CLChile

Chile

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ChileChile

Pre-Game

He could see that I was scared, but he hit me anyway. The noxious odor of the unruly crowd was suffocating as I gasped for air. It tasted of cheap beer and empanada, dirty mouths and bad breath. I recoiled from the officer’s billy club with a mixture of anger ... read more

Ben Scheelk

ChileChile

Close Encounters of the Gringo Kind

¿Hablés ingles? Now here was the desperate cry of a young duckling who had lost her mother country somewhere “across the pond.” I just looked at the sweet little gringa before me, thinking back to those first few days in a faraway land. Upon arriving in Chile, I had immediately ... read more

Ben Scheelk

ChileChile

The Speed of Light

Have you ever looked down on a lightning storm? I wonder what Ben Franklin would have thought about electricity if he would have seen it from this perspective? Somewhere off the coast of Haiti, my eyes were drawn towards the black space outside when a network of electric veins turned ... read more

Ben Scheelk

ChileChile

HaitiHaiti

United StatesUnited States

Chileans are angry....

 and that is an extremely good thing.  At least in my humble opinion. Many of the reports that I have seen or heard about the Chilean earthquake from North American media outlets have been largely exaggerated and overblown.  Yes, the devastation in Maule and Bio Bio is very real and ... read more

Raisa Johnson

ChileChile

About the earthquake

 So as everyone surely knows, Chile was hit by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake early Saturday.  Luckily, neither I nor anyone I know was injured.  I still have this strange sensation in my stomach, though. Like I can't trust the very ground beneath me, and in many ways I can't.  There ... read more

Raisa Johnson

ChileChile

About the about me photo

 This is a typical scene of me in Valparaiso.  With a friend, checking out the surroundings.   The backdrop that Valparaiso gives to my adventures is by far the best thing about living in Chile.  I hope that I can share some of those adventures here.  Most of all, I ... read more

Raisa Johnson

ChileChile

things thought in Santiago

 ................passing the women carrying plastic bags with the morning bread, warm and smelling of all good things, the bored ambulance driver, the cement: hot, being watered, smelling of fall, cracking, each tile put down by human hands, hands of the working man, each wall, the paint on the walls, the ... read more

Katie Brimm

ChileChile

The American Way Part I: Pizza

 It was a rainy Saturday evening and four of us were crammed into our cold kitchen, trying to come up with a grocery list.  I was the lucky one chosen to go out in the rain to procure the necessities for our dinner that evening - homemade pizzas.   Ticking ... read more

Mary Lide Parker

ChileChile

Home again home again jiggity jog.

Well I am back in Afton, MN! It feels like a whirlwind as I revise photos not believing it was only days ago I was on another continent and frankly in another world. I can't write one blog entry to sum up the last month of my trip but I will try to ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

1 Month Countdown

To the minute, a month from today I will be in the MSP airport. People keep asking me are you excited to come home? The answer is yes...and no. The following list might make you laugh, but everything is true and is in the order of little things to the ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

That's what the TV announcer shouts when Chile scores in futbol (soccer). This past Thurs they played Bolivia and won 4-0 securing them a spot in the championship this fall! Yet little did I realize how much futbol affects the ENTIRE population-it's not like the US where you have a majority ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

What you do when the bus doesn't see you

So a friend and I went to a park-30 km away from Valpo-just for the day. It was beautiful with a lake, mountains, and big open spaces with cows, horses, llamas, and some other animal looking like it was related to a deer or something.   Anyway, after that wonderful ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

Colectivos and ferries and vans, oh my!

So it started out as a normal day. Granted it was rainy but fine-left the bus station, found a hostel, started walking through the city and exploring- the usual activities for a Caitlin-Sara trip. After a twelve hour bus ride, well 13.5 if you count the 1.5 hr delay of ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

The feeling of the US can exist in Chile-a Weekend with the Walkers

So some WONDERFUL alum from Luther hosted me for a "getaway weekend." It most definitely was that and more! After a warm greeting, I had met them at the beginning of Mar, we chatted about life since I had last seen them and then had a delicious dinner with broiled tomatoes, ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

A little more serious but please read

So Friday I went to Santiago to see many historical sites. Needless to say it was a very emotional taxing day but important to see. We started out with in my opinion what should have been last because it was happy and light. We went to the solidarity of the ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

My HOME in Chile

I also now truly feel like I live in Valpo! I, as of yesterday, am part of a professional choir. Although after singing As yesterday, or attempting anyway after a hiatus of 3.5 months…, I’m glad they still trust I’m a first soprano. It’s amazing how universal choral music is. ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

My new love: Pucon and Chilean...initiation...

Pucon is BEAUTIFUL! Ther's just no other way to say it. With 73 m waterfalls, hot baths that are the temperature of a sauna, lakes, black sand beaches, volcanoes, and tree mountains, literally mountains completely abound with trees,do I need to say more? I'll put pics up shortly. Rafting was a ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

Back in Valpo, Chilean school

It's probably weird for you to hear me say I just started school on Mon considering you go on spring break this Fri but so be it. Surprisingly, I'm able to understand 95% of what is being said and after sitting through Political Econ yesterday and having a review of ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

TORRES DEL PAINE-THE MAS LINDO DEL MUNDO

This is a place that everyone needs to visit. Beauty just doesn't describe this place. However, with the beauty came a lot of hardwork of being my first backpacking trip. The second day increased my faith immensely. 30 km=18 miles! We started the day leaving our packs at the site, ... read more

Sara Zanussi

ChileChile

the most adventurous 24 hrs of the trip

So after making it to Puerto Varas, a city that has a view of Volcano Osorno, on the largest lake of South America that we kayaked across!, and being relatively warm after being in the barren, wind-blown south, we talked to the tourist office who recommended we go to Parque ... read more

Sara Zanussi

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Books

Save money - get the book before you go

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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I made the mistake of heading down to Chile with one travel guide that was better for its photos than anything else. Taxes on imported books in Chile are prohibitively high, so if you thought that Lonely Planet book was expensive in the US, don't even think of stepping into a bookstore in Chile. Have a comprehensive guide with you before you arrive. While it's not a book, I find that browsing photos on flickr can give you a good idea of the vibe a country before you even set foot on its soil.

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Getting Around

In a metro, far far away

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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In Santiago, I usually took the Metro de Santiago, which is South America's most extensive subway network. The line I used most, Line 4, was completed only about four years ago, so everything was very high-tech. The metro stations looked like Star Wars sets, and platforms and individual metro cars were equipped with flat-screen TVs that displayed news clips, soccer highlights, weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, bloopers clips, and much more. I also used Santiago's public bus system, TranSantiago, occasionally. While Chileans will not stop complaining about its inefficiencies, I found it to be relatively efficient and easy to navigate compared to systems in other cities.

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Festivals & Events

Fiestas Patrias - independence day

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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The week(end) of September 18th is arguably Chile's most important festival / celebration. It goes by the name of 'Fiestas Patrias' and celebrates Chile's independence from Spain. 'Fondas' are big parties that take place all over the country that week, featuring lots of dancing (the Cueca is the national dance of Chile and is a big part of Fiestas Patrias), food (all kinds of grilled meat), and drink (notably, chicha, a drink made from fermented apples or grapes). Families get together for big celebrations that week, with many Santiaguinos (residents of Santiago) leaving the city for spots on the coast or in the country.

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Must Do

Climb Cerro San Cristobal for the view

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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Santiago's Cerro San Cristobal is a large hill in the north-central part of the city where you can get great views of the city and the nearby Andes Mountains. It's also a good spot to observe Chileans with their friends and families, enjoying some downtime.

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Etiquette

Napkin does not go in your lap

Brett Bralley

23 Feb 2010

Chile

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Brett Bralley

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If you'll be dining with Chileans, though it isn't offensive, they might find it odd that you place your napkin on your lap. Napkins, or servillatas, are to remain neatly folded at your right near your plate if you're not using it. Also, manners say that your hands should stay above the table while you're eating. Rest your forearms gently at on the tabletop while you're waiting for food to be served.

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Food

French fries topped with scrambled eggs and beef a mouthwatering treat

Brett Bralley

23 Feb 2010

Chile

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Brett Bralley

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At first it sounded a bit odd, but the chorrillana — french fries topped with sauteed onions, beef, scrambled eggs — is one of my fondest memories of Chilean food. While many restaurants serve them, visit J. Cruz in Valparaiso and order the dish — created long ago for sailors in a hurry — at the spot it was invented. In fact as we took our seats after waiting for a spell outside the crowded restaurant, a friend asked for a menu. "No tenemos cartas," the hostess responded. "Solo chorrillanas." While you're there, be sure to try a pitcher of vino navegado: heated wine spiced with cloves and cinnamon and flavored with oranges.

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Film

Films to check out

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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'Machuca' tells the story of two boys from different socioeconomic backgrounds in Santiago who befriend each other during Pinochet's 1973 coup d'etat. The movie gives a good impression of life during that turbulent area, especially regarding the impact of the dictatorship on the education system. As a primer to Latin America as a whole, I love 'The Motorcycle Diaries', about the life of Che Guevara. Some sections of the movie take place in Chile.

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Packing

Chile hands

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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I wish I had packed gloves for my numb hands while inside my host family's unheated apartment.

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Religion

Catholic but not crusaders

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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A high percentage of Chileans claim to be Catholic, but those who regularly attend church are much smaller in number. People are generally more religious than I'm accustomed to in the United States, but I don't live in a very religious part of the United States (suburban Connecticut). I did not attend a religious service while abroad.

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Politics

Politics as usual

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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Chileans are constantly complaining about their political situations and discussing the political situations of the major world players. In the conversations I was a part of, Obama and the promise of change in the US was always a topic. Domestic political issues ranging from healthcare to pension plans to public transportation funding are always making headlines and thereby fueling conversations. There are no major political struggles that directly impact the well-being of visiting foreigners, although during my visit, all public sector workers stopped working for a period of four days, which caused some disruptions.

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Music

Pop music is American music

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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The music scene, as I usually discover in any foreign country, is disappointingly yet understandably dominated by US artists. For example, on the seriously high-tech metro trains on the Metro de Santiago's Line 4, the flat-screen TVs on board often show music videos. Having to watch the music video for "I kissed a girl" multiple times a day on public transportation is slightly awkward (from the viewpoint of being an American and realizing what Chileans must think of our culture) and annoying. Rock and metal tend to be popular, and much to my dismay, I never found a Chilean who shared my interest in electronic music (specifically trance). I actually discovered more Chilean artists via the iTunes Music Store and music-geared web 2.0 site last.fm (www.last.fm) than I did from my experience in Chile. If that doesn't say something about the globalization of music, I don't know what does.

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Sports

Soccer, that's it

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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The most surprising aspect of sports in Chile was that despite the fact that there are university soccer teams, the players on those teams aren't students at that university; they're professionals. I was also surprised and slightly put off by the absolute domination of soccer in the world of sports in Chile. I know it's popular, but basically no other type of sport was ever covered on the news.

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TV

Ross and Rachel live on

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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Friends, the universally popular American sitcom, is -- not surprisingly -- popular in Chile. My host brother got HBO on his TV so he was often watching Arrested Development or other similar shows that I don't even get at home in the US. I didn't watch too much Chilean television because almost all of it (even weather reports on the evening news, with seriously fake-tanned and fake-blonde women) would be categorized in the 'trashy' category, in my book. I couldn't stand to ever finish even a half-hour telenovela (soap opera).

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Fashion

Bright colored jeans

Laurel Wolf

04 Apr 2009

Chile

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Laurel Wolf

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I don't know if the fad has died down yet, but in the fall of 2008, there was a run on almost every store in town for brightly colored jeans. They were the hot ticket item for girls. My host sister immediately got a pair in hot pink. My best friend adored her new lemon yellow jeans, and a girl at my school almost cried when she couldn't find any flame red jeans in the local chain stores--they only carried blood-red. Also, expect to see fake flowers in girls' hair. Don't ask me to explain this one.

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Dating

Boyfriends and girlfriends are part of the family

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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Boyfriends and girlfriends (pololos and pololas, respectively; not novios and novias as I had learned in the US, because 'novios' are engaged lovers rather than simple boyfriends and girlfriends) tend to be much more integrated into family life than is the norm in the US. On multiple occasions, my host family would have a long afternoon of meals on a Saturday or Sunday, and my host cousins would be accompanied by their boyfriends and girlfriends at my host family's apartment. At one point, I was even crammed into a five-person car with five other people (making six): my host uncle, his wife, their two sons (ages 8 and 21), and the older son's girlfriend. The whole situation seemed like social suicide in a US context, but it was perfectly acceptable in Chile.

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Health

Be wary of the tap water

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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I didn't experience any health problems while I was in Chile. For prospective travelers, I recommend checking with locals before drinking tap water outside of major cities. For example, northern Chile has some groundwater contamination issues that are the result of copper mining. Take precautions with food that you would take in any developing country; don't eat fruits you haven't peeled yourself, etc. Do some research about the area you're in before consuming raw seafood due to possible red tide contamination.

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Slang

Don't run from the po

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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My favorite part of Chilean Spanish is the use of the suffix "-po" at the end of a word or phrase that deserves extra emphasis. Saying "Sípo!" instead of "Sí" in Chile is the equivalent of saying "Chya!" instead of "Yes!" in the United States.

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Nightlife

18 to party

Matthew Hintsa

10 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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The nightlife scene is markedly different in that I can actually get into clubs in Chile. Most clubs are 18+, as opposed to 21+ in the US. That said, I wasn't very impressed with any of the clubs I went to. Reggae and reggaeton tend to dominate the club music scene, and only for about five minutes at one club did I hear any electronic music. Since I judge clubs based on their amount of actually good dance music, I wouldn't really consider the clubbing scene that great in Chile. Additionally, barrio Bellavista, where most of Santiago's nightlife is centered, is sketchy come sundown, to say the least. Stay with a friend or two at all times.

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Being an American

Don't fret, but also don't yell

Matthew Hintsa

06 Feb 2009

Chile

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Matthew Hintsa

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In general, Chileans are comfortable with Americans. Never over the course of my nearly four months in the country did I receive any backlash as a result of being American. Occasionally, Chileans would criticize US government actions in conversation, but all that I conversed with understood the distinction between the beliefs of an individual and the beliefs of that person's government. Following Barack Obama's election, I was personally congratulated multiple times by Chileans (including random ones on the street). To be well-received, the most obvious suggestion I have is to not speak in the infamous loud English that American tourists tend to speak in when abroad (or at home). Keep your voice at a reasonable level like everyone else on the street, and you'll reduce the chance of attracting any unwanted attention (the little that there is).

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