Durazno is located in
the state of Durazno in the central cattle raising section of Uruguay (click
for map). The land
is essentially flat with small gentle hills. Here is the wide river Yi, that is an
attraction to campers, swimmers and fishermen. The town has about 30,000 people.
click to enlarge
We made the 90 minute ride to Marcelo's
hometown on the main route # 5 from Montevideo - passing through the other
states of Florida and Canelones.
Marcelo's parents were both dentists here in Durazno (translation = peach). They are now retired - living in the same attractive, art filled home on a quiet street in town.
We have always felt a closeness toward Honein and Maria Del Carmen, and find them in good spirits. Through Marcelo, his father informs us of his passion for the philosophy of Bertrand Russell and his concerns for human rights in modern Europe.
Amid the spirited conversations, Honein mimes "Robocop" for the boys and Maria Del Carmen teases Marcelo to visit more often.
Marcelo's sister Betrice, her husband and three sons live close by. She works at a bank and he in the political realm - hoping soon to join the national representative assembly.
These are civic minded people. Marcelo and Bettina are no exception as they speak of the need for a more liberal government in Uruguay's next election.
In Durazno, there are several attractive parks at the street intersections. Here the people socialize and relax - the traditions of Spanish culture are played out much as they were generations ago in Spain and Italy - the homelands of most of Uruguay's settlers.
Marcelo and Bettina take us for a tour of the town after the animated reunion lunch. Much of this sleepy town remains as we remember in our last visit in '87, except the number and age of the vehicles - cars and motorbikes .
Betty is taken by the display of the mandatory school uniforms in a shop window. She thinks uniforms are wise, but white is not.
Marcelo must return to the hospital for duty at midnight - so I offer to drive back to Montevideo. We arrive safely, and after an 11 o'clock lunch at a small Armenian cafe we head home to bed.
Our days here in Uruguay are fast passing .
These are good times.