Hola a todos! So in case you missed it, I have left Argentina and I am residing in Santiago, Chile until around mid July. We got into Santiago around 4 yesterday afternoon, and Steffi and I made it to our homestay in Las Condes around 5. Our homestay is by far the best thing ever; we have many animals here, all cats and dogs. Our homestay sister runs a non-profit organization that collects stray dogs (and sometimes cats) from the street and puts them into the homes of animal lovers. This, I believe, is truly a beautiful thing to do, and I really want to take home all of the puppies and dogs that are being housed at our homestay right now. For anyone who is interested in reading about it, the Facebook page is called Fundación Animalia.
So far, all has been good and pretty relaxing here in Las Condes. It’s much different from Buenos Aires in the sense that it’s more similar to the suburbs of a city, and it’s seemingly much safer to walk around casually. Also, Santiago is surrounded by beautiful mountains covered with a blanket of smog (sadly), which makes them a little difficult to see. I’m sure some days will be better than others when it comes to the vicinity of the mountains, but I did manage to get some nice photos of their silhouettes since arriving here. [One of the first pictures I got when our homestay dad took us out for helado and a walk][Steffi and the cat named PIP which we say in a high squeal of a voice]
Steffi and I made it out of the house (yes a house, not an apartment) for a run/walk/expedition around Las Condes today. Like Buenos Aires, it has free work out machines in the parks for the public to use; needless to say, we had a pretty nice workout mid-run. I know I thought highly of the parks in Buenos Aires, but I think I like the parks here in Santigo (specifically in Las Condes) a lot more than those in Buenos Aires. I don’t have too many pictures in this post of the parks, but more will come in the future! Along our expedition, we discovered parakeets AND pomegranates! I later talked to my homestay sister about the parakeets, and she said that they were Argentine parakeets. As for the pomegranates, she said that they are called “granadas” here (which makes sense — that’s the Spanish word).[Steffi looks so dope in this setting — that stride!][The mountains + smog = this byproduct of the Misty Mountain kind of look][Looking towards the center of Santiago from one of the walking bridges — many mountains to see in the distance][Got some Argentine parakeets mingling in the trees, probs thinking “stupid Americanas taking pics of us like we’re in the zoo”]
After this discovery of items beginning with the letter “P”, we got a little lost while trying to find Danny’s homestay and also while trying to find our way home. Thanks to the sheer luck of knowing Danny’s road and the free internet of some lovely restaurant, we managed to find our way home fortunately. Unfortunately, we never actually got to see Danny on this adventure.[pomegranates that aren’t ripe… but I still want to eat them…][Pictured above is the ‘pineapple tree’ because it looks like a pineapple but is a tree (it was named in a literal fashion, as you can see)][Looking towards Las Condes from the walking bridge — got some mountains hidden away in the smog][PARQUE]
It’s only been day 2 of Santiago, with many more to come in the future, but I’m already really enjoying it! Orientation for our study abroad program at the Universidad Diego Portales begins this coming Monday and with that comes some intense 3-4 hour Spanish lessons (oh boy… but also, I really need this, so HUZZAH). The semester at UDP actually begins March 16th though, so we have some time to do some sight seeing. Until then, I just plan to take it easy and enjoy myself; more than likely, I’ll get some good hiking in with the crew here!