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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meeting A Fan!

It's always nice to know that you are appreciated and that your voice matters!

In writing this blog, I churn out post after post on subjects that range from travel to trivia as it relates to Uruguay and us living here. I'm often amazed that there are people out there in cyberland that actually do read and follow along with our blog. I know this because some of them leave me comments. Some comments are kindly corrections to my perceived understanding of this country and it's language. Other people comment to ask me a few questions about living here. Still, other people's comments contain a hello and a pat on the back with an appreciating sentiment like "Wonderful blog" or "I enjoy reading your blog!" So you can imagine my joy when I get the rare opportunity to meet a fan in person!

This happened just a few days ago when I got to meet Horacio and his lovely family here in Uruguay.

Horacio is a warmhearted individual who puts you at ease the moment you meet him. His wife, Alejandra  has a bubbly fun personality and immediately welcomed me into their home. I liked her a lot! Their teenage son Rodrigo is well spoken and speaks fluent English. In addition to having winning personalities this family also has some interesting stories to tell.

Horacio started to read our blog because he wanted to move here with his family. He googled Uruguay and various subjects, like retirement here and our blog's name, "Retired in Uruguay" popped up. The interesting thing is that although he began reading about us from all the way back in New Orleans, USA, He is a native Uruguayan. His wife is Argentine.

The family was very interesting to talk to because of their exposure to both Uruguayan culture and expat. For instance, because of their having lived in New Orleans and Atlanta, Georgia, the first thing I noticed when I went to dinner at their house was their big bottle of "Crystal's" hot pepper sauce, which they used on their meal generously! Because I didn't want to go out in the rain the night before, I missed Alejandra's Jambalaya. I will definitely want a rain check on that dinner! For those of you who are wondering what Jambalaya is, it is a dish from New Orleans, it has seafood and other meats in it. Click on the above link for a photo and a recipe site.

His wife being from Argentina, where the family also lived for about 11 years used to tell him that he (hence all people from Uruguay) spoke with a slight accent, which of course, he denied. Now returning to his homeland after so many years living away from it and having spent that time listening to his wife's pattern of speech, he now laughs, and says that the first thing he noticed upon coming home was an accent! Yes, he says, "we do speak with an accent I can hear it clearly now!"

Horacio is fortunate enough, to be able to work from home via the internet. His has worked a long time with a company that has allowed him to work in the USA and to get his Masters Degree there.

One of the most amazing accounts of their stay in the USA happened around the time he was getting his degree. He had gone to New Orleans to attend the University there. As luck would have it, on the very day he was to start his admissions process, "Hurricane Katrina" struck! He and his family (wife Alejandra and son Rodrigo) were one of the many families that had to be air lifted out of the area! They actually had flood waters around them and had to be rescued by helicopter from a roof top! (similar to the photo at this link)  They remember holding onto the life line and being hauled into the air with swirling waters all around them!

As a consequence of the disaster Katrina brought to the area he had to switch Universities and attend the one in Atlanta, Georgia. So that's why he has also lived in Atlanta, Georgia.

His family does appreciate the lack of natural disasters here in Uruguay!

The family is quickly settling into their new home and neighborhood. They have already added 2 future guard dogs/ new puppies to the household. One is a beautiful chocolate lab and the second is a CimarrĂ³n which is a unique breed known to Uruguay. It's classed as a guard dog. The pelt has the coloring of tortoise shell, a mix of brown and black striped markings.

Horacio was so very kind as to include in his container of goods something for my cat Nathan, a scratcher. Now that my cat Nathan is an inside only cat, my 2 armchairs were in danger of being ripped to shreds. I keep a cover on them but he finds exposed places to scratch, I have a tree branch in my living room and a carpet hung on my wall for him but he doesn't use them. I read some good reviews on this little wave shaped floor scratcher and Horacio said he could bring it. I would finally meet him and his family face to face and have dinner with them when he moved back to Uruguay.

The very night that I brought Horacio's gift back home, Nathan used it. He knew it was his, so I'm including those pictures of this appreciated present.

After a pleasant evening with this family, they walked me out under the beautiful stars and we talked, while waiting for my bus ride home. Despite being born and raised here in Uruguay, Horacio because of having been gone for such a long time from his homeland, appreciates my blog for it's small helpful insights. For instance, I mentioned to Alejandra (his wife) and he that since I had missed my #710 bus on the way to their house, the one that costs just 19 pesos to get there (I was Late), I had to take, the next one that came along, the #222. It however, costs 41 pesos to arrive at the same distance. So I warned them that different bus lines sometimes charged different prices.

I'm including an odd picture that I took on the bus ride home (sorry it's not too clear). I took the picture  because I still find some of the things that happen here in Uruguay rather amusing.

On the way to their house, my bus had a man standing in the aisle playing his guitar for money. So live entertainment on a city bus. On my ride home there wasn't anyone playing live music but the bus driver had the radio on while his custom installed speakers were flashing colors in time to the beat as some models do. In the photo the speakers are straight ahead, they are oval shaped and have black rims around them. Back in Seattle, I have several friends who worked as city bus drivers for the Transit Authority, so I couldn't help but think of them. I Imagine them driving around with their favorite music on and speakers playing or being serenaded by a guitarist! No, not possible, because they're not in Uruguay!

Well, I 'd like to say one last time how much I enjoyed meeting Horacio, his wife Alejandra and their son Rodrigo. From the start to the finish I had a most pleasant evening with them.

I had better go and post this now, because I know Horacio will want to read it, he's a fan you know!


pep said...

Hey Denise, the pleasure was all on our side, thanks for dropping by, hope this was just the first of many dinners together!! And thanks for making us famous!!!

TV said...

I have followed Wally's and your blog silently for over a year and have enjoyed every post. I am amazed you have time to post such detail even when Wally is away!
Keep up the informative posts and never think anything is too mundane. There are those of use that cherish the everyday life detail. We are very interested in living in Uruguay and appreciate anything you can comment about. Your friends sound amazing and you really get some interesting visitors. Hopefully, one day you will see us walking up your road to visit.
~Terry and Michelle

Denise said...

Dear Terry and Michelle,
Thanks for breaking the silence!

As I mentioned in my post I am always glad to meet a fan whether in person or just through the written comment and the two of you would be most welcomed for your eventual visit. I'm often surprised at how far away and where the readers are reading from! One day I'll try and take a poll of what Country or the USA State name that our readers are reading from, I would be interested in knowing that!

It does encourage me that my little day to day trivia s are appreciated. Thanks for following along!


Denise said...

Sometimes people read our blog through Wally's facebook page and leave him comments there. I thought I would copy them and add two of them here.

Negro de la Blanqueda "I enjoy reading ur blog"and my akzent is klearly german!! ;=

(note: he's Uruguayan)

Debi B.B. "I still enjoy reading your blog too! Keep it up... A few more years until we can be neighbors though!

(Note :She visited us back in 2008 and we did a post on her and Dave's visit.)

I'm not sure if when reading on facebook people can click on any of our links though?? I prefer the homey look of our actual blog page and the fact people can leave a comment here.

Besos to all, Denise

Denise said...

One other comment I received was from a friend in Washington State, D.c. wrote:

And...........another kool thing about the 'Glass Blog'
It makes me feel like I am right there in your living
room with Horacio, Alejandra and Rodrigo. It's just
the way you kids write.
Thank you again !

Anonymous said...

Hey Denise and Wally,
Yvonne (in PA... for state count)! Fantastic Blog!!!! I, too, follow you... read it periodically for over a year now. Love details on the plants. Have been meaning to bug Wally on those bananas... only, did not want to be much of a bother.

"Breaking my silence" so to speak. Will be in Canelones shortly (in a month of so). Hoping to say hi sometime.