So, like a normal gringo...I went to leave the house today to meet up with some friends at estación de metro Baquedano. I causally let my host mom know where I was going and she all of a sudden told me in a very high-pitched, semi-scared voice that I COULD NOT go there today!
I was confused
Then she reminded me of the student protests that are going to happen today.
They usually involve fire and tear gas.
Needless to say I am not going to Baquedano to meet up with friends.
Viña del Mar, the beach city located next to Valparaiso The term terremoto:
can mean an earthquake; can mean a really strong drink famous at the sketchy, yet entertaining Piojera Bar. Last night I experienced both. Okay, so the earth shaking one was only a temblor (which is a smaller version of an earthquake). My host dad came downstairs though to make sure his gringa daughter was not freaking out because the earth was moving. It actually woke me up from a weird dream so I was okay with it.
In other news, we took a trip to Valparaiso today as a Syracuse Study Abroad unit. It is a beautiful city with art and tourists everywhere. It is also a port city so the ocean breeze is always flitting around and there are port sounds like sea gulls, ships, and waves. It is nice. There are also cute hostels around every corner if you are looking to be touristy. I wanted to stay in all of them, they all looked super cool.
Tomorrow I am climbing some mountain with my host siblings, they have told me that there are waterfalls at the final destination of said hike. It is also a four hour trek in/four hour trek out. Needless to say, it will be an all day event. I'm pretty pumped.
The way the weather is looking here, Santiago is going to have an extended summer! I don't hate that.
Just did my first bit of solo traveling...well with Colin Delaney! He came down to visit me over spring break and we took off to Viña del Mar for the weekend, so basically the beach and beautiful sand dunes. It was a good time.
March is coming to a close and I am faced with the final processes of registering for classes here in Chile and for registering for the upcoming semester at St. Mikes. Time flies.
Had a traditional, large, delicious lunch with my host family today because I only had one class (how did that work out?) and I believe this weekend my group is heading to Valparaiso to do some traveling. Can't wait! I have also been informed that my host family is taking a trip to the beach the following weekend so I will be traveling quite a bit! ahhhh!
I can't really get over the weather here. It is beautiful every day, end of story.
My host sister assures me that this will change, she was really excited about a down jacket that her aunt gave her; even though I can't quite imagine wearing that now I'm sure I will need something similar eventually. yay, can't wait (just kidding)
So yea, I don't know how it worked out this way, but it seems that I don't have class on fridays. oh yea! So instead I met with my professor about how my credits here are going to count at St. Mikes and I tried to go to Registro Civil to get my real Chilean ID however, it appears they need a copy of my visa and of course I didn't bring my passport this one time. It seems I will be running there after class on Monday instead. sigh.
Ah well, my sister has informed me that we are going hiking tomorrow which might be the best thing I have heard all day. The mountains here are spectacular, I can't really do them justice with words but suffice it to say that I am surprised by their height every single time I see them...which is every day because you can't look at buildings without there being mountains behind them.
Other than that I am getting into the rhythm of classes at the Universidad Católica. I am taking 5 classes as of now and I have all of next week to finalize those classes and even try some new classes if I want. Apparently Chileans study towards a certain career such as 'oh, i study dentistry or oh, I study architecture' so when I tell them that I study ecology and spanish they are confused as to what career path I am following. I am confused on that point as well.
So whoever reads this blog, I hope you are enjoying my adventures through the city of Santiago and surrounding awesome countries. Please if you ever have a chance to go, GO because it is an amazing city with a lot to offer. Can't wait to go skiing in the Andes come winter! ahhhhh
Literally, I am navigating public transit in about 10 minutes to traverse the city and eventually end up at Campus San Joaquin of the Universidad Católica here in Santiago, Chile. It has 4 campuses spread out throughout the city, ahhhh. A little bigger than St. Mikes.
I spent the weekend visiting host relatives such as grandparents, aunts and uncles and getting to know my host brother (14 years old) who recently returned from summer camp, haha they have that here too! All in all a good weekend I would say, the only unfortunate thing was that it had to end and I am now faced with a rather intimidating class registration process.
How it works: All chilean students have their classes, they know where their going and what to expect. I am like a freshman only worse. I have no idea where my classes are (I was told to 'ask') I don't actually know what classes I will be taking yet, I only have a list of potential classes of which I am supposed to visit and decide within the next 2 weeks. Also, once we decide on the classes we want we are supposed to register for them at their sort of central office (don't know where those are either) however, if later we decide that we don't want to take that class and instead we want to take this class, we must un-register for that class and sign up for the new one! woohoo.
So it will be a busy two weeks.
However it is still in the 80's every day here so I can't complain about the relentless sunshine and the GIANT cordillera that you can see from Everywhere in Santiago. The mountains are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!
that's all for now, mostly because I'm going to miss micro (or bus as we north americans call it) D18 which will deliver me safely to metro station Bustamante. haha
So, a lot has happened since I last wrote (sorry).
I have arrived in Chile (Feb. 13) and with only 3 days in Santiago under my belt we were swept off to Buenos Aires, Argentina for some cultural museum visits, classes, exploring etc. After four days in Buenos Aires, we crossed the Rio de la Plata aka: the 3rd largest river in Latin America after the Amazon and the Orinoco in Venezuela. Crossing the Rio de la Plata brought us to , Montevideo, Uruguay where we stayed about 3 1/2 days to explore, learn, stare etc. For those of you who have never thought about the country of Uruguay in your life, you should think about it sometime. It is a really tiny country, but really amazing. The capitol city is very chill and the people go with the flow. There is nothing of the rushed feeling of Buenos Aires or the 'trying to be European' in Santiago. It is special. Montevideo was never a spot on my list of places to go, but it is sure to make it on the list of places to return to.
So after all that we returned to Santiago yesterday for a brief, but utterly terrifying orientation of classes and host families. Thankfully, I am now living with my host family so that part doesn't seem so scary anymore, but the classes continue to loom. We have not started classes yet and will not start until the 5th of March. All of Chile is on summer vacation right now, as a result I feel like I'm on summer vacation and it is weird not being in school. I feel like I skipped my whole spring semester, but don't worry, it won't be like that for long. My days promise to be busy and full and my nights? full of homework.
My Chilean host family is amazing however, so I am not worrying about any of that right now. My father plays the piano and the banjo (what?) and my mother is a social worker. I have three younger siblings Maria Fernanda (20), Victoria (18) and Juan Eduardo (14) so I'm pretty pumped about that. They seem like a very up-beet and happy family, just like my real family at home so I don't think it will take too long to adjust. There is however, the unavoidable awkward week in which you first arrive and must make polite small talk and talk about yourself way too much for anyone to be comfortable. After that there is a lull that settles and you get to talk about normal human things like the news and what you did that day and all that fun stuff. I am only talking about how it played out in Ecuador, perhaps it will be different here.
Well, that's all for now. To those who actually follow this I am deeply sorry that my entires are so disappointingly far apart. I must further disappoint you that it is not for lack of internet connection or any sort of modern commodity, it is just the fact that I never remember to blog. So, keep a weathered eye out for the next one as I will try to post with at least some regularity from now on.
So, I now am beginning my second study abroad experience based out of Santiago, Chile. Chile has about 6 million inhabitants, so we'll see how this goes.
Of course, I am not there yet. I am in fact sitting in my room trying to wrap my head around the fact that though I will get there in summer, it will slowly become winter while I am there. It will probably get pretty cold. What to pack?!
Got my visa this past Monday, got my flight a long time ago, I'm basically ready to go. I am going to be sincerely and honestly broke after I get back. oh no.
oh well, I will soon (hopefully) be telling you all of adventures in the southern hemisphere. please stay tuned for it only gets more interesting from here on out. Today I will be skiing, in four days I will be basking in Chilean sunshine.