Edit Blog Post
Published: November 22nd 2010
Of all of the places I have traveled, I think Valparaíso is one of my favorites, certainly in the top 5. It is hard to say what makes any place so special, and there is a distinct reason to call any one of them special. Maybe, for me in this moment, it has to do with the independence of living in our apartment here. It is not really an immersion experience, but we have been speaking spanish most of the time! But there is more to why I love this city. Everyone I have talked to has been so helpful and friendly, more so than in Arica I think. Also, the whole city is beautiful but also looks like it might go tumbling down the cerros into the pacific at any moment. Then there are the graffiti surprises, painted buildings and strange characters all over. From my apartment I can see Andean foothills and the Pacific, and they are both beautiful. There was a heavy metal concert outside my apartment the other day, just on the sidewalk by the Ascensor.
Now that my research project has actually gotten off the ground, things have been fairly hectic. I have a 4
page questionnaire that I am distributing to college students, so making that happen has been my main interest for several days. I have been to Universidad de Santa Maria and Universidad de Playa Ancha, and I think I will be visiting a few more next week. My advisor, Vicky, knows a lot of professors who let me into their classes to distribute the questionnaire. There have been problems, like when the number of the classroom that I had was for a room that did not exist and nobody knew where the room was. But things worked out, and I have collected a lot of my data. Very exciting, but it means that I have to start organizing it and analyzing, and I have about 2.5 weeks to finish and to write my project. I predict a lot of computer time ahead of me.
Of course, not everything is work. On friday the Familia (my housemtes and I) went to Viña del Mar, about 20 minutes by Micro, to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The micro ride was pretty exciting, as we were on the highway during rush hour and there were not enough seats so I had
to stand the whole way and try not to fall in anybodies lap during sudden stops and take-offs. We went to Viña instead of the theater in Valpo because we could see it in english, with Spanish subtitles. One of my favorite aspects of the whole movie may have been seeing names in Spanish, such as Ojoloco. Viña is very different from Valpo. It is much more built up, and feels more North Americanized. There are 'palaces' or huge beautiful homes, some lovely garden, and an enormous 4 story mall.
Everywhere here is beginning to put up Christmas decorations, including Santa, Reindeer and snow. I really haven't gotten my brain wrapped around the fact that it is almost Christmas, let alone that Thanksgiving is this week. I think we are going to try to have a dinner with Manzana Kuchen and mashed potatoes out of a box. I feel like my family might consider this blasphemy, so I would like to apologize in advance. I doubt there will be any turkey because, though it is available, I live with 2 vegetarians and I have reverted back to the veg diet. Of course, empanadas are very tempting and the queso
ones are hard to find. But maybe why I don't realize it is almost Thanksgiving is because I haven't been thinking about it, because I would love to be back home for just a couple of days with my family. It will happen soon enough, and I will enjoy being in this lovely city until then.
Tot: 0.045s; Tpl: 0.022s; cc: 6; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0093s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb