La Isla Negra

I went to La Isla Negra with our Resident Director and some of the other exchange students. The house of the late Chilean author, Pablo Neruda, is now a museum and it is beautiful. We couldn’t take photos inside of the museum but I’ll try to describe the general layout briefly.

The house is one room wide and is comprised of around 16 rooms. So it is very narrow and long and each room is designed to look like a ship or a train from the inside.  It is filled with many intriguing and beautiful artifacts and collections and fascinating furnishing. Ship sterns shaped like women, wooden angels, half a model ship against a mirror, a round table, huge windows overlooking the ocean, a bar which has the names of his friends carved into the beams, Japanese theater masks, butterfly collections, bottled ships, a totem pole that supposedly didn’t like to be looked at so Neruda removed one of it’s eyes, a plastic life-sized horse with three tails, a desk made of drift wood which he and his wife retrieved from the ocean together, a stone mural wall fashioned by his best friend, a glass table set on top of a huge ship wheel, several weird instruments, a writing desk and a random porcelain sink which wasn’t connected to anything, a room dedicated to his childhood memories, beautiful paintings, other random interesting items, and a bed which overlooked the ocean and faced east to west so the rose at the head and set at the foot. The last moments he spend in that house before he was taken to a hospital were spent in that bed.  His life seemed so interesting and wonderful! I felt very inspired by that trip.

We also visited some nearby beaches. Here are several pictures that I took that day.

The house from the outside:

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A majestic dog and a selfie:

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The contrasting mystically misty and super sunny beaches.

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P.S. I haven’t updated my blog in like a month so there is so much to tell you all about! I’ll be posting about Patagonia, Pomaire, Machu Picchu, and general life very soon.

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Sunny Sun Days

Sunny days are holidays here. Two Sundays ago, Sodam, David, and I went to the beach to enjoy the warmth and the atmosphere was reminiscent of the 4th of July or something.

Vendors and artisans line the boardwalk along the beach. Kids run by shooting bubble guns at each other and dodging the grownups. The smell of ocean and churros (a delicious Chilean pastry) fills the air. Street musicians play guitars, drums, and strange instruments and a little further up a puppeteer puts on a show.  A spray paint artist demonstrates his talent as people gather around watching in amazement. Families and awkward couples lounge in the grass of the park next to the ocean and kids take turns rolling around inside of huge inflatable balls that someone brought.

The smiles and laughter and sunshine and festivities are contagious and I can’t wait for summer.

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This cutie came over to us and she was so cute I couldn’t even. She stole Sodam’s Coca-Cola and grinned at us for like five minutes and talked to us in baby Spanish which was better than mine.

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Her mom is super pretty and looks like one of my cousins. She told us the girl’s name and it was really unique but I can’t remember it now unfortunately.  She also traded Sodam’s Coca Cola for a water bottle when the girl wasn’t paying attention. Mom Power!

After the little girl grew bored with us, she ran over to the boy playing soccer (fútbol) and stole his ball. Super mom, the boy’s big brother, and us onlookers got a good laugh out of it! Mom gave the ball back to the boy and then bought a yellow inflatable ball for her girl.

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Fútbol boy and his big brother played in the grass in front of us almost the entire time we were there.  The little boy was so freaking cute! With his little curls and fancy footwork I could tell he’s definitely gonna be the World Cup champion years later.

Being in Chile is a humbling experience because the three-year-olds are better at fútbol and speaking Spanish than I am.

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This little girl is a princess from a fairy tale.

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I really like my converse shoes.

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The beach at sunset glows golden. It’s beautiful and the picture can’t do it justice.

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Getting my feet wet

This story is from several weeks ago.

Tristan, David, Pepe (the roommate of our friend Jihoon.), and I went to Concón to take pictures of the ocean which was literally so beautiful I couldn’t even handle it. I took a few pictures but I mostly just soaked in the beauty and the sun and the sound of the crashing waves.

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We were there for about fifteen minutes before IT happened.  Okay so the waves were pretty much all the same and they only came up to a certain point on the beach. So we figured we’d be perfectly safe if we stood two or three feet away from that line. We sure figured wrong!

Tristan was taking a picture of David and Pepe and I was taking a picture of Tristan taking a picture of David and Pepe and suddenly five ginormous waves came up all at once and crashed down and the water came up five or six feet higher on the beach than before and we realized what was happening far too late and ran for it but we couldn’t save ourselves so all four of us got completely drenched from the knees down. It was so very cold

Here is a picture of me being sad about wet feet. And another of us drying our shoes as best we could and soaking in the sun.

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The flowers are so pretty! I always take pictures of flowers.

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Tris noticed a ring around the sun when you look at it through sunglasses so I took a picture through my sunglasses lens and it turned out pretty cool. There’s a flock of birds too.

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After the beach, we found a random restaurant and Pepe made the waiter plug in his iPhone. He’s from El Salvador and rich apparently and everyone does everything for him so Tristan and I had a good laugh when he actually had someone plug in his phone for him. The food was decent and afterwards we just went home cause of our wet and sandy shoes.

It was definitely an adventure!

Horcón and those pesky silent “H’s”

Horcón is pronounced, “Orcone,” and so that is how I spelled it when Rossy told me where we were going. It wasn’t until we arrived and I saw the name written on a sign that I realized my mistake. It’s a legitimate mistake in my defense! I’m a horrible speller even in English, let alone in Spanish with silent letters.

Anyways, Rossy, Manuel, and Bastial (my host…cousin?) ate at a seafood restaurant called El Ancla (The Anchor). I don’t typically like seafood, but this was quite good! I also tried a beer and didn’t like it. A cat walked across the roof next door and she looked just like my cat at home!

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 The ocean was lovely, as always. It was very peaceful and the air smelled like salt.

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I love everything about this picture. The excellence of it was an accident because all I thought at the time was “Oh my gosh that dog is so cute imma snap a picture of it.” But when I looked at it again on my laptop later that night, I realized that it was better than I could have hoped. There is a freakin adorable dog, barefoot people, a cute hand-holding couple, CONVERSE, and babies. Yeah. I captured like five perfect moments in one picture.

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Rossy asked me if I wanted one and I said sure. The lady sat me down on a tiny chair and braided a trenza into my hair. She pulled out the scissors and I got worried but turns out she was just cutting the ends of the strings and not my hair thank God. Then she used a lighter to burn the ends of the strings and that made me nervous, especially when I started smelling burning hair… But in the end, I now have a thing in my hair and it looks pretty.

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The streets are so very narrow! The buildings are old but colourful and they all have unique personalities. Cars going both ways on a one lane street squeeze precariously past each other with a earth wall on one side and parked cars and a steep drop to the beach on the other. The people walk weaving through the cars and not really caring if they almost get run into.  Dogs run through the traffic, barking at the cars and begging for food and attention.

Horcón is crazy, crowded, and colourful.

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Rossy pulled me over to somewhere and told me to take pictures of the fishing boats so I did.

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Also my hair looks randomly auburn in this photo! I’ve always wanted red hair!

DSCN3394Two hippies playing guitar and the recorder serenade a baby and her parents and a random dog on the beach.  Rossy and I listened for a little bit and as we walked away, Rossy turns and says/mimes to me, “Those two, they drink and they smoke weed!” I laughed. Yeah probably but they sure play beautiful music.

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I love how the guitarist has a musical note on his shoulder.

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Silhouettes by the ocean make for a perfect picture.

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So that was my adventure for the day. Read The things which cannot be photographed to hear more about the parts of my day that I didn’t photograph.

The Beauty of Viña

The university gave us “gringos” a tour of the city. I took a lot of photos because it is beautiful here and I like photographing beautifulness. I also met a lot of the other U.S. students and they all seem quite nice. I’m looking forward to making more friends from all over the world these next four months.

The mist over the ocean hides the city line and the sun on the water sparkles like fluid glass. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful that no picture could ever capture it. But I did my best.

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  As the day wore on, the sky grew clearer and the water turned deep aqua-blue.

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The pelicans look like creepy statues.

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A group of six or seven dogs followed our group around the city. I think that their herding instincts kicked in because they “protected” us from the other pedestrians and the cars! It was really cute.

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This dog (in the picture below) is so pretty. I named her Annabelle because it’s the second name that I thought of. The first was Maria but that reminded me too much of the sound of music. Annabelle followed us everywhere! She barked at the “bad guys” (meaning people who weren’t part of our group. She knew somehow!) and also tried to hunt the birds haha! I really wanted to keep her but Dad said no. Sadness.

The weird structure in the other picture is an outdoors music stage! It’s huge and really awesome.

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After we toured the city I had lunch with my host family. Paty has a dog named Ron and he turned fourteen yesterday so she threw him a legit birthday party! She invited all of her friends and we ate grilled chicken, rice, corn, and salad. There was wine too and the guests kept calling for a toast for little Ron! It was hilarious. Then they brought out a cake and sang happy birthday and then THEN they had presents for that tiny dog. He received three bottles of shampoo, a bowl with his face on it, and so much dog food. I didn’t get any pictures of the party but I captured this view from the balcony shortly before the party started.

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That evening, Tristan and I ventured down to the coast to get pictures of the sunset. We ran into a festival of some sort! I’m not sure what it was for but the streets were lined with cars and people and dogs and horse-drawn carts. The air was filled with bubbles and the smell of cotton candy and cigarettes.

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There were two mimes playing with the traffic. They would stop a car, then wave it on then jump in front of it and act outraged. One stopped a lady who was crossing the street and gave her a big bear hug. At one point, one mime tried to climb into a car with the driver and the other jumped onto the hood while the driver accelerated the car. The crowd was roaring with laughter!

There was also a living statue. He’s a soldier with shades haha.

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I got this silhouette photo of some students smoking next to a couple taking a selfie. So great!

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This is the sunset over the ocean. The clouds are pinker in real life. I need to get a better camera to be able to begin to capture the beauty of Chile.

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