A couple of months have passed since my last diary update and I’m now approaching my final two weeks working at La Herradura. Over the last month, I have been combining my marketing, translation and Spanish classes at the school with a part-time job at an Irish pub close-by. I decided to do this because I wanted to use the Spanish that I had gained over my first few months at the school in real-life scenarios and spend time speaking to Uruguayans. It has been an incredible experience and has made me aware of the importance of combining classes with lots of practise outside of school hours. It was extremely challenging to work using Spanish in a busy loud environment and was exhausting but it has enabled me to improve my listening and speaking skills. I have received a lot of support from friends and colleagues in La Herradura so the process went smoothly from start to finish. Finally, a few days ago I officially finished my contract with the pub to enable me to make the most of my last two weeks in Montevideo and practise in classes and when socialising..

A few weeks ago, a large group of us went to ‘La Criolla’ at the start of the Easter weekend. This was a fantastic experience and something that I had been looking to do the whole time that I had been in Uruguay. It was a ‘Gaucho’ (cowboy) festival in the outskirts of Montevideo and involved a big rodeo show, artisan markets, ‘asados’ (BBQs) and live music. It was a great day out which enabled me to spend some more time with the other students and see some traditional Uruguayan culture. I then posted a review of the day on the La Herradura blog.

Having been in Uruguay for a while now, I’m starting to understand the Uruguayan culture on a deeper level than before. Working in a Uruguayan establishment has helped me to realise and try to understand this. One thing that I learnt is now much lower wages are in comparison to the prices in Montevideo and how hard Uruguayans work. People tend not to challenge things as much as British people and they are susceptible to bad-treatment from management because things aren’t as well regulated. On the other hand, people tend to be very friendly here and greet each other warmly and enthusiastically. It seems that people like to keep things as calm and easy as possible in many different ways. They typically avoid conflict when possible even if it would be for good reasons and love to take every opportunity to escape the city to rented houses along the coastline or return to their home-towns inside the country.

The residence in which I’ve been living throughout my whole stay in Uruguay was very quiet until a couple of weeks ago. Many Latin Americans and one German have moved in and have created a friendly social atmosphere. There are people from Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Brazil and Columbia. I have been grabbing the opportunity to practise my Spanish with them in the evenings and in the weekends, which really complements my internship. Now that I’m no longer working in the pub, I have the spare-time that I need to apply for jobs in London for the summer. My Spanish language ability and work experience that I have gained in Uruguay has been assisting my applications and I’m excited about using the skills that I have learnt back in the UK. I also plan to use the knowledge gained from my experience to assist me when writing my dissertation at university next year. At the end of my internship, I’ll travel to Buenos Aires by boat with a couple of friends to enjoy a few nights in the vibrant city before I board my flight home. It’s going to be an exhilarating next few weeks however I’m not looking forward to saying goodbye to all the friends that I have made both at the school and in my residence!

 

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