Hello, my loves!
Exciting news: Not only have I just completely my 4th weekend here in Chile, but also accordingly in 48 hours it will officially mark one month of being here! Wow. Time has flown by. I can remember waiting at the airport, surviving the plane ride, landing in Chile, and going through immigration like it was yesterday. Only 12 more weeks here. Wow. So crazy to think about. 1/4 of my time gone. But man, I think I’ve made it a great first month. Chile has been amazing to me and I’ve been trying (hopefully) to be good to it too. 🙂
My last post documented how awesome last Thursday was. But man- basically Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (today) were just as thrilling in their own unique ways.
Meet at the municipal building at 10:00 AM to ride to Valparaiso (AKA Valpo) for a city tour. This was only for the AIFS students, so Emily, Taylor, Travis, and I. But then when our van pulled up we realized another group of 4 were going too and guess who their leader was? My Spanish professor, Karen! The other 4 students were all ones I knew to varying degrees. Their names are Antoine, Kayla, Joseph, and Ruth Ann. I think the 8 of us collectively make a great group. Travis is the friendly, smart, tall, and skinny swim team guy. Emily is the quiet girl who I flew with to get to Chile that awkwardly laughs during conversations. Antoine is the loud, funny black guy who said he only remembered my name because it was the only “black” one on the list. Taylor (AKA Rojitta) is the red head with a big pineapple tattoo on her leg, back piercings, and lots of cool stories. She also has another tattoo on her leg of North/South America and has it filled in periodically with every place she has visited. Kayla is the 110 pound girl who loves laughing and talking about how much she loves to eat and who told me I should go to ASU (she’s from AZ). Joseph is the interesting guy with long blonde hair who meditates, has experimented with ya know some drugs, and who only eats unprocessed foods. Ruth Ann is the girl who wears baggy clothes and knows every fact about every topic there is to know about. And I’m…well, me. So yeah. We’re pretty amazing.
To be honest the only things I remember about the tour were walking, getting to know these awesome people, riding lifts up/down the hills, seeing happy stray dogs, and visiting Pablo Neruda’s home in Valpo.
Then for lunch we went to an empanada place. I could have got a mushroom vegan empanada, but I didn’t want to waste the calories.
Then, we piled into the van and returned to Vina about 7 hours later. I ate a fruit bowl for lunch then went to Ericka’s house to make guacamole for the international dinner (a potluck where we each pay $2000 to make a food from our country and bring it to share.) And please don’t say guac isn’t North American. We’ve kinda inherited it, right? Idk. Either way, it turned out great and was a huge hit at the dinner. It was one of the first things gone.
Got up. Worked on my culture essay due Tuesday for my LATAM Culture/Identity course. Then packed up for a day trip to Casablanca with several other abroad students. We were a good group, but not an awesome as the first group collectively. We had 2 from Canada (Sophie and Parham), 1 from Germany (Julian), and 4 from the US (Ericka, Emily, Shay, and I). The bus was only $3k CLP to get there and $1,300 CLP to get back – no idea why the difference. The buses were very comfortable. I sat by Julian and got to learn a little German. It was super cool.
At the festival, I tried Pinot Noir, Sav. Blanc, and a white wine that started with V and had a long name. The Sav. was my favorite. But really I would have preferred a sangria over any of them. It was $6k CSP for 3 tastings. We sat around and played cards, ate food (I got a lentil burger and roasted potatoes), drank, ate ice cream (pineapple sorbet for me), and finally went up toward the stage at dusk for the concert. The feature band of the day was Moral Distraída and I LOVED them. I’m a little obsessed now. But hey, I have reason to be. The first Chilean band I like! Yay!
PS-Check them out here (one of my fav songs by them): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3HJazGMywo
Also, fun fact, some guy said “manjar” out his car window as he was passing us. We were wondering if this was somehow supposed to be a racist insult at me and/or Parham because manjar is a dark caramel-y color food. Who knows? (Or cares…)
Anyway, overall great day!
A series of unfortunate events led to me missing church (well being super late and not wanting to come in 20 mins after it had started). So, I went to a nearby coffee shop and worked more on my culture paper for class.
A little later, my friend Emma and her boyfriend Christian came and got me so I could have lunch with them at Domino’s. Of course, I ate nothing, so just sat around and talked with all the Chileans/Columbians. It was cool.
Then, I went back to Vina to go home and change. Then I left right back out and walked to my Australian friend, Sylvia’s, house. Me, her, and Stephen (a British guy) had to film a “how to/history” video on Terremotos- a pineapple ice cream/wine cocktail famous here in Chile. We spent about 4 hours doing that. Then finally, Stephen and I walked 18 blocks for me to get home and him to get a bus the rest of the way to his house. Stephen is very interesting. He is mixed, has dreads, tall, skinny, and has traveled a ton. He has these programs he goes through where they pay for your housing and you volunteer with them. It makes me want to check out these opportunities. He wants to travel until he’s in his mid 30’s. Actually, I think the 3 of us were pretty funny because we had 3 pretty distinct accents. Probably people who overheard us all talking were a little confused. The North American/British/Australian accent combo isn’t something you hear everyday.
It’s now past 2:00 AM. So I think I’m going to call it a night. More blogs to come soon!