After awaking lazily on a beautiful and bright Saturday morning we join Nacho and El Cambion (that is his nickname, which means “Truck” in Spanish, but his mom calls him Matias) on a road trip to the countryside near a town called Trinidad to a birthday party in the middle of nowhere. Here we get our first taste of a true Uruguayan Asado (barbeque). Steaks are made over fire and cut into bite sized pieces when medium and served to all to take with fingers or a fork as we share what’s on the board. We have beer and laugh and smoke and eat and eat. I feel sorry for vegetarians in Uruguay. It’s all about the carne and chorizo here.
After a fun day in the country meeting some older locals and eating way too much, we head back to the capital. Along the way we stop, switch off all the car lights, get out and lie down in a line on the dirt road. Staring up at the gazillion stars above, listening to the silence that surrounds us and appreciating the wide open space hidden by darkness creates some perspective in this mad rush of a life that we are living. We get home well after 1am and head straight to the basement as we have a big painting day with Uruguay Entre Todos tomorrow.
Sunday 22 December
We are off to paint a community centre in a poorer, run down part of Montevideo. They cater to all the children and teenagers in the area and focus on those with disabilities. We are here to repaint some of their rooms and bathrooms. It really is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a place. I photograph the whole day – how rooms transform and people transform.
We end off the weekend with another traditional Asado. Everyone who was part of the project today comes together on the corner house terrace for the most spectacular barbeque ever! Our boytjies think they can braai, but these guys really know what they are doing behind the flame.
Roasted peppers with cooked egg inside, potatoes wrapped in
foil, onion and cheese melted over little pieces of French loaf, sweet potato, chicken, beef, chorizo sausage all cooked over the flame and all served on cutting boards sporadically throughout the evening. I love their way of eating – very much what’s-mine-is-ours mentality. The beer flows, the grass burns and by 2am we are exhausted. We sneak away to the basement and enjoy our deserved quality night’s rest on our shared single mattress and one pillow.
Tomorrow we leave this young, messy, carefree house and head to the outskirts of the city.