Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Chile!

So Chile is now officially 200 years old!

The past three days have been a whirlwind of a time.  Dana arrived in Santiago without any problems, and it's so great having another visitor here.  In the first 24 hours of her visit, we went grocery shopping, she explored Plaza de Armas and museums while I taught a class, we stumbled upon an all you can eat lunch buffet at Pizza Hut, she explored Mall Parque Arauco while I taught another class, and then we went out for drinks with some friends that night.

Yesterday she got to sleep in while I taught my last class before the holidays.  Then we were off to a party with my coworkers, and then we met up with a friend of mine and got some drinks while we caught up.  Then it was off to a fonda (which is like a barbeque) where they were giving cueca lessons.  It turns out we got there too late for the lessons but it was still fun to watch the dance and hear some live musicians.

Then on Friday Dana took a tour of Valpo and Viña for the day, and I was lazy and stayed in and did laundry and other semi-productive things.  When she got back we went to the light show at La Moneda, which is the national government palace.  I had heard that the light show was well-attended the night before, and so I was looking forward to seeing it.

We got there about an hour before it was scheduled to start, and there were already big crowds of people.  Despite that, we got a pretty good spot.  The special effects were pretty amazing, as they created illusions that the building was crumbling to the ground, having static like a TV set, or rippling like a pond as if a stone was thrown into the middle of it.  There was great music, lights and lasers shooting out of the palace, fog, and fireworks.  They had references to Chile´s history over time as well as a reference to the miners that are still stuck in Copiapó.  It was an amazing show, and I found clips of it online:

After it was over, we followed the crowd leaving.  On the way there were street vendors selling all types of bicentennial things like flags, hats, photos, and pins.  There were also a lot of other things being sold, and I picked up some photos and pins.  The photos were actually so nice that I want to go back and buy more tomorrow, as they showed La Moneda lit up during the show and has the title "Bicentenario Chile 2010".

By the time we got home it was 10:30 and I wasn´t in the mood to try and figure out what to do that night, so we decided to stay in so we can make the most of tomorrow.  It turns out some travel friends from my trip to Pucón are up in Santiago, so maybe I will get to meet up with them.  I might also get to meet up with some other friends also, and no matter what I feel like I will have a great time.

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