Blogs from Valparaíso, Valparaíso Region, Chile, South America - page 6


Please go to YouTube and listen to "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell. For real, just do it, and listen to it while you read this blog. That song is the theme song of my experience at the grocery store today/my life. Okay. Are you listening to it? Read on! :-) I have no idea what was different about today but I felt seriously watched...EVERY WHERE. I had to go to Jumbo (Chile's version of Wal-Mart, and owned my Wal-Mart too...yes, I think Wal-Mart is single handedly taking over the world) to by some stuff like peanut butter and cinnamon. It's a huge mega grocery store. I went alone and that's when things got crucial. Actually, it started as I was on the WAY to the store. As I was walking, there was a group of about ... read more
The streets I brave. Haha!

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 30th 2012

I took salsa lessons with my host brother today. He really wants to learn how to dance. I went because I love dancing of any sort and the first lesson es gratis (free). Dancing really is a universal language because at times I didn't know what my dance partners were saying but it didn't even matter. We'd move in sync anyhow. I learned a valuable cultural lesson today: sometimes it feels good to snap. It needed to happen and afterwards I felt super refreshed. Many people assume that becoming more culturally tolerant means not saying anything when things bother you. Just chalk it up to a cultural difference and get over it. To a certain extent I thought the same thing. The past few times I've gone out with my host brother or he's gone out ... read more

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 27th 2012

Can I just say that the United States needs to take some notes on how to do public transportation? The Valparaíso-Viña region has it down pat. I honestly never knew public transportation could be so useful and FREAKING CHEAP! Did I forget to say FREAKING CHEAP!? Over here families don't have more than one car. The only time my host family uses theirs is to take the whole family to church and the mom uses it for work every now and then. There's not really a need to drive the car since gas is expensive and the public transportation is so efficient. Back home in Texas, I hate riding Dart because it's not very cheap and it takes FOREVER to get ANYWHERE. It's a major pain in the butt. To go somewhere on Dart, you have ... read more
El micro.
El metro.

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 22nd 2012

While doing my research before coming here, I discovered that there isn't much information out there on people of African descent in Chile. Simply because there are virtually no black people in Chile. True story. Since I've gotten to this country, I've seen less than 10 black people and that includes my time traipsing around Santiago, the capital of Chile, which has over 5 million inhabitants. As a result that means that black people here are seen as extremely exotic. I've never experienced anything like it. Over this past month, I've come to see myself differently and I've also come to recognize the destructive influence that the U.S. media can sometimes have on the selfesteem of my African American community. It's a subtle, unnamed problem in society that I've lived with my whole life. I've lived ... read more
Muelle Baron
Twistin' like it's going out of style!

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 20th 2012

I've come to realize that we have assumptions without realizing that we have assumptions. I'm writing this blog because there are so many things that surprise me here in Chile that aren't worth a blog on their own but are definitely worth mentioning. Some are comical, some are just awkward. Get ready! Okay so: 1) Your underwear. Your whole family sees them. And they touch them. Get used to it. I kid you not! Chileans don't have driers. They just don't. It's not in their culture. We wash our clothes and then hang them on a clothes line outside. That goes for panties and bras as well. Maybe I should have left the Care Bear ones at home?? Hahaha! I didn't know this until I got here and I nearly died of mortification. I'm used to ... read more
Where the over eating happens. ;p
Sunny days.


South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 19th 2012

The "end of summer" sensation didn't last long. After a surprisingly sound night's sleep on the bus from Pucón, we step out into a very sunny Santiago. A taxi ride from the terminal to our hostel - the dubiously named but in fact utterly brilliant Happy House Hostel - is a bit of a jarring shock. Wide avenues, cars, cars, cars, people, people, people. Santiago is a big city - nearly a third of Chile's entire population lives in the city and its suburbs. We spend only a couple of days in the capital. It's not a particularly engaging place - certainly less so than Buenos Aires - and it's very, very hot. Wedged right up against the Andes in a geographic bowl, Santiago suffers from terrible air pollution. From a high viewpoint in a pretty ... read more
Central Santiago - new and old
Fine Arts museum, Santiago
Santiago in its smog-bath

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 14th 2012

So this is life... For the first time I feel like I'm really living. I started classes 2 weeks ago and I've been in Valpo for 3 weeks and I just can't get over how fabulous life is here. Gone is the pressure to "work 'til you die" and stay "busy, busy, busy". That's how I was feeling in the States before I left. Things are ridiculous here. There's spontaneity on a grand level, there's adventure in small things, there's rest, there's excitement, there's beauty, and there's relaxation! Every day when I get out of class there's cool stuff to do and fun people to do it with ALL the time. Bri will ask me, "Hey, wanna go grab an empanada and get a margarita?" And I'm like yes! Or someone will ask me, "Hey, wanna ... read more
Shall we dance?
About to drop it like it's hot!
Babes on a Beach

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 13th 2012

Monday 12 March After missing out on the observatory tour I decided I would get up early and ride up to the observatory before heading to Valparaiso. Thatat least would mean I could say I had actually seen a Chilean observatory. That plan fell by the way side too though. I woke early enough but it was another pea souper so I decided to write my blog until the fog had burnt off. I had about 500kms to go but when I booked the hotel in Valparaiso the night before I had said I would probably not get there until 5 pm, so I had plenty of time. I wrote the first draft of what was meant to be the last entry of my blog but as I came to add the photos the server went ... read more
Valparaiso in the distance
Outside Hotel Brighton, Valparaiso
View of Valparaiso

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 13th 2012

Tuesday 13 March Today was going to be a nice easy day sight seeing. Breakfast was served between 9 and 11 am so there was absolutely no point getting up early, but I did. I couldn't help it. The bloody phone went off at 7.30 am. It was a blocked call. Usually that means it's work. I had had a missed blocked call the day before but I figured if it was someone from work and they couldn't figure out I was away and it was urgent they would try the office or a colleague so I wasn't worried. The phone was only on as an alarm clock. I never expected anyone to ring. It turned out to be a cold call from Simon from 02. Is it urgent? No? Well I'm in Chile and asleep. ... read more
Palacio Baburizza, Paseo Yugoslavo,Valparaiso
Winding gear, Ascensor El Paral, Valparaiso

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 12th 2012

For those you have been following my blog an apology. I have just arrived in Valparaiso, had a shower and read the last few entries and I've just noticed how poor my spelling is - sorry! For those who know me this will come as no surprise! In my defence I have written the last few blogs at the end of the day when I'm done in and I don't appear to have spell check. I am off for a beer (which probably doesn't help) and something to eat - more to follow later... read more

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