Wednesday, April 25, 2012

sudden cold... lack of central heating system

Lots has happened since the 10th of April when I last wrote (sorry)
As you can imagine there is plenty going on in this country where small earthquakes are a twice a month deal, there are student protests every other week and fall is slipping into winter. gross. I'm not a fan of winter without snow. Instead, here the snow only falls on the distant (but not that distant) Andes and in the (actually) distant Patagonia. Hopefully I'll get to ski on some of that in June :)

To continue with the goings-on-in-Chile topic, today there was a government permitted student strike that was supposed to be normal, non-violent and all that. However, watching the news this evening there was a burning bus, someone getting chased by police on a motorcycle and someone unconscious being carried by four men from the scene. I feel so safe. Actually as long as you just avoid the center of town you are usually fine. I am REALLY good at avoiding the center of town during strikes ever since my first experience with tear gas. I must say it just wasn't good enough to repeat....ever. It was terrible

So I was lucky enough to get to visit Pucón in the middle of April. We actually went on what was called the 'viaje semestral' or the semester trip in which 'Syracuse University' brought us to Pucón and paid for lodgings and some food etc. It was fantastic! There is a gigantic volcano that you can see from everywhere, there are all kinds of touristy (but awesome) adventures like sip lining, kayaking, white water rafting and thermal hot springs to visit! We had an awesome time! We stayed at Hotel Sol y Lago which was comprised of cute cabin-apartment things. There was also a pool there, but it was freezing.

Coming back to Santiago was a bit of a noisy let down after, but I am now re-accustomed to city life.  Normal things such as waiting for the D18 bus in the frigid morning, forcing yourself onto a really full metro, riding said metro to class, going to class where SO MANY students get there late (must be a chilean thing) etc. The city is exhausting (in good ways too) but Pucón was a nice break.

Thankfully, there are more adventures in the near future to be had because me and two other 'gringas' are planning a trip to the island of Chiloé, very very far south. There are penguins on the Pacific coast side and cool houses on stilts on the Atlantic side so I am super excited. We are going to take an overnight bus to get down there because it takes so long, I'll never get used to sleeping on a bus or a plane. Just can't do it.

the beach! Algarrobal

Volcan Villarica! Check it out!

One of Pablo Neruda's 3 houses. He is probably one of the most famous Chilean poets. He likes tall houses
Anyways, that's all for now. Sorry to throw it all at you at once, but I think you can handle it. Heres some pictures to make it all better.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chile's "fiercely unregulated economy"

This Thursday we are leaving the busy highways of Santiago to make our way south to Pucón!
Pucón is a mountainous/volcano ridden city with beautiful vistas and sprawling lakes, I sound like the lonely planet guide book. I am in fact-SUPER EXCITED- to go there because there are many adventures in the out of doors to be had such as trekking, kayaking, and general looking at beautiful mountains.

Unfortunately, I must first get through this week.
Tomorrow I have 4 classes, this is not normal here. Granted, the classes are Independent Study, Geography, Hip-Hop (yea) and Spanish....none of which are all that hard. My hard class (thank God) is all by itself on Tuesdays and Thursdays. yipee.

anyways, como siempre (like always) I have got a bunch of reading to do...which I'm going to do now...instead of type more stuff about Chile.

it was cloudy today, summer is leaving.
yea ciao

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jorge Luis Borges

here's a photo so it's not all words, I guess you can't really tell, but this was the student protest that I accidentally found myself walking into the middle of which involved my first experience with tear gas..not pleasant.
¿Qué onda?
A common phrase in Chile which means "what's up?"
it is pronounced exactly as it is yea, use that one on your friends.

Today was a normal day: went to Geography class and learned about how there WERE people in latin america before the conquistadors (yes I know, I learned this in 5th grade thank you. I'm foreign I'm not stupid), had a really long lunch with chilean/american friends (YAY I have chilean friends!), went to spanish class and finished the movie "The Nana" (which is very good by the way and really demonstrates the latin american tradition of employing a woman in the house as a nana). Came home, went for a run, ate some bread, typical Chile. I don't know why such a normal day turned out to be so great....maybe I'm just comparing it in my mind to yesterday which was not so great. Not everyday abroad is a great day...I made the mistake of thinking that all days would be great days before I went abroad. The reality is that they are not. But hey, today was so HA.

Also, inscribed in a gym with my host sister and so far we have gone to some very entertaining classes including Aero Box, Zumba, and Spinning. Spinning was a LOT more difficult than I imagined. My legs hurt today. They were blasting some killer US rock though so I was having a great time.

My Chilean mom is making some kind of dessert right smells so so good. Maybe this is why I feel the need to eat something...Also, beware of Panaderías in latin america because they smell SO GOOD. Everytime I pass by a bakery I just want to eat all the bread in the world which would be a terrible thing. They smell so wonderful, I could probably loiter outside a bakery for a considerable amount of time and not be bored.
Anyways, now that I have bored you all to tears with my talk of delicious bread (seriously, it's different than the bread in the US) I shall bid the adieu for I must read more about the colonization of latin america. yipee.