Arturo Prat, the famous Chilean Commander of the ship "Esmeralda" is honored here in Montevideo by the street bearing his name. There is a bust of him at the corner of our street (Arturo Prat) and the Rambla. It apparently isn't important that historians aren't even sure if he set foot on the land here.
       But it is at this place, on the 8th floor in the apartment of one "Pickie" - that we again call home for another January
(see '06 journal ).
Since our first visit in '87, Montevideo has changed markedly. There are buildings going up literally everywhere. An expat here calls them "Argentine CD's" - referring to the opportunities available to those who contrast the volatile nature of  Argentina's economy vs. the stability of Uruguay's investor's haven !

As seen from our balcony, the construction of a new 8 storey building (with it's team of 26 workers) is very entertaining. In this image the orange "pipes" are actually empty plastic conduits which will contain electrical and communication wires. These  will be embedded within the soon to be poured concrete floor.
Most of the workers sleep and eat "on the job" in special temporary appendages to the construction - many leaving on weekends to travel to their families in the country. Their daily wood-fired Parilla's scent our block with savory aromas.
As a further proof to the the vibrant economy, we were delighted to find a former student and family friend - Shelly Nichols here in the city setting up a Uruguayan office for her company, Price Waterhouse Cooper. She had just moved one of their operations from Calcutta to Montevideo hiring 200 talented  and dependable Uruguayan workers.
It was a treat to get together with her, Bettina and Marcelo, who she remembers from Wiscasset school days. Here we are celebrating that reunion at Marcelo's home.
Another example to illustrate the ironies of a shrinking world, and it's homogenizing economies, we found at the local market - MAINE LOBSTER !!!

translation "Lobster cooked and frozen from Maine. A special food that you can have for $32 each."

Speaking of entertainment, economy and innovation, I offer this photo from our balcony showing workers "flying a sofa" to it's new 10 floor home. The size of the elevators of the recently built apartment building between us and the famed Palladium hotel (of Graf Spree fame), posed little problem for the guys from the furniture company - two men pulled up on the plastic wrapped couch toward the balcony, while two more on the ground pulled it out from the sides of the building.

In the background can be seen Tomasa's popular wood fired pizza and faina restaurant . (faina is a tasty chick pea flour flatbread often used to make a sandwich from the pizza)
I already miss their pizza con aceituna, tomate fresco e mozzarella creations !! The only down side is that they ONLY serve Bud cerveza !