New friends and strangers who enrich our days

Alejandro Rodriguez Juele his wife Carla and children Agustin and Martina are friends of Marcelo and Bettina. He was educated to be an architect and now works in the creative advertising field. Carla is a psychologist who works helping people relocate in their jobs.

As a diversion, Alejandro makes architectural drawings on rocks. We first saw one at Marcelo's. He also has had an exhibition of his work. He chooses stones with shapes that are reminiscent of the planes of a built place - buildings, walls, aqueducts and other structures that he saw first hand when he toured the Western world with his class from the college of Architecture . This experience continues to inspire him.

Alejandro's Italian heritage and command of English makes for very entertaining discussions over Carla's delicious home made pizza. Even though the details on the irregular surfaces of the stones are difficult to photograph with auto focus, the unexpected marriage of materials makes it impossible to ignore.
t one of our (twice weekly) street markets we noticed a woman who was selling her paintings along with her other assorted goods of fruit, vegetables and things from the Uruguayan version of a "lawn sale". The painting that immediately caught our eye was of Piriápolis, where a few weeks earlier we had driven up the hill to take pictures.

We never did learn the painters name due to our still untrained ear, although we insisted she sign her delightful painting. She seemed pleased that these strangers from the "los Estados Unidos" had enjoyed her work.
very weekday morning when we return from the gym, Marcelo "the smaller", (we have two) one of our doormen and we engage in an hour of language school. We call him "el Profesor de Español " and he bestows upon us a similar accolade. He loves to use our electronic translator to prepare his homework for the day's discussion.

 Marcelo bicycles the 50 minute ride from his home in the "burbs" to begin his work of announcing the visitors and deliveries, helping with the elevator and guiding the cars in and out of the underground parking. His charming and engaging style is appreciated by all. He brings pictures and stories of his nice young family and we feel right at home. 
etween us and the Palladium hotel next door there is a tiny market whose proprietor, Ding is also a very friendly addition to our little community. She and her husband "Su" who works at his own store in the Centro have a daughter who is studying computers. Their home in in the back of the market.

Our very few words of Chinese and Ding's continual interest in our comings and goings makes for a lively daily visit. We and she speak of her home of Shanghai just as if our two trips there qualified us as "locals". It is a treat to hear her negotiate with the vendors. They know there will be no shortchange in this market. Our daily drama is very entertaining.