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Discovering a Global Perspective to Research

Traveling to New Places; Meeting New People

June 24, 2008

By Doreen Carpio

Doreen Carpio is a fourth year undergraduate biological science major taking part in the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program. This summer she is in Argentina, where she is conducting antibacterial resistance research under Angeles Zorreguieta at the Instituto Fundacion Leloir. This is one of a series of blogs she is writing of her experience.

Doreen posing with fellow scholar Carla Cueva.

Here are Carla and I expectantly waiting for our buquebus at the ferry terminal.

I love spontaneity, and being spontaneous is what this last weekend was all about for the other two MHIRT scholars and myself. Gabriel Lucero, a graduate student in electrical engineering, Carla Cueva, a Cal State Los Angeles alumna and first-year graduate student in biological sciences at UC Irvine, and I read about a tourist attraction called Colonia in the Argentinean tour guide, and before we knew it, we were booking our trip to the neighboring country, Uruguay.

Buildings and monuments were fascinating in Uruguay, and the food was dangerously close to being perfect. Despite the cold frost and fog that was coming in on the small country, we bravely ventured out into “the mist” and did many fun things.

Colonia, itself, was nothing like any other area I have seen before. The buildings are specific to the region, which sits on the coastline of the widest river in the world, Rio de la Plata. The port city reminded me of a cozy little province that has a lot to offer to tourists.

A lighthouse tower.

From the bottom of the Faro Colonia Del Sacramento…

Aerial view of some older buildings.

…to the resting point midway…

Panoramic view of seaside town in Uruguay

…to the top of the world!

We impulsively decided that seeing Colonia was not enough for a trip in Uruguay; we wanted to see the city life of Uruguay as well!

Montevideo, much like Buenos Aires, was small and packed with many different tourist attractions. The El Viajero Hostel Ciudad Vieja, where we spent the night, was unexpectedly warm and pleasant, and reminded me of a typical dorm in California —— swarming with college students and young people. We met many other foreigners at this hostel and definitely enjoyed exploring the night life with these individuals.

Doreen straddling closely placed bunk beds

Look at how close the bunk beds are together…I can walk from one bunk to the other without touching the floor! Ta-Da!

Doreen posing in front of a fountain in Montevideo

Monuments and fun times in the city of Montevideo

Older architecture on some city buildings

Monuments and fun times in the city of Montevideo

Doreen and a companion pose in front of a monument of a horse-drawn carriage

Monuments and fun times in the city of Montevideo

In addition to this impromptu trip, my week has been a bit of a social one. Working long days at lab has been anything but arduous, for in the midst of carrying out an experiment and all of its factors, mingling with the individuals in my lab has been really fun. Here are a couple of pictures:

Doreen gathered around a table in a restaurant with many colleagues

Whether it is just eating at a restaurant or hanging out in the lab, these people make my trip more amusing.

On top of all of the enjoyable sightseeing and cruising around the city, I think I may need to venture out further with the different types of foods available here. Food is always different when you enter into another part of the world and I feel inclined to try what they have to offer here in Argentina.

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