cousin’s wedding), and no plans in sight, the discovery of this fellowship was a sign. My excitement about the discovery soon dissipated as I realized the deadline was only days away. Days after what seemed to be the longest phone interview ever, I got the good news.
So about life in Uruguay; it definitely has its ups and downs. Uruguay in comparison to its neighbors (Brazil and Argentina) is a dot on the map. A dot that I really like! The people are fairly helpful. Being constantly stared at in public never ceases to amuse me. I am definitely an anomaly around these parts. Everything about me throws people off and trying to answer the “where are you from?” question is the hardest thing. For now I’ve perfected a simplified answer. Language wise, it was a rough start and till today I still struggle. There are days where I feel that my comprehension has gotten so much better and other days where it just hurts to keep up with the pace of conversations. I often miss the subtle jokes and nuances of the daily speech. I can’t really sum up my last 3 months in one post, and I have no intention of trying. I’m hoping I can just pick up from here. I put up a few pics on fb, so all those who repeatedly asked to see what Uruguay looks like can have a glimpse.
Work wise, I am working on a water resource management project, sounds great in theory but in reality my day-to-day functions are more akin to those of a computer programmer. I spend hours writing FORTRAN or visual basic codes. These days my activities have been primarily limited to debugging. I am having huge issues with the modeling program that refuses to accept the data files. So more or less I stare at decades and decades worth of data, trying to make changes to mistakes that I see in the hopes that I can get my model up and running. I ‘ll keep at it in the hopes of accomplishing something worthwhile in the end.
I will try my best to keep this blog up, I promise.