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.

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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

Pucón and A Trek up Villarrica

The top of Vocán Villarrica | Photo credit to RO
The top of Vocán Villarrica | Photo credit to RO

If you have any desire to go to the south of Chile, I cannot encourage you enough. RO and I returned on Monday night from a long weekend in Pucón and without a doubt it was my favorite few days in Chile thus far. In short: beautiful scenery, friendly people, plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors, and great food. Continue reading

Hiking Salto de Apoquindo

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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

November Oktoberfest

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Left to Right: GMH, myself, LM, NN, AY, MM, ER, and JR up front at Chilean Oktoberfest

This week, I’m splitting my weekend into two posts: the first for Fiesta de la Cerveza, AKA Chilean Oktoberfest, and another will follow about my hike on Sunday. Read one, read the other, read both, whatever you please! I figured it would be more clearly organized this way. As my friends and family can attest to, I like things to be in order and as easy to read as possible. Speaking of which, the font size of my blog bothers me a bit: it’s bigger than I would like. I would prefer not to pay to update the size, so this is what I’m sticking with for now. My parents most recently commented on my list-making when I was told to send Christmas gift ideas, and shared with them a Google Drive document with categories and links. And some of the items on that list were things to organize my kitchen in Philly. MB, I’m coming for you and sorting the silverware drawer! Continue reading

Escape to the Beach, Return to Run

IMG_3580Another full weekend to kick off a shortened work week! Above, RO and I post-5K on Sunday. More below! This week, both October 31st and November 1st are national holidays: Día de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes and Día de Todos los Santos, respectively. The first is a recently established holiday: only nationally recognized within in the past few years. While the long weekend is an opportune time for me to travel, tickets – both bus and plane – are very expensive and I plan to stay in Santiago and the surrounding area to save my money for a bigger trip some other time. Pucón anyone? 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

Pásalo Bien

Emperio La Rosa
Emperio La Rosa

I spent this past weekend in Santiago exploring the city and getting to know more of what it has to offer. I think I’m exiting the honeymoon phase of my trip and feeling more settled and like I live here now. I’ve gotten into a routine for commuting to my job (walk, bus ride, subway, transfer, second subway, walk – then repeat in reverse coming home) and I’ve developed habits that keep me happy and occupied.

On Friday, I went to an outdoor salsa lesson near the center of Santiago. It was in the cultural center called Centro Gabriela Mistral. Later that night, I went out to a salsoteca | salsa dancing club with a few of my friends. We left a little before 3am to head home, and people were still arriving! Continue reading

A Weekend of Wine & Horses

IMG_3470This past weekend, I crossed the Andes and spent some time in Mendoza, Argentina. A few friends and I took an overnight bus on Thursday night, to arrive early Friday morning and have a full weekend. The trip there was easy, but the trip home took me forever because I had to wait four to five hours at the frontera|border to wait in line and get through customs. Oh well, it was the price to pay for a full weekend! We arrived in Mendoza at the bus station around 6:30am, then grabbed cabs to Hostel Punto Urbano. I had stayed in a hostel only once before, in Washington, D.C. and didn’t know what to expect. Continue reading

Renewed Enthusiasm

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No travel photos this time, sorry! A post about my trip across the border to Mendoza, Argentina will follow when I have a chance to upload the pictures.

I am continuing to learn about solid mechanics as well as teaching myself Python, a programming language. I have finished the book titled Biomechanics: Concepts and Computation, and am supplementing my reading with Classical and Computation Solid Mechanics, by Y.C. Fung and Pin Tong. I’m hoping that this second book will bolster my knowledge from the first. Continue reading