Yesterday we had our monthly team fun day- a day when our team leaves the cement of the city behind for some time among the trees. Last month we hiked the “mountain” (the closest and only hillish rock formation near Montevideo) Pan de Azucar- it is so refreshing to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, and we love that the kids have these opportunities to run free and wild without worrying about cross walks, dog poop, or…death.
Avant has another missionary couple, Larry and Marby, in Maldonado , a city nearly two hours away from Montevideo. Maldonado is the rural area of Punta del Este- the second largest city in Uruguay and the summer city of most Uruguayans. For nearly three months Montevideo’s working class takes a break and heads out for some time away- pretty incredible. We have been told the nicer beaches are in Punta del Este, and while they still don’t have much on the sandy white beaches of Florida, the scenery was gorgeous.
We spent the day at Larry and Marby’s house and it was perfect. The weather was gorgeous and their house has a nice backyard space, complete with a tree swing and chickens! They were so gracious and even ordered for an inflatable jumping toy to come for the afternoon. The kids played endlessly while us parents had a little break of our own. Larry and Marby are newer to Uruguay, but have been with Avant in Mexico and Belize for 21ish years. It is such a joy to sit and learn from them, to hear of their experiences, and to get their perspective on Uruguayan culture as it compares to that of other Latin American cultures. They are one of those generous and fun couples that leave you feeling like you took a long deep breath of the freshest air.
We didn’t spend any time in Punta del Este (hoping to go back soon for a family trip)- but we did stop at a little point called Punta Ballena on our way home. “Ballena,” means whale in Spanish and “Punta,” means Point- so Whale Point is the meaning if you are still following. Supposedly, it’s named for the shape of the peninsula- it looks like a whale tale- BUT (and more excitedly) it is also a great location for whale watching- thats right- I said whale watching. During August, September and maybe October the whale traffic is pretty high in this area and you can see them somewhat close to the shoreline. You BET we will be back after little baby bush 3 is born for a little whale visit- can you say bucket list?
We got to Punta Ballena right as the sun was setting and the view was so peaceful. There is a famous lodge on the point called Casapueblo. It was the former residence of Páez Vilaró, a famous sculptor. I guess he lived there and slowly made additions to the building- treating it like a living and working piece of art. It sure is a sight to behold, but I didn’t get any pictures (sorry- but google is always helpful for these things- we only had the phone for pictures so we weren’t close enough for good photos anyway).
We got a few pictures of the kids playing on the rocks. They are quite the climbers these days. It’s crazy to think that in less than two months our family will welcome another little one- We are still behind on our list of to-dos for the arrival of this one- most importantly, we still need a name. The first few months of my pregnancy felt like they would never end, and the last couple months just flew right by. We are praying that these last months are a restful time together as four and that we drink in our two little ones before we welcome another into our hearts.