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Published: November 30th 2010
This past week was very eventful, and on top of all the things that are happening I have to write a 25 page research paper in Spanish and analyze my data. My ISP is over attitudes and knowledge about HIV/AIDS and testing among college students in Chile. I have been handing out surveys to classes of university students who have volunteered tons of useful information for me. Now I get to analyze all the responses and organize it and fight with Excel to make graphs that work for my project. And then write in Spanish. But I think I have experienced a huge learning curve in getting to this point in my research, and I should survive the next week of writing.
This research also took me to Santiago, which is only an hour or so inland from Valparaíso. I went to La Universidad de Valparaíso en Santiago, in San Miguel, to hand out surveys for a day. I had an early morning meeting and so I spent the night at the Andes Hostel in Bellas Artes, across the street from the metro stop. It is a nice hostel, clean and friendly. I didn't spend too much time there. The
neighborhood is really fun as well, and I found a great Sushi place whose name I cannot remember. They gave me free ceviche, which was also really fantastic. I didn't have much free time in Santiago because I was there to work. Que fome!
We also had Thanksgiving last week, which was really nice. We all cooked something and ended up with a bit of an unusual menu. We also used the gas stove in our apartment for the first time. You have to light it with matches, which was a bit scary. And we had no idea what the temperature settings would work like, but we managed to cook a nice stuffing. We also had cranberry sauce, from a can, which we found at a grocery store. I think it was about $6 a can, but it made our meal that much more authentic. Somebody brought us an apple pie and a rotisserie chicken, so it was a bit more legitimate of a Thanksgiving dinner. It was also my birthday last week, and my roommates took me out to a yummy Thai restaurant in Cerro Alegre called Samsara. It was a wonderful present.
This weekend we took
a break from sitting in front of our computers and went to Isla Negra for a day. This is one of Pablo Neruda's houses which is about an hour and a half south of Valparaíso. It has the same quirky charm that La Sebastiana has. Neruda was a great collector of colored glass, figureheads from ships, shells, pipes, african masks and even a narwhal horn! His houses are extremely entertaining to visit, full of surprising details and interesting architecture. Isla Negra is designed to look like a ship on the inside, and if you look out at the ocean from the right angle it feels like a ship. Of course you are absolutely not allowed to take any pictures inside the houses so I can't show you that. You should go see them for yourself.
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