Elections and Vineyards

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January 21st 2010
Published: January 21st 2010
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Well, its been quite the busy week here in Santiago, hence the fact that I haven’t had the chance to write to you all. In addition, it seems now I only have one week left in Santiago, and this makes me very sad. I have really enjoyed getting to know the city and I am very jealous of the other students who will stay here until June. But, back to today.

Last week was the final week of our intensive language classes. We worked very hard and all managed to pass our tests! My Spanish is improving VERY quickly and I am enjoying being able to converse with many different people in my MBA program and otherwise. Rita and I are now taking private lessons twice a week to continue the learning process until we depart for our next adventure. The language school had a large party last Friday to celebrate the end of classes for most of the group. They grilled sausages and had wine and beer, much better than the other language schools I have attended in the past!

Afterward Rita and I went to the grocery store in search of Mexican food so that we could cook for our friends. The couchsurfers we have met here have been so friendly and continuously cook for us time after time. We decided to make tacos and enjoyed a very fun dinner with great company back at Sebastian and I’s apartment. From there it was off to the Disco with our friends Ale and Paul. We went to El Subterraneo which is an underground club in Providencia near where we live. We arrived at 12:15 in order to get in for free before the 12:30 deadline. Funny thing was, no one even remotely showed up until 1-2 am. It was really amazing for me to see the club empty at such a late hour. We had many drinks and danced the night away to classic American hits from the lovely decade of the 90’s.

It was a late night on Friday, so Saturday we slept in! Our Chilean friend Joel from our MBA class picked Rita and I up in the afternoon and drove us down to the Concha y Torro winery. Many of you know some of the wines they produced, most likely the Diablo brand. The tour was about $14 US and took about an hour. We took the English tour with some interesting tourists from all over the world and enjoyed the beautiful landscape of the winery and tour of the cellar where the Diablo (devil) lives…muhaha. Afterwards we had two lovely tastes of wine and then I set off to the store to partake in purchasing some others for future enjoyment. The wine is MUCH cheaper here than it is in the states and I took advantage.

Later that night Joel invited us to attend a house party of another MBA student from his class. Rita had a headache so I went with Joel and met up with another exchange student, Joe, to enjoy the evening with our Chilean counterparts. It was an evening full of wine, fun cultural language exchanges, a magician, and some salsa dancing to round it all off. This might have been one of the better house parties I have ever attended.

Sunday was the big day of presidential elections in Chile. Therefore just about every shop, mall, restaurant and café was closed for business. It is mandatory that if you register to vote in Chile you have to actually vote. (what a concept!) If you do not at least go and sign your name, then you will have to pay a fine I am told. Therefore it is important that everyone focus on the election. We spent the day at the pool and then managed to find one place open to get a snack (where we found a few tourists wondering why everything was closed). We had grand plans that the touristy restaurants in Bellavista might open up and headed down to the Baqueneda station to check. Low and behold we managed to walk right into the celebration party for Pinera, who was just announced to have won the election. What a scene! People were driving around (until all hours of the night) honking their horns excessively and flying flags. It really was something that I am glad I had the chance to see. We didn’t stay for long, and headed off to find food, but ended up searching for a good while before settling on a place that was open. We were told they could not serve alcohol to us because it was election day, so we sadly concurred but later when we left we saw many people drinking beer and wine! Maybe just the gringos can’t have alcohol on election day…haha who knows.

So, that’s it for the week, I am working on the entry from our lovely trip from Valparaiso and Vina del Mar on Monday and Tuesday. More news to come soon! I hope everyone is surviving the cold weather, it was a scorcher today and we will look forward to it cooling off in the mountains down south.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


At the clubAt the club
At the club

Ale and Paul with american students

Rita,, Paige, Joe, and Joel

22nd January 2010

You're in a tank top!
You're wearing a tank top! Wow! Jealous of the hot weather you're receiving. Enjoy those final days before the next adventure!

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