In order to come full circle, I am ending my posts about my study abroad experience in Chile with a post written in the US (where I wrote my first post). When I left the US to go to Chile I went from summer to winter and knew much uncertainty awaited, and as luck would have it, the same happened on my way back. I am not certain whether this will be my last post on this blog or not because if I return to Chile at some point or if I suddenly feel the urge to blog something about Chile, I will. I truly had an incredible experience in Chile and am looking forward to all of the conversations I am going to have about it and how much better I’ll be able to contribute to conversations about international politics involving Latin America. Time will tell what lies in my future but I know that Latin America and Chile in general will always have a special place in my heart. Here’s to all the experiences I had in Chile and to the people I met there, and to hoping I’ll never forget them. <3
Calle 13 - Latinoamérica -
I love this song. The video is powerful even if you don’t understand Spanish.
Pictures from Chile's 2011 Telethon -
Chile’s annual telethon raised $ 42,219,374.15 USD this year for 30,000 handicapped children. The money goes to build free rehabilitation centers around the country for these children. I was very fortunate and was able to attend the telethon Saturday night. It was truly incredible being able to see the process leading up to the telethon and then attend the event itself. Businesses contributed by making donations, having their employees donate, and donating a portion of their profits to the cause. Whenever a product had the telethon symbol on it it meant a portion of the proceeds of that product went to the telethon. It was a very common topic of conversation and the whole country seemed excited for the event. For the two nights of the telethon, it was the only thing played on every (non-cable) TV channel. Singers were brought in from various countries to perform including Juanes :). It was very inspiring seeing so many people united and giving their all to such a worthy cause.
How the majority of the country actively supports public education reform.
Living across from two fresh fruit and vegetable small businesses.
Informed political conversations with complete strangers.
Everything that comes with being in Latin America.
Having everyone assume I speak Spanish.
Handmade jewelry almost everywhere.
Conversations with taxi drivers.
My host family and cats.
Friends I have made.
Last night was the cena de despedida or going away dinner with my study abroad group. I always prefer to think I am going to see people again though the chances may be unlikely so I am not going to focus on the going away aspect of the dinner. I met many wonderful people in the program and with some luck I’ll run into a few of them again :). The dinner was hosted at a beautiful home that had been decorated very nicely complete with rose petals. The dinner was prepared in front of us by chefs and was very gourmet. It was truly a different world from the Chile I’m used to and my host sister (Lorena) and I both agreed we prefer ours. Each member of the study abroad group was able to bring one member of their host family. Lorena and I noticed that almost nobody was sitting with their host family and were saddened by this. I feel incredibly luckily that I was/am so happy with my host family because I know many people are not so lucky. Although Lorena and I enjoyed ourselves at the dinner, I think the best time we had was when we took the bus home while almost everyone else returned him a car. We talked about the different parts of the city as we passed them and 70 minutes later returned home. Lorena told me that her mom wants to host another girl next semester but that it just won’t be the same. Needless to say, I am really going to miss them and I could not have had a better homestay experience.
The united pueblo is always fighting. The symbol in between pueblo and unido is a mapuche (Chilean indigenous tribe) symbol and the symbol used for the a in lucha is the anarchy symbol. This is the view from the metro stop next to my house.
I went to the Open Minded Fest today with my host sister, her friends, and some of my friends today. This is a picture from one of the highlights :).
The dome theatre in Parque O’Higgins (where Fantasilandia is, also the park right next to my apartment).