Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jam Packed Weekend!

Well it has been an amazing weekend down here in Santiago. Friday was my day off and so I went and did a little exploring with a friend of ours from the workshop Lautauro. I tried to go to La Moneda (The Chilean White house...kinda) but it was closed when I went, so that will have to be an activity for next week. We went instead to this hill called Santa Lucia. Now I know that going to a 'hill' doesn't sound like all that much fun, but this hill was made into a castle and a fort during the spanish occupation of Chile. It was SO COOL! (pictures to come soon!) It is a pretty big touristy site so Lautauro and I played a game trying to guess people's origin. It was fun! Then we kind of wandered all around the center just looking around. Santiago is a HUGE city. I am baffled every day by how big this place is.

Friday night was an experience...There was a YSA dance and I REALLY wanted to go. It was supposed to be a big dance for several stakes as kind of a kick off for their Young Single Adult conferences that are starting up next week. (We still aren't sure if we are going to make any of it because it is a Tuesday to Saturday thing and we don't get done with work until Thursday afternoon, so we are trying to decide whether or not it would be worth it) We were trying to get there early enough to see our good friend Fernando's band play, but our ride didn't come pick us up till way later, and I think Fernando is pretty upset about that. I saw a few more mission friends which was a lot of fun! We are going to try and organize something for later on in the month. Now, latin YSA dances are much different from U.S. YSA dances. One difference is that instead of dancing in big circles, they dance in straight lines all paired up. This is a very odd experiences because it is a lot harder to be inconspicuous...because you are all in huge lines. They also have a lot of line dances that I have NEVER heard of which made it hard to follow! Ha ha it was funny. I also thought they would play more varied latin music, which they didn't, most of it was regeton type music (kind of like hip hop or rap) with a few merenge and salsas mixed in. These are not two of my strongest latin dances (Nico, they didn't even play a single bachata! I was so mad!) so it was an interesting experience. At one point this very strange boy approached Sarah and I and asked if one of us wanted to dance (using signs cuz I think he didn't think we spoke spanish) I just looked at him and so Sarah said yes. Poor dear had her bubble completely popped by him the rest of the night. He was crazy! I had to save her and then we made it home with a little help from Heavenly Father.

Saturday I woke up and went running and then we met up with our friend Nell, who is here learning spanish, to head to the beach in Vina del Mar. (Again, pictures coming soon) This was kind of an adventure in that we had no idea how to really get there except that we knew at a certain subway station there were a ton of buses that left for different places. So we took the metro there, then looked for the bus station. We figured out that we actually needed to be somewhere else, so we walked there and then got in line to try and buy tickets for Vina. I was standing in a line and a bus driver (who was no doubt trying to fill his bus) said that if we were headed to Vina there was a bus leaving in 5 minutes. I went and found NEll and Sarah who were standing in a different line and we jumped on. We were able to get a round trip ticket for about $12 which was a pretty good deal. When we got to Vina it was cloudy and a little cold so we were a bit upset, but we decided to try and find the beach anyways. The bus station was in what appeared to be a kind of shady area of town, so we were a little worried, and we weren't exactly sure how to GET to the beach, so I asked this random lady in a store near by which bus to take, she was nice enough to walk us to the corner and show us where to go. We got to a beach that looked like it was more of a locals beach, but we found a little spot and layed out. The clouds burned off and it ended up getting pretty hot! The beach was small and the sand had a bit of black in it, from the volcanoes near by I have no doubt.

We walked around for a little bit after getting hot and then had the trek of trying to get back to the bus station. Now none of us had bothered to look at where it was, so we just started walking down the direction we thought we had come from. (We had asked a bus driver who told us to go that direction and we would find it) Well we started getting a little worried, so we asked another bus driver who told us we needed to get on his bus and he would take us there. He kinda scamed us a bit since he took us about four blocks and then pointed to the left where it was. (I guess I was thinking it was farther, but it wasn't at all) When we got to the bus station we realized that it was actually quite close to the beach and that we could have walked. We also realized that it wasn't in a bad area at all, but that there was construction that inhibited our ability to see the area for what it was.

I was thinking about that and realized just how much affect perspective has on our lives. When we got to Vina, we landed in this lame part of town and I was not all that jazzed to be there because it was cold and it appeared to be a very dirty city. Once we had come full circle, I realized that I just hadn't seen exactly where we were before. I think I do that a lot. I don't really force myself to see the forest for the trees and then I miss the big picture. It was a cool learning experience for me. I was also proud of myself for being able to maneuver through a city I didn't know to get to where I wanted to go. It was pretty sweet! On the way back, they played a movie on the bus and it was so nice to get to watch it! Ha ha, the joys of not being a missionary. :)


  1. Great weekend. Interesting dance. I am so glad you met Nell! She is great! Tell her I said hi.

  2. hahahahahahahahaha that must've been a very funny dance... hey.. and that line thing they do.. ONLY in Chile, i totally forgot that they did that, hehehe. Too bad that they don't know Bachata down there in Chile, because it's the best!!!!!!!! right Jody?, anyway you should teach them all.
    I can't believe you went to Viña all by yourself!! that craaaaaaazy.... i'm glad you had fun! oh and by the way, when you go to the beach it is ALWASY cloudy in the morning!! :) February is the best month to go there.. Did you go to Reñaca?? I wish I was there to show you all the cool places.. you need to go to Isla Negra and see Pablo Neruda's house, it is way cool. Isla Negra is closer to Stgo than Viña, and be careful next time.. at least go with one Chilean person....

    Muchos saludos,


  3. wow.. vina del mar.. the most bakn place ...well despues del sur..hope you enjoy there..y bueno que la pases super y ahi que viva chile...

    saludos el tellito