Now that I’m at the end of my time in Chile, I’ve tried my best to reflect. What I’ve written here is pretty much just word vomit, me writing things as they came to mind. The reality is, I don’t feel like I’ve changed all that much after being here, in comparison to my time in Cuba. Those two months last year seemed much longer and eye-opening. I’ve unfortunately never been able to avoid making comparisons between the two countries, despite them being practically incomparable. That said, I’ve enjoyed my time in Chile tremendously and have learned so much about its culture and history. read more

The Final Countdown

The final 5 days! A synopsis:

Saturday, David, Caroline, Noah, Anna, and I went to Temple Baha’i, very close to Parque Aguas de Ramón. Though the temple has mostly eastern Asian roots (supposedly Buddhist), it has been declared a sacred place in which all religions are welcome. It was absolutely gorgeous; it has this incredible architecture to make it look like a lotus flower about to bloom. Pictures aren’t allowed inside, unfortunately, but I can say that the space is very open and bright and simple – just long pews facing forward, quotes carved into the walls along the perimeter. We stayed for about an hour, exploring all the gardens and reflecting pools surrounding it. Great idea, Caroline. read more

Vocab Lesson

I’ve been asked by several people whether Cuban Spanish or Chilean Spanish is harder. The answer is they’re equally challenging. In Cuba, no one enunciates. In Chile, there are countless slang words, los chilenismos. Despite the challenge of the chilenismos, however, learning them has arguably been my favorite way to get to know Chilean culture. In fact, the chilenismos do a great job summing up some of my experiences – so here’s a brief vocab lesson.

Arriba de la pelota: “Above the ball”; you’re a little drunk, but not drunk drunk. read more

The Last Full Week

After an incredibly indulgent weekend, we were thrust back into reality when we had a four and half hour class Monday morning, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We were mentally wrecked. Austin and I stayed at the office until nearly 5:00 doing homework, before we lost our minds. To sweat out our stress, we went for a run to the statue of the Virgin Mary with David, and we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets of our lives! Then we all went home to do more homework.

First “full body shot” of the Chilean run squad.
I nearly cried.

Tuesday, we had a guest speaker come to class, Víctor Hugo Robles. Robles is a gay journalist, activist, and feminist, but he likes to think of himself as a worker. After all, he does not earn much money and lives modestly. He explained the difficulty of growing up homosexual during the dictatorship, as both the right and left generally rejected homosexuals (the right just more often and obviously). His family, moreover, was very conservative and Catholic, and his brother was your hyper-masculine star soccer player. read more


This weekend was so luxurious that we’re still a little in disbelief. I mean, the fact that we just popped over to Argentina, and its wine country at that, is just nuts. We feel so privileged and grateful. 

We had another early flight, meeting at the airport at 7 a.m. Isa picked my professor, Andreea, and me up. It wasn’t clear to me who was driving; it wasn’t a taxi or an Uber, so I think it might have been her son driving the family car? It was a guy probably mid-20s, and at 6:15 a.m., he was blasting Spanish death metal full of expletives in the car. Isa seemed to be oblivious, calling Andreea and my classmates to make sure everyone was up and ready. It was definitely not a relaxing drive to the airport.  read more

Parque Aguas de Ramón, Art Museums, and Gnocchi Fest

A full weekend just relaxing in Santiago was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve been running around every weekend thus far on some excursion, so we haven’t gotten to really take advantage of exploring the city on our own.

On Saturday, David, Caroline and I went to Parque Aguas de Ramón, a park on the western periphery of Barrio las Condes. The whole park is very official. You enter and pay a fee of about $3, then are directed to a table with guides there to greet you. You look at the hike options. There are four hikes, ranging in length from only a couple kilometers to nearly 18. Once you’ve chosen your route, a guide explains to you the features of the route. “The first 15 minutes are pretty steep. After that, the ridge levels off. You’ll make your way along some small rolling hills until you reach the waterfall. On return, you’ll cross a bridge, gain some elevation, then come back down. Make sure you don’t smoke or start a fire. Pack out all garbage.” It was so orderly; we wrote down our names, our cell numbers, genders, country of origin, even our passport numbers. I personally felt a little miffed – we’re from Colorado, OK? We know how to hike. read more

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