Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

So many adventures, so little time!

Saludos a todos!

Here in Chile, everything is going super bien! I got my first quiz back and did pretty well, have settled into my routine, and set up a volunteer opportunity today. I’m finally settled into this country and am starting to learn about the good and the bad. I am learning so much about their rich culture and history and also learning more about myself everyday.

As I settle in, I continue adventuring Chile. This past weekend was jam-packed with adventures and family time and I loved every second of it.

Last Friday, I went to Isla Negra with another girl from our program. The thing to see in Isla Negra is Pablo Neruda’s favorite, and possibly most famous house, along with his gravesite. Neruda, like many artists, had his quirks. He loved the ocean and was fascinated by boats, although he hated being on them. He also collected tons of novelty items, including many parts of ships. His houses are often created to resemble ships and have all sorts of unique features, including his collections.

Isla Negra has also recently been in the news, due to postulations that Neruda did not actually die from cancer, rather from a lethal injection. Recently, a committee was granted permission to exhume to body to study it for traces of this injection. Monday, his body was exhumed. This means that I was one of the last people to see Neruda’s grave intact until his body is restored. And it was all por casualidad.

Friday evening, when I got home from Isla Negra, there were two strange young adults in my house. I greeted them as they headed to a supermarket and then my host mom explained to me that they were a grandkid and his friend, in town for Lollapalooza. When they returned, they invited me to hang out with them on the patio, and we spent a really great evening chatting and getting to know each other.

Saturday, I went to Quinta Normal with another girl in my program to explore. Quinta Normal is a park in what used to be a super fashionable area of town. There are museums all around, and we wound up in a Contemporary Art Museum. I don’t have much to say about it, except that try as I might, I don’t think I will ever understand Contemporary Art.

That night, I went to another host family’s house to watch movies. We ended up watching two heavily political movies about Pinochet and then they talked to us about their experiences. It was really interesting to see these movies and then hear first hand accounts. Here, that topic is often such a closed topic that it was very touching that they made the effort to open up and honestly tell us their stories. It was a moving night.

Sunday, I came home from a run to find an asado (grillout) in my backyard. As I told a friend, Chileans like to plan things without any warning. These things are always fun, but obviously having an asado takes some amount of foresight and I was completely unaware. My host mom told me to have a small breakfast, and while I was getting ready, they majority of my family showed up. We spent a large part of the day in the yard grilling and chatting. It was a great atmosphere, and I loved the quality family time. It’s definitely something that I wish we had more of in the US.

This Saturday, we’re going to Valparaiso with IFSA. I can’t wait to see what adventures lie in store for me!

Chao!

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