• erinnicolefish

My 1st Week in Uruguay

Apologies that it has been so long since the last post. I have been extremely busy!

To be honest, the past few days have been completely mentally and physically draining for me, but boy have I learned.

My brain has been tested.

My morals have been tested.

My confidence has been tested.

But whenever I stress and whenever I am tested, I have to remember that I have landed on my feet up until this point in my life, there is no stopping me now from getting to where I want to be.

On Friday and Saturday I spent a total of 12 hours traveling in order to cover games and put together all of the interviews that I have needed. The trip to the beautiful Colonia, Uruguay is a little over two hours and it has almost become a part of my daily routine because that is where the US team is stationed for Group play.

Beautiful Colonia, Uruguay.

I made a day trip with my mentor, Martin and one of my fellow reporters Anne, from Germany down to Colonia to get some interviews from the US team. I planned to interview the newcomers on the U.S. team as well as one of the veterans who had just returned from an ACL surgery. Interviewing them was comfortable for me, because I could relate to them as young soccer players which I was not too long ago. They were nervous at first, but they quickly warmed up and each gave me some great answers.

Me at an interview with US U-17 player Samar Guidry.

After the interviews were through, we went to lunch and I asked Martin to order us something we could only get down here in Uruguay. He ordered us chivitos that came out on one plate and Anne and I split it. I ate so much of it, but it looks like I had two bites.

BEFORE and AFTER shot of mine and Anne's chivito.

I feel so spoiled every single day to be a part of this program. We are staying in a beautiful hotel in the amazing city of Montevideo for three entire weeks. We eat breakfast, lunch (sometimes to go) and dinner at the hotel restaurant. We have transportation to all of the games and interviews which in Maldonado and Colonia are two hours away. Life as a journalist is not a lucrative job as most know, and we have been given an amazing opportunity to have our expenses paid for by AIPS. I really am so thankful.

OK—now for a funny story.

A bunch of young reporters sitting around the lunch table and Mbali, the young reporter from South Africa was smiling cheek to cheek because she was surrounded by her new friends and because she had just received a cappuccino. Although she knows many languages coming from South Africa, she is not familiar with Spanish at all.

She raised her glass and said, “cheers” in her African accent and looked down the table and yelled to my friend Clara, “How do you say cheers in Spanish!?”

Now because Mbali’s accent is so strong, to Clara it sounded like Mbali had asked how to say cheese, so she told her, “queso.”

Mbali raised her cappuccino, looked at the rest of the table with her big smile and yelled, “QUESO!”

I LAUGHED SO HARD. I love language mishaps.

Clara (Argentina) and Mbali (South Africa) on a walk by the beach in Montevideo.

So I also realized that as an American, I have been DEPRIVED of good coffee my entire life. My morning routine consists of a nice cup of coffee either from the pot or the Keurig and I am always extremely content.

Daniel (Spain) and his tiny cup of coffee that he calls espresso. ^^ (He said this one was bigger than normal)

To everyone else here, the way I drink coffee is disgusting. American coffee is too watered down apparently. Instead, they either drink espressos (which is like one sip of coffee I laugh every time we get one here) or cappuccinos. I just think they’re all being divas. We drink our coffee black in America! OK I like mine with cream.

Dulce de leche ice cream dipped in white chocolate with toppings!

On Sunday my roommate Clara and I walked to the beach to clear our heads. She introduced me to dulce de leche and we sat and talked for over an hour. Since I have been here, Clara has taken in all of these moments with me and experienced every step with me. For being only twenty years old, Clara has an amazing mind and is incredibly mature. I know her future is so bright. I also know I have a life-long friend from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The most beautiful moment with a beautiful person (Clara).

I know my blog has been kind of all over the place and I haven’t exactly had the time to update it daily, but the point of it is to share some of the experiences that I am having. While some have been tough, some have been funny, and some have been eye-opening, I have had an amazing first week here in Uruguay.

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