Before I arrived in Santiago, I was hooked on watching Drexel student Jesse Rosenstein’s videos of his time here in Chile. (I know that usually refer to people by their first and last initials, but Jesse gave me permission to reveal his true identity.) Jesse studied abroad here during Drexel’s Fall 2014-15 term. We’re only a year apart in school, but didn’t meet in person until I arrived in Santiago in September. Over the course of the five months he was here, Jesse traveled the length of Chile, and documented his time in each place through GoPro edits. From exploring the Atacama desert in the north, to celebrating Fiestas Patrias in the colorful coastal city of Valparaiso (see above), to hiking in Torres del Paine at the southernmost tip of South America, it’s a full tour of the country. Jesse and I weren’t able to travel together due to our schedules, so don’t look for any cameos of mine in the videos, but you may recognize some of the places! For a full playlist of all of Jesse’s travels, check out his Vimeo page.
September 18 & 19 are known in Chile as Fiestas Patrias: celebratory days of Chile’s independence. Usually, the entire week is considered a vacation. Chileans leave Santiago and head to the ski slopes, the beach, the vineyards, or some other destination with their families and friends. Nearly all businesses are closed. For this reason, it’s very quiet in Las Condes – my section of the city – at the moment!
There is a lot of smog here. I can faintly see the outlines of the mountains, and can tell they’re huge, but I have yet to see them in full. Hopefully, as the seasons change from winter to spring to summer the smog will let up a little bit. Continue reading