Well, that’s a wrap! The group got back from Uruguay five days ago. I can easily say that going to Uruguay was one of the best experiences of my life. I am not sure I can even put into words how great of a trip it was but I will definitely try. At the beginning of the week the fourteen students in the group were complete strangers, and a week later, I can call all of them my close friends that I share so many memories with. There was not a single minute that we all did not have the biggest smiles on our faces. I think that one of my favorite experiences on the trip was being able to ride the horses. I rode a beautiful buckskin mare and was able to herd calves with the majority of the group. What an experience! While the food in Uruguay was similar to what we eat in the States, it was still very different. I quickly realized that they do not season any of the food or meat with anything but salt, which I found very interesting. They ate a lot of french fries and pizza there so that was a good familiar taste of home. We tried to watch the sunsets as a group every night either on the rooftop of the hotels, windows of the bus, or from where the ocean met the land. Speaking of the land, it was beautiful. There were rolling hills for miles with some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth.
One of my favorite trips during the week was probably one of our last, it was our trip to the windmill farm. My friends and I climbed to the very top of the tallest hill and stood under the tallest windmill. That moment was when that I realized the beauty of that small country and everything it entails. We could see out for miles, all the way to the power lines that ran from Uruguay to Brazil. It was absolutely breathtaking and extremely windy as you could imagine. Now to Bruno. There is no way I could talk about this trip at all without talking about Bruno, and to be honest I’m not even sure how to exactly describe him. Host, tour guide, translator, researcher, soccer player, and a friend who was always happy to teach us about his home. It was obvious on the trip how much Bruno loved all of us being there and I appreciate everything he did for us. Without Bruno, the trip would not have been as memorable as it was. When Mario (our bus driver) dropped us off at the airport on our last day, I think we all had tears in our eyes. We had to all take our individual pictures with Bruno before hugging him and telling him goodbye. I think that while the whole group was excited to be headed home, we all cannot wait for Bruno to come to Athens to visit. Spending my spring break in Uruguay was one of the best decisions I have ever made and getting to spend it with fourteen of my best friends made the trip that much better.