Until Next Time

On the way down from Cerro San Cristóbal with MSH
On the way down from Cerro San Cristóbal with MSH

Tomorrow’s the day, I’m headed back to the USA! I’ve thought of this day and drafted this post before, but it feels strange that it’s suddenly arrived. Slow and steady, then all at once. The lovely Annie over at LoveLaughRun seemed to have read my mind the other day when she said that it’s easy to plan a post as you run with your thoughts, but sitting at the computer and actually getting the words down sometimes leaves you stuck. On my runs around the city, I’ve imagined what I will tell you as I say goodbye. Continue reading

Advertisements

Culture Notes and Final Days

IMG_4210

I’m taking the opportunity of my life being quieter to give you a glimpse of the street culture in Santiago as I’ve experienced it. I am fully aware that my perception is biased by the places I frequent and the way I look and speak, but I think that much of the positive behavior of the people around me doesn’t change from me being close by. Although the lifestyle is faster-paced in Santiago than in other parts of the country, I’ve found the people to be welcoming, friendly, and very fun-loving. I feel safe and welcomed and enjoy the more laid-back attitude. Continue reading

On Work and Summer Vacation

San Joaquín campus
San Joaquín campus

As the summer progresses, and my final weeks creep up on me, I’ve come to realize that I haven’t talked specifically about work very often in this space. It calls back memories of freshman year of college, where you’re making friends and exploring your new life, and you post pictures of people and places and all of the fun you’re having on Facebook, and your mom or dad or some relative comments “Haven’t seen any books yet!” Continue reading

Una Vida Menos Gringa, Más Chilena | A Life Less American, More Chilean

IMG_3965
Club Hipico in Santiago

The view from new bedroom is fantastic! I can swing open the window, hear the birds chirping and hopping around in the trees, and just a little further see where the city is stopped by the mountains. I’ve been exploring the area surrounding my apartment building, and have not yet been disappointed. The people are friendly, the cars drive more slowly, and it feels much more residential. A few blocks from my front steps are more restaurants than I can count: I’ve tried a few so far but will definitely be adding to my repertoire. There are countless yoga studios within walking distance, and advertisements posted all around for concerts, festivals, and pop-up outdoor markets. And with the long days of summer, there’s plenty of daylight to explore. Yes, I am quite pleased with my new home. Continue reading

See You in a Bit!

Very soon, I will be hopping on a plane (two, actually) and heading back to the USA for Christmas and the New Year. I’ll be spending my time around New England and will have a day or so in Philly. I apologize in advance if I’m not able to see you and say hi when I’m home! It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten, I promise. While I would love to see as many people as I can – and am incredibly grateful for all of the love and support of my life in Chile – my time at home is limited and I don’t want to spread myself too thin or make empty promises. It’s important to me to take the time to relax and enjoy being with the people I’m with. Thanks for understanding!

I’ll be back in Santiago again in January with new posts and updates. Enjoy the holiday season!

Summer Sets In

Visiting Yerbas Buenas, a historical town near Linares, Chile, with JC
Visiting Yerbas Buenas, a historical town near Linares, Chile, with JC | Photo credit to JC

All is well here in Santiago, though quiet for the time being. Today, Monday, December 8th, is el Día de la Inmaculada Concepción|Day of the Immaculate Conception and is observed as a national holiday. Chile, being a country rooted in Catholicism, observes all of the most prominent holidays associated with the religion. I took advantage of the long weekend by surfing in Concón as a last hurrah with JR and two friends from Spain, then heading to Linares, Chile to meet JC’s family and relax and see the town. It was a much needed weekend to fuel me for the next week and half before my Christmas break! The past few weeks have felt slower than my earlier time here, as many of my friends have headed off to travel, and I was knocked down by a cold for a few days. I’m back at it though, and ready to soak up the remaining first half of my time before taking a break to head north. Continue reading

Some Changes

My second half of co-op – January through March 2015 – will be a little bit different than the first. Three big things you should know going forward:

  1. I’m moving. While it was wonderful having a host family to ease my transition to life in Santiago, I live very far from work. I will be moving into an apartment that cuts my commuting time down from anywhere between 40-80 minutes each way to a nice 20-25 minutes and no need for public buses. I currently live in Las Condes, in a barrio|neighborhood with towering high rises along a main road. I live currently next to a huge shopping mall and a beautiful park, but I’m excited to be moving to Providencia, with smaller shops and in a quieter location. I will be living with two Chileans, and it will save me some money and allow me to be more flexible with my eating and spending.
  2. I have changed my major. As of Winter 2014-15 I will be a Mechanical Engineering student! I’m pumped! I will maintain my minor in Product Design, and still am very open to the idea of pursuing my MS in Biomedical Engineering. Biomed has gotten me to where I am today, and for that I’m grateful. The Drexel Biomed program is strong and I recommend it to those interested in the subject field. I realized, however, that I am more interested in mechanics, and felt that I would benefit from undergraduate coursework in Mechanical Engineering while still maintaining an interest and pursuing opportunities in biological applications.
  3. Summer will be at it’s height, which means fewer people in Santiago. JC, my host sister who’s family lives a few hours south of Santiago (she’s staying with my current host family as a family friend while going to college in the city) will be returning home for a few months, my friends here on exchange will be heading home around the same time I head back to the states, and one of my friends from work is moving to Valparaiso. It will probably be quieter, but I still want to take a few weekend trips, head to San Pedro de Atacama and possibly Buenos Aires, and I really want to go to Chilean or Argentinian Patagonia. Anyone down to visit? Don’t Google the price of flights, just book it. All I’ll tell you is that you’ll want to spend at least a week here to make it worth it!

I come home the week following Drexel’s finals, and will return to Santiago the first full week of January for my final 10 weeks of co-op. While I’m loving the warm, sunny weather here in Santiago – it’s like a Spring/Summer co-op and the summer vacation I never had rolled into one – I’m wicked excited (yes, wicked, as in “very”) to be able to come home to spend some time with friends and family and to go skiing and to not miss out on winter in New England. A quick taste of all of my favorite things about the season, and then I’ll return to enjoy the rest of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.

Two Months Full

IMG_3774
The Color Run | Photo credit to RO

This past week marked two months of my being here, and less than a month remains before my mid-co-op trip home to the states for Christmas and the New Year! Time has flown by. I know it’s been said over and over, and is terribly cliche, but time flies when you’re having fun. I’m incredibly grateful to be here: my life is anything but boring. Continue reading

Hiking Salto de Apoquindo

IMG_3618

This past Sunday, I was invited to go trekking with my friends AP and SC from work. SC asked me if the hike would make the cut for my blog, and I assured him it would! Some pictures are my own, others were taken by SC.

I had to take a bus to meet up with my friends, so I got up around the same time as I do for work, packed up a few pieces of fruit, a peanut butter sandwich, and two liters of water, tightened the laces of my hiking boots, and headed out the door. After a short bus ride, I found my friends and hopped in their car to go the rest of the way to Parque Natural Aguas de Ramon. The park is remarkably close to the city: I could have taken a city bus if I had wanted to. Continue reading