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.
Today, I skied in the Andes. To say that I was pumped to have the chance to go would be an understatement. It was a Christmas morning type situation that resulted in me not getting nearly as much sleep as a should have for my early morning wake up. Cut to tonight, and I have the pictures and stories to show that it was all worth it.
I met a man from Peru, who just learned to ski today and was incredibly nice. He works in the hotel business and was in Santiago since last Friday, but is leaving soon. He has traveled all over the world when he can, and hopes to continue. He spent time in Hawaii, and spoke English well, and was giving me ideas to help improve my Spanish vocabulary. I met a couple from Brazil who was vacationing in Santiago. They were very friendly, but I had a hard time understanding their Spanish with a Portuguese accent! I also met a man from Phoenix, a pair of pilots from Canada, and a few other people in my ski group. I went through SkiTotal: they took care of everything! They were really easy to work with and even upgraded me to performance skis after we were talking casually about my background skiing. Continue reading
Week one is in the books! Friend-wise, I’m working on things. I have met so many people: all very kind and welcoming. I have a desk in the Biomedical Engineering Department, so I frequently see the same people. Many speak English and are eager to ask me about what I think of Chile and they remind me to travel and make the most of my time here. I haven’t spoken at length with many of the other students who work/study here yet, but hopefully we’ll meet soon. Thursday night, I went out for drinks with a few people who I’ve met so far. We spoke in English, which was refreshing, but I’m trying to speak in Spanish as much as possible. A mix, however, is helpful to me right now so that I don’t get lost in conversations. For the most part, we all come and go in the office and work as we please. Next week, my professor is organizing a group meeting so that I can introduce myself to the rest of the lab.
Last night, Friday, I went out with RO and FP to say hi and spend some time catching up. Both are connected to Drexel. RO was a huge help to me beginning before I left: she advised me on what it would be like here before I came, and showed me around the public transportation and campus once I arrived. She also acted as a liaison between my host mom and myself when we had some emailing trouble before I came. I’m grateful to have her here! Continue reading