Analysis of My Daily Life in Uruguay

Analysis of My Daily Life in Uruguay

Buenos dias! Que tal?

The Americas Regional Meeting 2016 officially started yesterday evening with the opening ceremony. We were told that dinner would come afterwards. Well… dinner is a strong word: miniature hors d’oeuvres were passed around the room at 10:30 PM as we sipped Coca-Cola and Sprite. As it turns out, Uruguayans typically eat around 9:30-10 PM, a custom not unlike that of Spain. Unfortunately, this does not agree with our Canadian eating habits, but I like to think it’s part of the cultural immersion!

The beginning of the RM means the end of the Pre-RM. In only three days, my Public Health Training allowed me to discover new areas I could get involved with in IFMSA, such as advocacy and policy-making. The trainers, Aline (IFMSA-Québec!) and Skander (Liaison officer for public health issues) were very knowledgeable people and made the various topics addressed easy to learn. As for my fellow PHT trainees, they have allowed to learn about various health issues specific to South America.

Yesterday afternoon, I hit the streets of Montevideo and defied the burning sun to discover this mysterious city. It was an amazingly uneventful stroll (if you can call 10 Km a stroll). It appears that the entire population was packed on the beach or in the various parks, enjoying this summer weekend. Meanwhile, the city center (Plaza Independencia) was for the most part…empty! Kind of like Times Square with a statue, no billboards and no people….yeah. (Oh and also a cool underground tribute to the country’s independence).

A few other observations:
1. I had the strangest pizza. It had the usual sauce, mozzarella and tomatoes, on top of which were added hearts of palm, eggs and ketchup mayonnaise…. (Should–Have—Used—Google—Translate…)

  1. During my walk around the city, I noticed that police officers walked in pairs which were for the most part constituted of a man and a woman. (wink at the Uruguay’s liberal tendencies)
  2. Still haven’t met any members of IFMSA-Uruguay apart from the organizing committee (who are basically walking zombies at this point what with all the work they have)
  3. I’m no longer the only one who can’t speak Spanish; people from Grenada and Jamaica have joined us!

That’s it for now!