Ukulele and the Earthquake.

Hello friends! It’s been almost a week since my last blog post and so much has happened in between then and now.

“Let me explain…no, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

I can’t possibly write about it all in great detail… So here is the update on my life in Chile.

Last Saturday, Prince Caspian took Tristan and me on a tour of the coast between Viña and Concón. His real name is Nicolas but Tristan and I think he looks a little like Prince Caspian from Narnia so it’s kind of an on-going joke between us now.  The view from the rocks is beautiful! Also some of the plants look like they come from Doctor Seuss illustrations or something. When we returned to Viña we drank coffee at Travelli and I ordered Latte Nutella. It was incredible! It even had actual nutella coated hazelnuts in it.

DSCN3478

DSCN3514

Rossy took me to her daughter’s restaurant, Ají Color. It’s really cute and the food is amazing! She encouraged me to take pictures so here is a really adorable one of her and another of Manuel and their granddaughter, Victoria.

DSCN3566 DSCN3574

Apparently, Rossy and Manuel have a second house in the hills of Valparaiso! It’s literally in the middle of nowhere. The roads are awful and I may have had mild whiplash for a few days after that drive.  But it was totally worth it because the view is breathtaking and the house is tiny and cute.

DSCN3589

DSCN3595 DSCN3597

DSCN3630

On Tuesday, Tristan jumped in the ocean cause she’s insane. And also because she was nominated for the ice bucket challenge.  Chile doesn’t have ice or buckets, so we figured total immersion in 12 degree celcius ocean water would suffice. She nominated our RD and he said later that he also jumped in the ocean but almost died. He’s dramatic so that’s probably not true but still hilarious!

I bought an ukulele! I miss my guitar from back home, and one of my goals was to learn how to play the ukulele this semester. So I bought this one for around $50USD the other day. It’s really cute and fun to play.  Thus far I have learned I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You by Elvis Presley and Screen by Twenty One Pilots.

Also,  Korean food is incredible! My friends, Jihoon and Sodam cooked us an amazingly flavorful and delicious meal that just might be the best thing I’ve eaten here so far. They made gimbob, which sort of looks like sushi but it isn’t, jae-yuk-bokkum, which is a spicy pork stir-fry, and rice. Yum! Tristan also brought a bottle of wine, which was a nice touch.

DSCN3684 DSCN3702

Now we come to the story of the most terrifying experience of my life which I never ever want to experience ever again.

This Saturday around 6:30 I was at home alone doing homework and my desk started shaking. At first I thought, “It’s a tremor!” but then it kept getting stronger and stronger and the entire house convulsed and shook from side to side and stuff was falling all over the floor and the lights were flickering on and off and I started freaking out and I realized it was a real live legit EARTHQUAKE!!!!

I was terrified and after the quake calmed down a little I started thinking about tsunamis.  I had no idea what to do and I didn’t have internet because the electricity was dead so I couldn’t look online for warnings or whatever. So I ran out to the street to see what everyone else was doing. The people were running for their cars and LEAVING. I was like oooohhh shit I don’t know how to get to the high ground quickly without a car!!!!

There was a little old lady walking towards me so I stopped her and stammered in broken and flustered Spanish, “Hi I’m from the U.S. and I don’t know what to do when there’s an earthquake!” She said something about earthquakes and tsunamis and I tried to ask her if there was going to be a tsunami or if it was safe to stay in my house but I couldn’t remember most of those words. She was really nice and told me to come stay in her house until they figure out how bad the earthquake was.

She and her granddaughter seemed pretty chill about the situation as they searched the internet and listened to the news. This helped me calm down a little.  I sat on their sofa awkwardly until we found out the earthquake was a 6.4 on the Richter Scale but there wasn’t going to be a tsunami. I thanked her and went back to my house.

Rossy and Manuel were waiting for me at the door and the lights were still out so I couldn’t contact anyone to see if they were okay and to let them know that I was okay.  Rossy convinced me to go to a birthday party with her so that I wouldn’t be all by myself in the dark. I was feeling extreeeemmelyy introverted and non-social but I am so glad I went. The house had lights and internet and dogs and delicious food and it was basically exactly what I needed after a traumatic experience like that. They also gave me two glasses of something strong and I felt prettyyy buzzed by the end of the evening. Fun times haha!

Also, apparently in Chile if the earthquake is less than a 6.5, it’s considered a “tremor.” I beg to differ. That 6.4 was DEFINITELY an earthquake as far as I’m concerned!

Life has a Hopeful Undertone

efg

Here is some encouragement and deep thoughts for your consideration:

Life is complicated. Some days are beautiful and you feel full of life and joy. Other days you feel overwhelmed by pain and loneliness, and some you don’t feel anything at all.

When I was thirteen I went to public school for the first time. So picture this: socially awkward and culturally inept kid plus irregularly flaring hormones plus public middle school. In other words, I was a scared, lonely, and depressed little girl.

One day I was walking down the road on my way home from the bus stop. I had my thick unruly hair tied up in two pigtail braids and wore glasses and hand-me-down denim clothes. I must have been quite a sight shuffling along with my head down and earbuds in, not even noticing how beautiful the day was.

I was listening to Switchfoot on shuffle, and their song, Meant to Live, came on.  “We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?” I started to think something like, “What am I meant to live for? My life sucks. There must be more than this. Is it even worth it?” Immediately after that song, The Shadow Proves the Sunshine started playing. “We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight. Dry eyes in the pouring rain. The shadow proves the sunshine…” The lyrics of both songs were basically exactly how I was feeling right then, and the message was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt like my life had no meaning, or if it did I was missing the point.  But in that moment I realized that life is hopeful and meaningful. It might be dark right now, but I need that in order to know and fully appreciate the light.

I don’t think I realized the full impact of that moment until years later. It was only the beginning to finding hope and meaning and joy even during the most painful times of life.

C.S. Lewis said, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

The reverse is true as well, that without the dark, light would have no meaning. Without sorrow, we could not know joy.  Etc, etc. You get the idea.

He also said,

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Sometimes even when my life is awesome and I am blessed beyond measure I still feel a longing in my soul that I can’t explain.  Like C.S. Lewis, I can only conclude that I don’t belong here.  I will be restless until I rest in God. I will wander until He calls me home and in the meantime, nothing can satisfy me as deeply and completely as Christ can and does. I need to remind myself of this more often cause I forget it all the time and then I feel let down when I was looking in the wrong place.

So the hopeful undertone of life is that we are not alone, life has meaning, and Switchfoot still is my favorite band.