Chile, Argentina · 100 Days · 59 Moments · February 2017

Henry's Spring '17 in Santiago, Chile


1 June 2017

Después la última cena con las familias a casa claudia (and wow was it good, Jaime and Angie put on a hell of a show. First time eating really good meat here, dearly missed it) Morgan and Lainey rallied the group for miércoles po ex fábrica - POR FIN i made it, about damn time. Funny that it took us this long to get the full group together for a night out, speaks volumes about our dynamic. Best part was that Tomás made it out with us - pobrecito chileno que tiene que pasar tiempo con los gringos

30 May 2017

Well after 3 days of my body feeling wrecked and a persistent headache that just wouldn't quit we made the call to get to the clink clinic, ended up being the right call. Sat for an hour and a half getting my body pumped full of IV fluids, so that was a first. Mi mente está muy mareada y la familia dice que my cabeza es un poco verde pero y es la última semana del programa - tengo que terminar el ISP y disfrutar los últimos momentos con el grupo

27 May 2017

This is how you end a day. Rushed to chow down some food and then met pastor and Fiona for fútbol en nuñoa, so when I got back to the casa I was wiped. Thankfully Jaime and Angie came through in the absolute clutch with the best cupcakes I've ever eaten in my life - sin Duda they could take over the mantle from that place in NYC as the top dog
Un viaje más para disfrutar los senderos fácilmente accesibles de Santiago: El rey de las montañas de Santiago, Cerro Provincia con Davíd. Left for the metro at 6:30, got started around 8:15, and what a grind it was - hardest climb up I've done this far, no question. We probably got up to ~2500m (punto más alto es approx 2750), footing was pretty poor and we got all the sights we needed to. Came back down a different way from alto Naranjo, super steep and a little intense in its own right. One hell of an effort from the gritty backpackers of the group, and we got real lucky with a crystal clear day

24 May 2017

La última entrevista del trabajo: una conversación con Ricardo inalef el profesor universitario de la U - enseña la filosofía mapuche y la cosmovisión de los pueblos originarios. Sin duda era el entrevistado más animado con sus respuestas por todo del mes; coupled with a rockin coffee it made for a really nice discussion a chance to learn from a super smart dude. Espero que tengo más tiempo para trabajar con el tema y fortalecer el trabajo escrito; es una obra que eventualmente quiero mandar a una organización para publicar

22 May 2017

Cuarto entrevista: Daniel Calderón, el inspector del Liceo Polivante Marín del Sol (en el pasado ha enseñado cursos de francés). La cosa más interesante de la conversación es que para cumplir con la obligación nacional de enseñar interculturalidad hay talleres extra curriculares de mapudingun y otras asignaturas indígenas (pero no hay muga participación de los alumnos). Él era muy popular con los niños, todos querían hablar con él y tuvo un tiempo difícil de enfocar en la discusión a veces. Sus respuestas eran relativamente breves, pero tengo todo de lo que necesito

20 May 2017

No lo necesito muchas palabras - La Universidad de chile, los campeones de fútbol chileno! What an environment to be a part of, before, during, and after el último minuto. The passion was so real, truly puts American sporting crowds to shame. If the video doesn't upload here go to the fb album to watch the aftermath of the victory, what a time. Pastor and I were sitting at opposite ends of the stadium but it was almost better that way - so fun to just be un cuero loco en el estadio sin preocupaciones. Sale el León hueón

19 May 2017

Algunas fotos del día de la tercera entrevista con Leslie Valenzuela, una profesora de inglés en Escuela Básica Salvador Sanfuentes. Por el fin la conversation era una discusión más amplia con otros profes en la sala de profesores (uno de historia, una trabajadora administrativa, y más) y cuando salí era un argumento intenso. Que hueón. Also had a ball giving some niños the work in tenis de la mesa on the way out

18 May 2017

Walked down Sazie to what claudia &a fam had told me was the edificio principal de correo de chile to try and track down mi paquete. Turns out it was not, but got a location and arranged for it to come next week. Por fin hueón que ridícula

16 May 2017

Made it back to la privada Colegio Mayor por una entrevista con una profa de inglés. The entire interview actually ended up being in English; they have the most english-intensive currículo que yo he visto en chile, y también los profes les gustan practicar sus habilidades del idioma con gente estadounidense. One of the big takeaways: compared to the public school kids estos jóvenes tienen gran falta de respeto por los profes con respecto a sus comportamientos, de escuchar, etc

15 May 2017

After a terrible travel debacle, a lot of stress and frustration and a long trip home, it was really nice to see claudia & fam again, and this wildly intense sunset over Almirante Latorre didn't hurt in terms of getting back on track either

12 May 2017

Final moments spent en el parque Torres del Paine
Viaje al base pt 2
El viaje al base de Torres. Was hyped up a lot online and by others so it naturally didn't come off as the most incredible thing I've ever done, but nonetheless stunning by any measure. Pretty wild the variation in temp from the start to the ridge back down into the woods and waayyy up to el base. Final stretch of 3k was pretty intense, pretty much rock climbing up the mountains. Loved how different it looked coming back with the sun fully out compared to when it was just rising over the mountains. Had to wait an hour + in the cold for the last of the group but it was made well worth it for the sunset at laguna amarga to cap it off. Perfect end to an absolutely stunning week

11 May 2017

El resto de grupo salió en la mañana y tomé un día tranquilo en puerto natales para recuperar y preparar por el base mañana. Ate at this great crepe place, cooked some dece comida for the next couple days, perused some shops, and walked through el cementerio de padre Alberto Hurtado. Even in town the air is just so fresh compared to the smog of Santiago

10 May 2017

El fin del día: la tarde en Dulce Patagonia con una submarino (finalmente) y un torte incredible (se llama "tres chocolates" yo creo), y un viaje al agua con todo sin Kaitlyn para ver el atardecer 🌅 que bonito
Sendero pt 2
Por el segundo día fue un plan hacer el base de Torres con Fiona y Estéban pero la gente nos dijo los horarios falsos del bus entonces decidimos cambiar el plan y hacer un sendero más fácil hasta mirador cuernos cerca lago nordenskjöld. Desafortunadamente había muchas nubes en todo del parque entonces fue imposible ver las montañas pero todavía fue bonito, muy tranquilo y sereno (reminded me a lot of Ireland). Nice to spend time with just those two, don't often agree with Esteban's personality and manner but at times I really like talking to him, we've definitely gotten a bit closer down here

9 May 2017

La última parte del tour - la cueva famosa (ft. Late night business monopoly in Spanish, the ultimate quest to reign supreme in a capitalist society)
Torres del Paine tour pt 2
Estéban came up clutch talking to the taxi driver yesterday and got us a personal driver to the 7-8 greatest miradores del parque Torres del Paine por solo viente mil por persona, mucho mejor que el bus turístico. Left around 8:30 and got back around 6ish. No description necessary, pictures say it all (and a max of 10 for journi isn't nearly enough for this). We are truly blessed, nothing like being at the end of the world

8 May 2017

Finalmente la semana de patagonia ha llegado 🏞 aside from google images i really have no idea what we're about to see but it's gonna be epic. 3 am start to the day and a long wait to check in later, we made it to el aeropuerto de Punta Arenas, comemos un poco, y tomamos el bus a puerto natales y hostel last hope. Incredible first run, most breathtaking run I've ever done (and the sights to be seen later this week are only getting better). So good that I had to actually stop briefly to take some pictures. Let the adventures begin

6 May 2017

La última cosa antes Patagonia: una medió maratón muy temprano en la mañana de domingo (todavía estaba oscuro al principio). No fue el mejor (see KeepTrack log) pero una experiencia divertida a lo menos, ¡y con un trote fácil en la tarde fue un día de casi 19 millas! Es el tiempo preparar por el viaje

5 May 2017

Permite las entrevistas comenzar 🎉 por el primer visité instituto nacional para hablar con altauro cayupan un profesor primario del model intercultural bilingüe de la escuela. Muy, muy informativo. Probablemente es uno de los modelos únicos en Santiago (especialmente en los públicos) entonces estoy interesado comparar su experiencia con los otros profesores de escuelas privadas y públicos en el resto del mes

2 May 2017

Primer reunión con mi supervisor por el semestre de ISP Alihuen! El es un profesor a Uni Arcis (que lastima está cerrando probablemente en el próximo mes, al presente es un estado muy malo. Cuando llegué solo vi entre diez y quince alumnos, es claro que no tiene apoyo financiero del gobierno y que la gente no quiere ser acá por más tiempo). Alihuen es perfecto por mi trabajo; tiene una gran abundancia de información por la gente indígena y sabe muchos profesores en la ciudad que puede apoyar mis investigaciones. ¡Oh y Martín ha se hecho socio un nuevo equipo de fútbol en una subdivisión de la liga de chile!

1 May 2017

Few more of the the action at tres puntas
Todo fue cerrado por el día del trabajador entonces quería hacer un viaje en un parque/montaña un poco fuera Santiago. Kaitlyn y yo tomamos un uber hasta el fin de la parva, got some help hitchhiking up the initial ski trails, and got out at laguna Piuquenes. We had about 5 hrs until they'd be back to take us down at 2:30, and man was it epic. Crazy steep senderos, unbelievable views just about as high up as is possible to go in the Andes. Really made me want to do the 5 day camping trip to the peak of cerro el plomo at some point in the future. It seems dangerous af but what I would give to ski down these mountains, fingers crossed I get a chance the last couple weeks of the program

30 April 2017

Segunda vez al estadio monumental, 0-0 draw entre coló coló y Palestina. Palestina es en el medio de la mesa entonces no había un partido particularmente difícil pero coló coló no tenía una conexión fluida, nearly every time they tried to attack they couldn't even get past the first defender. Might be a sign of things to come over the last 4 weeks, u de chile is closing the gap in the table

29 April 2017

First day of an incredible 3 day weekend that truly deserves its own post for each day. Sábado: manquehito => manquehue => carbón => San cristobal. Las fotos muestran el viaje del principio hasta el fin, covered a hell of a lot of ground. Manquehue is way up there, highest mountain that's still technically a part of Santiago. Looking down on carbón and the northeast part of San cristobal where I know I'd be walking to was pretty epic (picture 7); getting down manquehue to the path along the ridge was another level of steep, really came close to tumbling down into the valley way too many times. Weather was damn near perfect, hell of a trip that covered a hell of a lot of the city

27 April 2017

After a final day filled with our 5 min BA trabajo oral y la última cena para celebrar la excursión con todas las familias (y algunos estudiantes de Reggio!) al hotel inicial, viernes fue el día de transportación de regresar a Santiago (finalmente; me extrañó claudia y la familia una gran cantidad después esta experiencia con Alicia). Was extremely happy to see the Andes flying back in, I know exactly how I'll be spending the 3 day weekend before the ISP period starts. And we definitely had a big moment of nostalgia walking by the same cafe that we all met each other at on the very first morning before algarrobo

25 April 2017

"Una noche a la ópera" as one would say. Didn't quite have proper opera attire (un tuxedo por ejemplo, although por supuesto pastor tuvo un blazer and made us all look like chumps, clásico pastor). La obra se llama "la prohibición de amar"; muy impresionante, el alemán fue el idioma del obra pero hubo una plantilla en lo alto con español y ingles, buena práctica con la idioma. Muy regal 💃🕴🥂
Más fotos de las visitas a las escuelas en Buenos Aires (solo por dos días esta segunda semana del viaje). Ellos incluyen otra escuela de los artes (pero por los niños, cuando tuve la oportunidad para trabajar con un grupo de 7-8 que tienen 4-5 años en una clase de dibujo), otra escuela técnico con una selección limitada de cursos/departamentos, y algunos otros

23 April 2017

Friday was a pretty easy day and aside from a meeting with Roberto for the ISP propuesta lunes es libre por el grupo también, entonces después una semana ocupada tenemos mucho tiempo libre para explorar y relajarse. Lots and lots of real solid running in the bosques and reserva ecológica this weekend, felt wonderful. Sunday I met up with Isabelle y Sabrina at la Féria de mataderno (about an hour southwest of the center y palermo): humongous fair, great food/crafts/music, fun to explore even though the area isn't too well developed (stark contrast from the center where we all live, although in different barrios). Afterwards I got to hop into the ADK staff week planning video session, nice to see some friendly faces (while eating some incredible desserts in a Havana cafe no less). And Monday aft I spent some quality work and hang time with Mack at a new cafe near plaza Armenia and had a mind blowing chocolate mousse cake. Onto week 2

20 April 2017

Fotos por la marcha de madres en plaza de mayo por los desaparecidos durante la dictadura (7 años en Argentina). Estas madres y la otra gente la hacen cada jueves cada semana - muy impresionante

17 April 2017

Fotos de las escuelas que nosotros vistamos durante las primeras 3 días de la primera semana en BA, y también la tarde de miércoles en el museo de de los derechos humanos. El museo es muy distinta comparada con Santiago: este museo es el lugar de una campamento concentración prominente durante la dictadura, entonces el tiene un sentido intenso en los caminos y edificios (es un gran espacio). Escuelas: Danzas y Raggio (los niños acá son muy simpáticos y agradables - yo enseñé a una chica el partido "dots", muy divertido)

15 April 2017

Primera fin de semana de BA in the books. El centro de la ciudad is very different from Santiago, lot more structure, feels like controlled chaos rather than chaos everywhere. Did a lot of running in and around los bosques de Palermo, beautiful stuff and much better than Santiago. Highlight was getting together with Mack and meeting some of her program's friends. Really really good people, so easy to get to know and give off a real tranquilo vibe, such a nice break from our program. Got some real good food at chori and drinks in plaza Armenia with them sat night, and the next morning ran to parque rosedal for rowboating with them, gorgeous weather. Host madre Alicia is really sweet but also kinda batshit crazy, topics of convo are good but her mannerisms/personality can be a little much. Week starts with seminars, we'll transition to observations soon. Nos vemos

14 April 2017

Ayer: un cumpleaños que no yo olvidará cerca en el futuro. Began with a surprise party in casa de claudia con toda la familia y las pololas hasta tuvé preparar mis cosas y paletas. Didn't sleep, went straight to the airport for the 7am flight to BA. Pictures tell the rest of the story for the day's activities re getting to know BA: after a dope lunch (veggie ravioli) at the hotel we hit el museo/estadio de la Boca, barrio caminito, y playa de mayo. Had time for a short quick run to puerto madero, 2 quick group shots antes cena, and then we were off to the best birthday meal I'll ever have the rest of my life. Siga la Vaca put all other all you can eat buffets to shame, and the combo desert of mousse chocolate y birthday tiramisu was en un otro nivel. The stroll through puerto madero was a beautiful culmination to the evening, and after some wine, singing and solid talks in the hotel we called it a night around 1. The cele will continue all wknd, but 21 couldn't have been much better

11 April 2017

The short, uneventful week turned out to be anything but. Tuesday afternoon we planned an hour long trip to the student march down Bernard o'higgins, and while we were safe at first, not long after a group knocked down the barrier fence to La Moneda we got caught en la agua ácida de las carabineros - awful, awful feeling in the eyes, nose and throat, at times could hardly breathe. Not to mention that while running back to casa sit we turned a corner and ran right through crossfire between protestors with rocks/smoke bombs and stationary carabineros. Even Roberto was shook, what an event. Fast forward 2 days: trabajo oral de Mini ISP seemed to be a success, and after ~11 hours and 2,300 palabras el trabajo escrito es terminado. Oh and I decided a fun new cut was the right way to celebrate 21 in mere minutos. Onto BA at 3 am!

10 April 2017

Spent the first day of this abbreviated week observing 2 escuelas privadas de niveles altos: el Colegio Mayor y El Grange (ambos están cerca las condes). If some of the fotos don't do it justice, the difference in environments between these and públicos en el centro needs no elaboration. Los niños were all very nice and helpful with answering questions on the tours, but interestingly they don't really have a sense of just how much more expensive these schools are than most in the city. However, they do seem to be more woke when it comes to ideas sobre culturas indígenas relativo a la discriminación que existe en otros partes de chile

8 April 2017

Homestay has been a mixed bag: I've been able to have good conversations with and get to know the director and Angelica (y Pedro poquito), but es muy difícil para conversar con los abuelos (no entienden mucho) y Loyda no quiere hablar mucho (el mismo con su hija mayor). The property is gorgeous as the photos show (will put more on instagram soon), and they've got an amazing range of animals (gatatitos, chanchos, vacas, y más). Haven't been able to run every day due to the schedule as well as endless rain some days, but it blows away running in Santiago, nada es mejor que el campo. 7 days isn't much but after such a serene environment it'll be difficult to adjust back to life in Santiago with Claudia, everything just feels more fast-paced. That said, we only have 5 days in the city before Buenos Aires - the program is really kicking into high gear.

2 April 2017

No easy way to sum up the week in temuco but it's worth a shot with a few photos. We just finished up the final lunch with all the families at escuela chapod to culminate the excursion, and we head out at 9 tonight back to Santiago. We've observed 3 schools this week (Escuela de cerro loncoche, chapod, y Liceo guacolda de cholchol); the first 2 have a heavy focus on the Mapuche culture with los jóvenes, and the latter is a technical school that's a bit removed from the culture but still uses un sistema de educación intercultural bilingüe. We've also had lunch at a hut near chapod called Raka Pu Weni a couple times, as well as worked for half the day on Wednesday helping them to build a new hut on the property of land (followed by an intense 2+ hours of palín y fútbol). As for my hosts, I sleep in one house with parents (the dad is el director de chapod) and 2 daughters, and I eat with the parents' siblings and los abuelos in the other house. (Will continue in next note)

30 March 2017

Mon-Thurs this week each of us has been observing at a specifically assigned school. As evidenced by photo #3 I was assigned with davíd y pastor a Instituto Nacional, one of the most prestigious escuelas públicas (reputation alone) de Santiago. I've got a bunch of reactions, some positive some negative, to los ambientes de las clases diferentes, but no doubt a really enjoyable experience. On Thursday we ended our Spanish class with a presentation on the most important aspects of our experience here thus far, cute pic to culminate the class with the man himself JC. And finally that night was a very pleasant sorpresa: Hayden Kline's best-in-the-nation acapella group was in Santiago for one of their final South America drops, so I was able to meet up with him and grab a beer before bed. Estoy emocionado por Temuco in 2 days!

24 March 2017

A few highlights from el pasado fin de semana en Valparaíso para una excursión a Laguna Verde, liceo técnico, y el colegio de profesores (mostly básicos, but verde was very rural while the other two were in the center of the city). Wish I had a picture of the estadio I did mile repeats at on Friday night, had it all to myself, felt like I was in the olympics. Saturday afternoon on the little boat tour our group of 8 took the man let me take the engine and I felt like I was back on lake George rescuing kids, only 2.5 months to go, missing it a lot right now. Then later that night I took a bus up to renaca/concon and ran 9 miles along the coast at sunset, doesn't get a whole lot better. Procrastination made writing the UAH seminar paper a beast when we got back late Sunday morning but all in all era una experiencia muy divertido

20 March 2017

A couple of sights from the first 4 days of the week. Pretty standard week of classes, battled a pretty brutal cold/some sort of sickness the first couple days but I feel nearly back to normal. Along with that the last couple days of running have been excellent, finally starting to feel like myself again. In class this week has been a mix of seminars, reflections, and excursions to 2 different schools. The first, caleta sur, served as an inspiration for my likely ISP topic (will discuss more in later posts). And finally tonight chile took on Argentina in world Cup qualifying, suffering a crushing 1-0 defeat at the hands of a questionable Messi PK. Tmrw we depart Santiago at 7am (que lastima) for the weekend excursion in Valparaíso - should be a blast!

19 March 2017

After writing my redacción a educación paper this morning, I wanted to do some casual city exploring rather than another intense hike. First cut over to Barrio San Diego (seems fun, but pretty peaceful on a Sunday afternoon, probably more going on Friday/Saturday) before taking Bandera past plaza de armas and across the river. Right by the plaza I stopped inside this magnificent church and had a little Peruvian meat lunch. Before turning back home I made it to Vega/tirso, and couldn't believe how happening it was on a sunday, very fun. Actually bought a banana/orange smoothie and had a fun conversation with the woman, who was convinced I was Argentinian (blue eyes, but also apparently my accent is far from American - chalking that up as a win). Before coming home I spent a solid hour doing community thrifting in Parque Almagro - the amount of clothes people sell there on sundays is beyond, definitely had a few great finds. Onto a short week before the excursion to Valpo this weekend!

18 March 2017

Well I typed up a little report but it all got wiped out, thanks for nothing journi. In short, took an early metro with David to meet Sam at aguas de Ramón for the long hike (17.5k). Great trail, pretty steep at times but a good mix of that and winding, flatter sections. The waterfall at the halfway point was gorgeous, and the day itself was near perfect, not a cloud in sight. That being said, my neck and upper chest paid the price for not thinking about sunscreen beforehand. Legs definitely felt back to back days of tough hiking, but hell we're living right under the Andes, too good not to take advantage of. As big T would say, "estamos viviendo el sueño"

17 March 2017

On Friday SIT had nothing planned for the afternoon, so after almuerzo I left for home thinking I would stroll through some flea markets on ganders for the afternoon. But when I saw 2:30 on my watch I realized a day hike was still totally feasible, and after a little bit of research I was on my way. Took a little solo adventure to cerro pochoco, in between provincia and some other Andes mountains just last las condes. The "path" (at times a straightforward dirt route, other times a dangerous combo of rock climbing and bouldering) was probably only a couple of miles up, but quite steep and definitely a solid effort. Perhaps the coolest part was getting to watch a storm to my right from the top, although the helado chocolate at the bottom by plaza San Enrique wasn't too bad either. Great area for future day hikes with the group

13 March 2017

Some photos from a little afternoon trip to Vega Central and Mercado Central with Davíd for our 2nd Spanish presentation on Wednesday. Despite operating in a very similar fashion, fascinating contrast between the two areas in terms of products, physical and personal environment, and the energy of the workers even at the end of the day

11 March 2017

This weekend? An adventure and a half. One by one all plans for our small group trip to San José del Maípo had to be abandoned and we simply had to hope for the best. It took a few hours on Saturday afternoon to find a place that could take us in but we really lucked out with Hostel Adventures Pichikawa; and even better, we found a small yet gorgeous hike right behind the cabin! After some A1 bonding complemented by box wine and beer, we got an early start Sunday morning in the hope of getting in a long hike at the park. Long story short, 2 hitchhike rides later we ended up waking a couple miles to & along embalse el yeso, a sight more beautiful than anything I can recall. The way home included a painfully long wait for a bus back to Santiago, but everyone in the group totally went with the flow all weekend long, and made it one of my favorite trips in recent memory

9 March 2017

Quite an eventful and tiring 2 days to end last week. We finally made it to El Museo de los Derechos Humanos on Thursday morning - Camilla was a wonderful guide with a lot of personal ties to the history of the museum, although we probably could have used another hour to explore further. Friday began with our first school excursion to run our sorry activity for the 8th graders with Sarah rose and Jude. Naturally it was mostly controlled chaos and it didn't quite go according to plan, but such is part of life when you're working with kids. Afterwards we walked around the town a bit and saw 2 cool intense spots: a house being used to broadcast programs related to social change/organization in a 15km radius, and a building that has been made into a sort of religious monument for a poet/writer who was killed by a stray bullet while working upstairs. Quite a day to say the least

8 March 2017

This past Wednesday I ended my run in the heart of Santiago centro, which played host to a massive march for international women's day; the turnout was absolutely incredible. Although Chile has always been a very socially conservative nation, it's clear that the youth are fighting o turn the tide. From where I was perched, I saw quite a few youth musical groups keeping the excitement alive, and they were not only celebrating women, but also the general freedom of expression (relating to gender, sexual orientation, you name it). The country still has a long way to go in terms of breaking down its long stating patriarchal way of life, but the passion of the marchers tonight was certainly an encouraging step in the right direction.

4 March 2017

After a low key Friday night drink date with Sam and David around the Providencia area, a group of 8 from the program made it to another league match, his time U-Católico visiting Colo-Colo at Estadio Macional. After last week's match ended in a 0-0 draw, a 2-0 victory for the hosts made for a much more exciting match. Oh and yes we did in fact have to hightail it out of the stadium to avoid getting pelted with rocks by the opposing fans (we were told at some point the environment would get dangerous - I guess we're lucky it took as long as it did). Later Saturday night I explored las condes with Sam, and the next morning Pastor and I joined my brothers for the first of many weekly fútbol league matches. I'll have to hope in the future I don't get matched up against guys over 6.5 ft, can't do too much with that

3 March 2017

First of many posts that I didn't keep up with on time and am going back to do now. Friday morning of the first full week of classes (Mar. 3) we took a tour with one of the university professors at Cementarjo General and Villa Grimaldi memorial for some pretty powerful tributes to the many violaciónes de los derechos humanos. The methods for torture and disappearance (las maneras para"dentenidos desaparecidos" - some of the most chilling things I can remember learning) used during the dictatorship were pretty startling to hear and read about. Tough, powerful places, but would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Santiago

28 February 2017

First week of classes has gone smoothly thus far - a couple sessions of intensive Spanish for the month-long course at Alberto Hurtado, a lecture on los Derechos Humanos, and many videos on Pinochet's dictatorship and how the people of Chile experienced that time period. Today we finally finished the visa process, the Chilean ID is coming at the end of the movie. Right now we have until a 2pm lecture to hang, so we made a stop at the bakery and are in it for the mean hang after a 4am wakeup this morning.

27 February 2017

After a 3 hour lecture on the history of Chilean economics, education, government and more by Roberto at Casa SIT, we made it to Alberto hurtado for the first time for a campus walk around and the placement Spanish test. Showed Sam around the area near my homestay for an hour afterwards, and finally I was able to go for a run in Parque O'Higgins without much Achilles pain! That was enough for me, but as I got out of the shower I caught this view of the sunset from the house - good start to the week

25 February 2017

Even though Friday started with a 7 hour wait at the PDI for more visa registration (during which we had no choice but to engage in some serious group bonding), it turned out to be a pretty outstanding first weekend of the program. SIT canceled the rest of Friday, so Sam and I took advantage with a walk to santa Lucia and a wonderful time hanging in the shade of the park. The walk home was gorgeous, I got to explore the area near my homestay, full of small parks and fun residential streets. As for the full weekend, the pics tell the story: first time out to the bars on Friday, the short virgen Mary hike with 7 others Saturday morning, my first Chilean futbol game (0-0 UdeChile v Everton), and a wonderful Sunday spent exploring the middle of San cristobal for 5-6 hours before walking home through parque forrestal (14.5 miles covered between 12:30 and 7ish, quite a trek). Classes at Alberto Hurtado start this week!

23 February 2017

Met my entire homestay family today (with the exception of Claudia, who like the jokester she is kept from me that she was my host mom for the first 36 hours of orientation). Met 2/3 of the brothers (Gabriel - 21 y Thomas - 18), as well as the former's girlfriend of 9 years! The husband is super sweet too. Also met some of the workers at casa SIT. Busy day tomorrow with the first test, Santiago drop off, and more

21 February 2017

Views from la Casa Museo de Isla Negra de Pablo Neruda, our first group excursion during orientation training
Checked in at Hotel Pacific for Day 1 of SIT study abroad orientation - view of Algarrobo from room 213