¡Buenos días chicos!
It is now fall in Chile, which means our beach days are slowly coming to an end. **Sigh** My friends and I have been adventuring more around Valparaíso and Viña del Mar to see various parts of our cities. My favorite part of Valparaíso is “Cerro alegre” which translates to “happy hill.” There is A LOT of cool street art here. For example, we found this famous artwork one day:
Here in Chile, students are required to get government issued identification cards (similar to drivers licenses). This task seemed more daunting than trying to get our visas. Megan and I went back and forth to two different buildings, across the city, about three times before calling it a day. Turns out we were not at the right buildings anyways. We gave it a few days before we finally tried again, except this time we forgot our actual passports (Even though we had copies of them with us). So third times a charm and we finally completed this process, but this was the first time I was truly frustrated since living here. Language barriers are hard and it can become extremely saddening when people are frustrated with you and do not want to take the time to speak with you because you’re not 100% fluent in their language. I am going to use this as motivation to keep getting better though!
Jason, Emily, and I went to climb the dunes at ConCon to watch the sunset and we all ended up sand boarding. Here is a picture to prove how uncoordinated I am.
The next day, Megan, Jason, and I went to hike this mountain called “La Campana.” I enjoy hiking generally, but this was easily the hardest hike I have ever done in my entire life. All of our friends here at school told us how hard it was, but I really did not care because I wanted to complete it. I wish I had listened to them, haha. We were filthy by the end because not only were we hiking on trails, but halfway through the hike we had to boulder climb to get to the top. Going up was not the only hard part; going down was just as hard because you had to skillfully climb down the boulders otherwise you could really hurt yourself. I am glad I completed this hike, and could not have done it without motivation from Megan and Jason, but I can hands down say I will be happy to never do this hike again.
¡DIOS MIO! How could I forget this incredible moment… I FINALLY FELT MY FIRST EARTHQUAKE!! I kept saying how I wanted to feel one, and including this one there had been four since Megan and I moved here, but I felt none. This earthquake was a size 5.2, but to Chileans this is miniscule. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was awesome. I want to feel a bigger one, just without the consequences of falling buildings and what not lol.
Megan, Will, and I went to Santiago last weekend for Lollapalooza music festival. I love Santiago. I kind of wish I was living there. It is a big, beautiful, clean city. I also never felt unsafe while I was there. Megan and I started our first day there by taking a Tours4Tips which showed us so many parts of the city and taught us a lot of history. The tour is free, but you’re supposed to tip them. At the end, we met Will at the number 25 ice cream shop in the world, Emporio de la rosa. It was amazing. Eventually, Megan F. and Elizabeth R. met us there too. They were traveling from Córdoba, Argentina. Elizabeth is also a rebels abroad blogger so check out her blog too! We went to dinner that night at a restaurant that had over 300 different wines and we all had different wine flights with our dinner. The restaurant is called “Bocanarriz.” Poor Will had his phone stolen on the metro, but this was honestly the only bad part of our weekend and he was very positive about the whole situation. We all stayed at “Aji Hostel” and if you’re ever traveling to Santiago, stay here. The hostel is very clean and the employees are kind and it is also very close in proximity to everything (including a metro station). So for the next two days we went to Lollpalooza and we saw performances from Kaskade, Eminem, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Flosstradamus, Duke Dumont, 21 Pilots, Jack U, and various others. My favorite was Jack U for sure.
I could truly go on and on, but these events have been the best and most exciting. I do love Chile, and I am so thankful for that. I am also thankful that I like my host family because that can make or break your study abroad experience. Adios for now!