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October 18th 2010
Published: October 18th 2010
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Party @ Mojito for Kayley!Party @ Mojito for Kayley!Party @ Mojito for Kayley!

Yum, torta de tres leches!
After my trip to Tacna last weekend, I was really content to hang out in Arica and not do too much this weekend. Of course, I have 700 proyectos, ensayos, y tareas that I need to do for my classes in my final two weeks of real school. That's right, two weeks until we take out last trip- Temuco- and then begin our Independent Study Projects (ISPs). I can't believe we are at this point in the program, but I am also really excited to actually do my research now. This week I also had round 2 with the Rotavirus we suspect has been plaguing our group. It is not food poisoning, as the budding epidemiologists on the program have ruled that out. So we are going with evil Rotavirus. But I am all healthy now.

I was not bored this weekend because I got to spend a day at the beach on Saturday, and go out to celebrate Kayley's birthday on Saturday night. Thanks to the host-madre of another student we had a delicious torta de tres leches, possibly the most deliciously rich cake ever. We went to Mojitos for the party, which overlooks Playa Chinchorro and has an awesome staff with a surprising amount of patience for confused gringas and Quique, the fantastic manager.

At the beach on Saturday we enjoyed the sun, but not the surf. First because I haven't managed to wrangle surfing lessons quite yet, and second because it is still only in the low 70's, fahrenheit, here and very very windy. But going to the beach is still nice, and we have made friends with some kiltros, one of whom we named Cher because of what we thought was her lovely black hair, but Cher is actually a he. But he doesn't seem to mind the confusion and is very sweet.

This week Chile celebrated. The 33 miners who have been trapped in a gold and copper mine at San José, near Copiapó, since August were finally rescued. Many Chileans have told me that it is a miracle, as implied by the numerology of 33 men being rescued on 13/10/10- which adds up to 33. When the first miner was pulled up on Wednesday at around 1 am, fireworks went off around Arica. The spectacle on the news was amazing, and every Chilean I have spoken to has been emotional and proud of this feat. This event, on top of the recent bicentennial celebration, have created a noticeable nationalism in Chile.

Additional photos below
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Rachel and CherRachel and Cher
Rachel and Cher

Cher is our kiltro (street dog) friend from the playa, and actually is a boy

22nd October 2010

Thoroughly enjoy reading your reports from the Andes to the beach, the celebrations, the cakes, the friends, Was surprised by your description of the trapped miners, as though the event had been little noted by the outside world. By now you must realize that people all over the planet (myself included) were caught up in the rescue, especially the last days! A friend just e-mailed me a list of all of the specialized tools, expertise, and technology that the U.S. sent down to expedite the rescue. It included the NASA-designed (and provided) capsule, itself. We rejoiced with the Chileans when the first and last miners reached the surface. And we will be watching documentaries and hero stories, and reading scientific journal articles for months to come. And, since you were nearby, some of us thought of you many, many times. Hope your viral visitor never returns. Love, G.Jean
22nd October 2010

Los Mineros
I am aware of what an international interest the miners are. They have been invited to several countries, several are negotiating the rights to their story, and there is already talk of a Chilean film, but I don't doubt there will be several. I could not write a blog last week without mentioning them, because every radio and television station, every newspaper, and every Chilean was all about the miners. It has been very emotional, and it has been exciting to be this close to the events.

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