Exito!

Vina del Mar Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 54 › view all entries
I haven´t updated in quite a while. I have checked my mail and had time to get to an internet cafe...I just have been too stressed after reading all of my e'mails to take the time to make a post. I continue to get multitudes of e'mails regarding commitments I made for Spring Semester. It is really starting to worry me considering I am once again RAing, heading the Diversity Chair, being Captain of the women´s frisbee team, and taking 5 classes (compared to my normal 4). Go Jen for once again over committing herself!! Woot woot.

Anyways. Back to happier happenings here in Viña del Mar.

We took a 4 day trip down to Tamucho. We learned about the indigenous people of Chile - the Mapuche. We stayed in the oldest hotel in Chile and our professor stayed in the same room that Pablo Neruda stayed in. We ate an amazing dinner at the Mapuche home with a man who was about 115 years old and his son who is a fugitive and on the run from the Chilean police. The Mapuche´s relationship with the Chilean government is much like the Native Americans relationship with the US´s manifest destiny was back in the day (and now). Muy interesante. Ask me about this in person if you want to hear more about it. My writing won´t do it justice because there was so much emotion packed into that one day.

The last two days were spent at Chile´s equivalent to Niagra Falls. We stayed in cabins and ate bull balls and picos. Go to freetranslation.com to translate the word of the day...pico. While it was chewy...it wasn´t bad - not gonna lie. Otherwise it was a very relaxing day wading in the water, taking a boat ride, and dancing at the discotech.

However...its good to be back in Viña. Group dynamics get really interesting when you´re stuck with the same people for 24-7. Yesterday was my day off from classes so i did some theraputic shopping and ended up at the beach. The cancer in my tan is coming right along.

Tonight we are attending a traditional Chilean restaurant with Chilean music and dance. After that Remy and myself are heading to the discotech. Remy and I have acquired the nickname of ¨The Bush Twins.¨ While we study hard and attend the lectures, tours, and museums during the day...we also enjoy the night life...like whoa. (always with other assorted folks). Good times.

The trip is starting to wind down. I have talked to many amazing Chileans about their government, life, economy, history, etc etc. I have learned about a lot of this on site and in person. I have also learned - that much like any government - the image that Chile is portraying to the world isn´t necessarily the actuality in the country. And when you look at my pictures later on you may say that the houses on the hills are gorgeous and the children are beautiful...I am learning about the economic struggle that is going in the lives of these people. I want to come back next winter break and volunteer at this place called TAK. It is a volunteer based program/group that works to rebuild the community through community pride. It has a great mission statement and many students from all over the world volunteer there for semesters or a few months. So I think I have a new goal to work for this summer when I am saving my money. I hope everyone is doing well in the States. I am doing well here and am excited to spend the next few days speaking with the former president of Chile, laying on the beaches of Reñaca, and drinking delicious Chilean wine. Peace.
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Vina del Mar
photo by: sissanoel