Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fiestas Patrias

After a 2 month hiatus of updating my blog, here I am again.  It's September, and I have once again survived the cold Chilean winter.  I've formally retired my space heater until next year, and I have changed back to my normal comforter from the down one.  All around there's a sense of relief that the winter is over amongst everyone that I talk to, and we're looking forward to the summer weather.

Today is September 18th, which marks Chile's Independence Day.  Since it's a Sunday this year the festvities started on Friday when most businesses closed at noon.  Tomorrow is also a holiday, and people joke that it's National Hangover Day as everyone recovers.

My celebrations began on Friday with a party in the office where I work.  It included cueca music, empanadas, wine, and good company.  After that a student invited me to a barbeque with his friends.  They speak varying degrees of English, so I was also speaking Spanish a good amount of the time.

On Saturday I went to Roberto and Pame's house out in the country. They manage the office where I work and are great people, and the area was really amazing. There was so much open space, and it was warm and sunny all day. There was good food, good drinks, and even some sack races, tug of war, and other games.

Other than that, life here has been pretty mundane.  The only exceptions are the occasional protests that are still happening and a class of mine taking me out to Starbucks for a change of atmosphere from our usual class in the bank.

Since I've been working pretty hard and haven't been out of the area since February traveling I decided to take a week off.  In about half an hour I'm off to the airport to go to San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile.  I'll be there for a week, and while I'm there I'm going to see geysers, float in a salty lake, see some amazing scenery, and visit the salt flats of Bolivia.  I'm really looking forward to it, as it's one of the trips I've wanted to take since I got down here last year.

Once I'm back I'll update with pictures and stories of my adventures.  Happy 18 to everyone reading this in Chile!

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