Settling back into a normal routine that doesn’t involve carbonated water and electrical adapters has been the routine of the last few days since we got home. The laundry is still piled up and needing to be folded, the homework is still there, and the urge to go back is ever pressing. The flights home seemed to not only go quicker than the flights down, but much smoother as well. When I got home on Sunday, the first thing I did was fix a glass of tea. The following day during class, I got a storm of “How was South America” questions. I love telling people about Uruguay. I love explaining the differences in our systems, but also telling them how similar we are to this small yet efficient country. It was honestly mind-blowing how amazing this country was. Truthfully, from a small town South Georgia girl, I anticipated a system that was much less advanced. While they are small, they are making names in the export market. They currently rank in the top ten for beef exports, and for a country that is based on grass-fed systems on land size around that of the state of Oklahoma, this is an incredible feat!
Bruno and his colleagues did an amazing job of providing a well rounded trip for us. Not only did we see beef and dairy farms, but also rice farms and mills. Our hosts made it a point to explain where the agriculture industry of Uruguay was 100 years ago, where it is today, and where they hope it will be in the future. You can tell how proud they are in the way they talk about the industry. They were all very enthusiastic and willing to listen to us talk and answer our questions. They all made us feel welcomed and right at home, and that is something I sincerely appreciate.
Speaking of our Bruno, I would like to brag on him a bit more. Bruno is an amazing host. When we stepped off the plane, he knew exactly who each of us were. Which floored me (it may have been the lack of sleep also.) Throughout the whole trip, he never once lost his smile or complained at the 1000 questions we had (most of which revolved around the fact that only two or three in the group could speak any form of Spanish) and he made it a point to talk with each of us every day. He made the trip what it was and truthfully I couldn’t imagine what it would have been had he not been our guide.
Our group, our professors, and our guide made the trip the most memorable experience. Dr. Segers, Miss Stephens, and Dr. Ramirz spend their spring break carting 15 students around South America. I know this couldn’t have been an easy task, especially around day 7-8 when sleep is low and patience has a tendency to be thin. Thankfully, our group got along very well. I would also like to extend thanks to Dr. Smith, currently at Clemson for coming along on this trip. Dr. Smith, a former UGA employee, took time away from his schedule to go with us to help make sure everything went well. Dr. Smith has been on the last two trips to Uruguay and went on this one also since it would be every other members first trip. The selflessness of every staff member on this trip was truly amazing.
I will miss Uruguay and all the people in it. Everyone we had contact with was so nice and welcoming, even when it was clear these American’s couldn’t speak or understand a word of Spanish (with the exception of Jonathan, who saved me several times from ordering something crazy at McDonald’s). I hope one day I will get the chance to visit again.
Thanks for all the memories Uruguay
(P.S Enjoy all the pictures that I was unable to upload when in trip)