A few years ago I spent three months in Argentina. In less than two weeks here in Uruguay I have already learned more about the yerba leaves and mate tradition. They take drinking mate to a whole new level. Seeing someone walking the streets holding their mate cup, and carrying their thermals (holding hot water) under their arms is not strange - it is expected. They don't mess around.
I have fallen back into the mate way of being...I love the stuff. But not as much as I love what it signifies: friendship, mellow times spent together, and tradition, among other things yet to find out.