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

Culture Notes and Final Days

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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

San Pedro de Atacama and a Family Visit

The road to los Lagos Altiplánicas
The road to los Lagos Altiplánicas

I’m back in Santiago after an incredible week in San Pedro de Atacama with my aunt, JM! The desert was stunning. The views go on forever, the salt crusts the earth for as far as you can see, and there are so many stars at night that it’s difficult to tell where one stops and the other begins. You can look and look and look but it all seems to go on forever. We walked through Valle de la Luna|Moon Valley and Valle de la Muerte|Death Valley, woke up at 4am to travel into the Andes to see the Geyers del Tatio, and stepped gingerly along Laguna Chaxa to get an up-close look at the flamingos|flamencos feeding in the salty water. We wove our way up to 4,200 meters above sea level to see the Lagunas Altiplanicas. Twice, we watched the sun set from Piedra de Coyote and looked back to see the colors reflected over the Andes. It was a wonderful way to finish up my traveling in Chile as my time here comes to a close. Continue reading

Valparaíso and Learning to Dine Alone

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Art + Believe, Valparaíso

This past weekend, I hopped on a bus early Saturday morning and headed to the coast to visit Valparaíso, Chile. Valparaíso – or Valpo – is a port city located about an hour and half from Santiago. It neighbors Viña del Mar, which then runs into Reñaca and Concón. I had taken day trips to both Viña and Concón, but wanted more time to explore the colorful UNESCO Heritage Site of Valparaiso. On a whim, the Thursday before, I booked a Saturday night in Cerro Alegre at the Luna Sonrisa hostel and packed my bags. Arriving early Saturday afternoon, I was grateful to have more than a day to explore the hills (45 in total) that make up the eclectic city. Continue reading

Two Months Full

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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

On Design and the Future of Tech

Campus San Joaquín
Campus San Joaquín

Last week marked one month of my being here in Santiago! I’m happy and healthy and I’m looking forward to the next two before my Christmas break. I will be coming home to spend time in the states a little before Christmas, and will be returning to Chile after the New Year to spend my last 10 weeks on co-op.

I was invited to attend a Talk, Workshop, and Lunch with a professor by the name of Dr. Joe Tranquillo last Thursday, October 16th. Continue reading

Courtesy, Passion, and Kindness

Friday afternoon, the structural engineering department hosted an asado | barbecue for students and faculty. There is a decent amount of crossover between biomedical engineering and structural engineering with the faculty and students from the lab I’m part of, which is why I was invited. The food was tasty, and I was happy to be outside and talking with people.

I was talking with my professor at the barbecue, and we spoke about the recent growth that biomed has experienced in Chile. We talked about engineering and innovation in general, and how the field has been progressing. He spoke about his hesitations to return to Chile after spending a great deal of time in the U.S., in California in particular. He was at the hub of innovation and the boom of biomedical engineering growth, and it was not ideal at the moment to return to Chile, which is still developing it’s market in terms of medical technology.

He spoke, however, about being pleasantly surprised after entering academia here. It’s a reasonably safe space to take risks in your research, as well as being an environment to experiment and have freedom in whichever direction you want take your research. It allows for easier collaboration across disciplines, giving a varied perspective. Continue reading