Monday, December 28, 2009

I can't think of a title...

Last week I made this recipe... It's vegetarian and it's delicious! :) (I added de-thawed frozen spinach, salt, pepper, and lots of minced garlic to the ricotta.) The sauce recipe she gives is so-so. For the same price you could buy some TJ's marinara and it would probably be quite yummy. Oh, and I'm not a vegetarian. I think I could be...but, there's things called Filet Mignon and Tri-Tip. These meats tend to push me off of the vegetarian bandwagon. :) Oh well.

In other news. I can't find our camera. Not sure where it is but I will tell you that there are some awesome pics to come. For a teaser they involve semi-automatic weapons and a pumpkin. Yep. Awesome.

And yeah. I think that's it. Really I'm just bored. Jason is on a ride and I'm waiting for him to come home. Maybe I will send him some subliminal messages..."Come home...I'm bored. I am way more fun than mountain biking........."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

today i...

went from jason's parent's house and ran up madonna mountain. good to know i haven't...yet, given up the marathon dream :). (my marathon training was being sorely neglected there for a while)

spent a lot of time looking at this amazing site.

ate brussel sprouts for the first time in....a long time. and i liked them.

looked at my fabric box and realized that i am such a "starter". there are things in there that i don't even KNOW what i was trying to make. including two adorable baby booties (seriously cute) for a friend who's baby isn't so baby anymore. two baby booties as in two DIFFERENT baby booties. i think i was more interested in trying out cute combos of fabric than actually finishing them.

cut the fabric for a phone pouch for my new celly. i would like to go from being a "starter" to a "finisher." :)

did laundry...seriously...i think i'm always doing laundry and we don't even have kids!

packed for going to my parents house for christmas tomorrow. yay!

Monday, December 21, 2009

$10 gifts, Freezer Pies, & a Tortilla Recipe

Well, 2 pies later (let's call them "rent", haha) and a shower has landed me here in front of the computer typing a blog. Really, I need to be working on Jas's Christmas present. He's not here so now is the perfect opportunity to finish it. Speaking of presents for one another. Jason and I agreed on a $10 limit this year (funny how lots of traveling and living abroad depletes the bank account). We weren't going to exchange presents at all but that just sounded so...sad. It's our first Christmas as a Mr. and Mrs. and so SOME sort of matter how small needed to occur! :) So, Ross Dress for Less was my BFF this Christmas season and I will try to post a picture of the finished product once Jason opens it up!

So, as I said, I made two pies. A peach and an apple. Believe it or not I really wanted to keep baking. I might have if I could have thought of what else TO bake. But I couldn't. I think I have TOO many Christmas treats in my head...I just couldn't pick one (and I didn't want to go to the store to get missing ingredients). Oh well. So, the pies are in the freezer (unbaked but assembled). It's a bit of an experiment. Basically, I volunteered to help make a couple of pies. I volunteered though before realizing that Jason and I go to my parents on Wed. So, bringing a pie on Christmas Day that was baked two days ahead didn't sound so yummy. I thought, hey, why not freeze them? I looked it up, found out it was do-able and popped those pups in the freezer. So, I'm thinking if it works than it will be a GREAT way to get ahead on Thanksgiving and Christmas in the future! And that folks is my 2 cents on $10 Christmas budgets and frozen pies!

Ooh, guess what...I now make homemade flour tortillas and they are awesome. Basically, I love burritos. While in Chile though it was one, hard to come by tortillas and two, when you did...they were expensive! So, I searched out a recipe and good old helped me out with this one. These things are EASY too. Granted...I use shortening (well I used lard in Chile since they didn't have shortening). So, if you are not a fan of that this may not be the recipe for you. I wasn't into the idea until I checked the ingredient label of the tortillas I buy from the store...partially hydrogenated oil. So, if I'm going to eat it I'd rather at least have less preservatives (though I'm sure you could use butter if you want...heard though that they are harder to make thin but probably still super yummy) Also...I want to try it with whole wheat flour too...hmmm.

Homemade Flour Tortillas
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbl. lard (or margarine, butter, shortening)
1 1/2 c. water

1.Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix the lard (or whatever you substitute the lard with) into your bowl of dry ingredients with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and kneed a few times until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

2.Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until golden and bubbly; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling out and cooking remaining dough.

**Here are some of my own notes regarding this recipe though. First, 24 balls create VERY small tortillas. I thought that dividing it into 12 parts was better. It's also a bit hard to get them perfectly round. I found that if you flattened the dough balls with the palm of your flat as you can make it and THEN roll it came out rounder. I also didn't have a tortilla warmer...or a rolling pin in Chile. haha. I used the a plate in the oven on the lowest heat as my "tortilla warmer" and a drinking glass as my "rolling pin". Worked just as well! :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Will it last?

So, I've come to the conclusion that so far...I love to cook! I love to experiment with cooking meals and I also love to bake. When I bake I like to make it an art. As in, if the yummy little morsel of baking goodness can be accessorized or decorated in some will be. Like pies. I don't like plain pies. I want to make some elaborate vine on top (usually something that I have the vision for but not the skill). Sometimes it comes out pretty...sometimes not. But I usually try.

I like to cook meals without recipes. I like to read the recipes, mentally store in my head what goes together and "works", and them come up with my own thing. Now, granted...if Jason and I are really hungry I don't experiment, I read the recipe to guarantee yuminess! Honestly, if we had more money my meals would be the BOMB! (Yeah, that's right! I just pulled that from my early 2000's bank of vocabulary). But making exceptional meals usually involve an exceptional amount of money...usually. I also like to entertain with food. I could care less about decoration of the house. I want to impress your palate! mmmm. (This is something that I discovered in Chile. When the other volunteers came over I would be SO excited. I would look forward to it for a week...planning the yummiest meal!)

So the question I REALLY like to cook or is this a temporary, novelty thing? I know people have said that when they got married they were all into cooking but than it quickly faded. Well, I'm 10 months into it right now and so far...I love cooking! :)

*So, for those who also love cooking and enjoy more of the "science" behind it I received an AWESOME book as a wedding gift. Seriously, I love it and I wish I could remember who gave it to me because I just might KISS them. It's called Martha Stewart's Cooking School. (A Martha book...big surprise eh? Even if she IS a convicted criminal I'm still completely in love with what her line produces).

**Actually, maybe the person who gave it to me wrote a note in it in the front. Not sure. I shall have to go find it and check!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Close!

So, first of all, Jason tells me that our blog is boring now. Not having the "Chile Adventures" kinda puts me at a loss for what to blog about. So, he may be right. Oh well. I guess it's back to blabbing on and on about miscellaneous happenings. Hmmm. Definitely not as exciting! :)

In other news. While in Chile I decided that FOR ONCE I was going to read the Bible all the way through...consecutively! I know, I know. I've never done it. I've never been even close to completing it. I mean, I think I may have read most all of it through my little Christian life but always chopped up in bits and pieces. I have tried to read it though all the way through...I've tried a lot of times. The same problem arises each time I try though. It's called 1 Chronicles. Yep. Enough said. SO! I had the brilliant idea of starting with the New Testament first (actually I started with Acts). I figured, the time I'm done with the New Testament and Genesis through 2 Kings I will be so invested into the project that there is no way that I'd quit. So, it worked...kind of. I have read from Acts through Revelations and Genesis through Luke 11. Yep. Honestly I read that all in about...I think 5 months. Now, I'm stuck. Ridiculous huh? I literally have 2 1/2 books left (granted, big books). So, my goal is to finish before the New Year. I think I can do it! ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

"I promise I reallllllly NEED that!"...

So, we are back. Obviously. With this has come some interesting revelations. First, I want a lot of things. yep. A LOT! While in Chile I was rather content. There were no good stores to tempt us into shopping or buying things so eventually the desire FOR things went away. I was asked for Christmas ideas while in Chile from family and Jason and I couldn't really think of much. I knew I NEEDED clothes because washing them by hand and hang drying them in the intense sun kind of disintegrated them. We couldn't get past what we just plain needed though. So, my list was a "need list" more or less.

Well folks, my have the tides changed. Man, I went into the craft store and I feel like my head might explode with all of the ideas I have in my mind. One thing about living in another culture is that you experience a lot of new "inspirations" that are way different from the fashions and trends in the U.S. All I have to say is that its probably good that we don't have real jobs yet. It's extremely hard to justify to yourself (or better yet, to your husband) money spent when there is no regular income coming in to replace it! haha.

Also...I really want a black puffy vest. The one at Gap was particularly snazzy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Vacay Part 2!!! :)

Well, here is Part 2 of our vacation at the end of the program. So the basic rundown is that after Valparaiso we drove 11 hours south to outdoor HAVEN! We loved it! After taking a night bus we got in at 8am or so. Then in the afternoon we went white water rafting. That was super fun! We unfortunately don't have any pictures of it though. The next day, after white water rafting, we met at 7am to hike up Volcan Villarica...or the Villarica Volcano. Finally, on day three we rented bikes and went up into the hills. It was so beautiful. So...bring on the pics!

Here is a little shot of the city Pucon.

This is the looming Volcan Villarica! We were super excited to climb up this sucker!!! It was cool because when we first arrived there was a perfect view of the volcano. Usually you can't see it very well because of cloud coverage!
Here we are getting ready to go up! We were the "brave" (or stupid? haha) bunch who chose to climb from the bottom instead of using the ski lift that took you half up. The two guys in the picture are Swiss. They are biking from Ecuador to Patagonia. Basically, the were insanely fast and every time we stopped for a break I was barely breathing and chugging water. What did they do during the breaks? They lit up cigarettes! haha.

Jason's all prepared for the climb!!!

A peak at what's to come! :)

We made it!!!! Yay!!!
A picture of the volcano...well, the inside! It's rather active and apparently on clear days you can see the magma. We didn't. We DID though inhale a very unhealthy quantity of toxic fumes. haha. Our guide took us around the volcano and then stopped at a point that he declared as "the most dangerous part of the volcano". The fumes were so strong that I literally couldn't breath with out coughing. It was an experience though :)!

So, we hiked up in regular clothes and just the gators (sp?) because all the climbing made you hot. Once we got to the top though the wind was pretty cold so we put on all the gear! Here is Jason rockin' the blue and orange! We got to use icepicks! :) That was fun. We also had the option to use crampons but I felt ok not using them so never got around to putting them on...though it would have made me feel pretty hard core!

This picture is of us going around the top of the volcano...this is a couple of minutes before we breathe in all the toxic fumes! haha

And another one of us going around the top. There is no snow because the volcano is obviously hot at the top...being that it's active.

A picture from the top of Villarica of another neighboring volcano. There were tons in that area.

When we walked around the top we came to this edge! haha. Who wanted their snowboards?!? We did! That would have been rather fun!

Ok! So now for the best part! Once we went up the volcano, in order to get down we were given "butt-protectors" which we strapped on! You basically slide down the face of the volcano on your bum. You could get some serious speed! haha. So, here we are modeling our very fashionable apparel! :)

Very nice Jason! Me gusta!! :)

Ooooh! Who's hard core??? Jason is!!! hehe

And, here is the butt sliding in action. I think that this was someone else doing it. If you brought you knees into your chest and didn't use the icepick to slow yourself down you could fly down! haha. It was awesome!

This is before "take off"! :)

And now we are off the mountain and it's the next day. We decided that it would be a good idea to go on a 5 hour bike ride after hiking up the volcano. haha. We were a bit tired but it was a beautiful ride none the less!

We found a water fall on our ride that we were actually supposed to pay a fee to go see! We didn't. haha. oops!

I found a green pasture with sheep!!! I kind of wanted to run into the middle of it with my arms stretched out singing, "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music". I didn't though. It was private property :)

On our ride we got see these beasts! hehe. Jason was embarassed that I took a picture! I thought they were cool though!!!

So, after our 3 days packed of exercising we rewarded ourselves with coffee and big slices of cake from a cafe. It was super good but a little much. We probably should have had a normal meal after that long bike ride buuuuuut...cake is just so good! Who can resist cake??? Not I!

And now.......welcome back to the USA! This is me in the Houston airport. I bought a Starbucks and I was using the internet on our iTouch. Hmmm. We felt that it was a perfect picture of our re-entry into the USA! Easily accessible internet on our technology and Starbucks! haha. Hey, I was a happy camper! :)
Wow! So, I think that just may be the last post on Chile! How sad! Oh wait! There's another one! No need for tears yet! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Part 1: Valparaiso and Vina del Mar

This is part 1 of our vacation after the program! I'm going to let Jason do part 2 even though I really wanted to do it! :) So, of course the blog thing is being lame and these pics are quite out of order...for whatever reason I can't move them. Oh well. I will put little blurbs under all of them! :) So our first three days were spent in Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. I believe there is only one picture of Vina...the rest are Valparaiso!

So, in Valparaiso Jason and I went to Pablo Neruda's house. He's is a very famous Chilean writer and politician. His house was super cool with an awesome mix of things from all over the world. He had a map from the 1600's which showed California as an island. I really wanted the map! It was super cool. So, this is Jason on the balcony with the ocean in the background!
Here is Pablo Neruda's house from the outside! Such a funky house! It looks like a boat to me!
This is actually in Vina del Mar. It's about 10 min. from Valparaiso on a metro. Like we said, it was very rich and didn't really have that much to offer as far things to see. They had this flower clock though which was pretty cool.

Currently in Chile there is the election for the presidency...and senators, etc. Basically it's election year. Right now there are a hideous quantity of campaigning posters. There aren't many restrictions on where to put them and how many you can do so it's really out of hand. Well, maybe there are restrictions but they aren't enforced. So, we found this one in Vina del Mar on the side of a busy road. We decided to put our heads through. Everyone stared at us of course! haha.
So, this is BACK to Valparaiso. Look at this tiny house that they put on this insanely high foundation! That's the way they did it though in order to get all the houses up on the steep hills.
A mosaic pole in Valparaiso that we had some fun with! :)
I loved all the colorful houses everywhere in Valparaiso!
More colorful houses!!!

So, this is a funicular. These are used to get up the steep mountains to the houses! This one was particularly steep. This is looking down from the top. It's a little strange that people use these daily in their lives to get around.
This is the same funicular but looking up from the bottom before we went up.
So, in order to use the funiculars you have to pay and then walk through the little twirly bar things (like in the amusement parks)! They are so awkward to walk through...especially with a ton of stuff. Jason captured it well I'd say! haha
A tower in Valparaiso! We walked through a tunnel to get through to it and then went up an elevator to get to the top!

This is the view from the top of the same tower! :)
Another picture of the view from the tower.
This is the tunnel that I mentioned above that we walked through to get to the elevator that went up the tower. It was a cool tunnel and it was weird to think of that being a daily part of your life to get to your house! It's fun to see how other people in other countries live so differently!
A picture of the houses in Valparaiso and the staircases that go up (this is not steep at all). It's a bit marred by the power lines but it's a beautiful city none the less!
More colorful houses in Valparaiso!!!
It's a bit hard to tell but this cool, old house is literally on the cliff just hanging there!!!
We took another funicular to get up here to see this view! We watched cargo ships get loaded and unloaded! I thought it was super cool! I've never seen that before! Valparaiso is a big port and so there are always a ton of ships. I like this picture because of the colorful cargo containers. They look like Legos!
This is the same blue house a couple of pics up that I said was on the cliff. Now you can see it better in this one! It also has another funicular to go up! :)
So, that's all for part 1! Hope you enjoyed it! Stayed tuned for the Pucon part 2! Woohoo!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


So, we are in Pucòn and absolutely loving it! Jason and I have been eating up all this outdoor activity! (Especially after 8 months in the desert! haha) So, two days ago we went white water rafting (unfortunately we have no pictures of that as of yet). Yesterday we climbed Volcàn Villarica. We had icepicks, crampons, and all (though I didn´t choose to use the crampons). Then we sat on our butts with "butt-pads" and literally slid down the face of the mountain. It was...AWESOME! Today we are renting mountain bikes and going "biking". Everyone calls it mountain biking but Jas and I aren´t expecting anything to "extreme". We are riding out in search of two water falls and a little native village. So, this post is to tell you that there are going to be some super cool pics to come! Maybe tonight even! So...Stay Tuned! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

¨"Valpo" and Viña

Well, Jason and I are finishing off our last day in Valparaiso. The city is nicknamed "Valpo" for short. The first day we explored Valparaiso all day...well, after sleeping in until 10:00am. What lame bumbs huh? Well, after 4 days in Santiago where there were parties went off until about 3 or 4am we needed the sleep. On top of that the cleaning ladies always promptly came up to the floor that my hostel room was on at 7:30am sharp. The supplies closet was right outside my room and so I wasn´t ever able to sleep in. This hostel in Valpo though is dead silent in the morning and so we just went ahead and let our bodies recieve the sleep that was needed.

So, we had a slow morning and then went up and explored the city. I really like it. It´s so interesting. Apparently it´s a very poor city and there are some risks for mugging and what not but overall we have felt super safe. There was the one time though that we tried walking up a hill to find a finicular (an elevator type thing that takes you up steep hills). We were stopped by two people telling us that it wasn´t safe. They kept going on and on to Jason about all the possibilities that could happen. Finally the lady mimicked being stabbed in the ribs three times. So, we have dubbed the universal symbol for Valparaiso as being the motion of being stabbed in the ribs.

**ATTENTION PARENTS: Ok, so I have to say that though it probably wasn´t the safest place to go to, and we didn´t, we turned around, it probably wasn´t quite so extreme as they described. A host family of one of our volunteers freaked out and told him that he was going to die when he went into the ocean. Another volunteer´s host parents literally wouldn´t let her leave the house out of "safety" in her city that really had no safety issues. In our training at the beginning of the program they warned us that the Chileans might be a little "protective". In sum, the Chileans watch out for each other and also for foreigners which is very helpful and very sweet. You just sometimes have to read between the lines when it comes to stuff like that. But don´t worry moms and dads, we turned around!**

Anyways, so the 2nd day we went to the ritzy neighboring city of Viña del Mar. Eh. Not that great. It was rich and very western (not that western is bad...we just want to experience more of the "real" Chile.) It had no charm or "culture". Although, to be totally hypocritical we did enjoy the Starbucks that it offered. I mean, we went ALL the way there. Might as well cease the opportunity. :)

The 3rd day we walked and walked. We saw the house of Pablo Neruda (a famous Chilean poet and politician). His house was awesome. It was a giant mix of things from all over the world. He had an original map from 1698 which actually showed California as an island. All of his things from all over the world were super fascinating.

So, the best way to explain Valparaiso is through pictures but I´m not able to upload them here...maybe in Pucon! Just imagine a maze of crazy houses piled upon each other up ridiculously steep hills. There are endless steep staircases to explore. Really, the hills and roads here make San Francisco look FLAT! hahaha. It´s amazing and probably one of the most fascinating cities I´ve been to! Love it here! So, we will show you pictures soon.

And also for the parents...tonight we hop on a bus and head south to Pucon. We´ll be on the bus for about 12 hours more or less (blah) and will arrive tomorrow morning. Can´t wait to get there! Ok, welp...that´s all for now! <3, Anna

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Random-ness

Arranged by topic of conversation! :)

LUGGAGE:Well, we are leaving Santiago today. At first we weren't very excited at the aspect of traveling afterward (well we were when we bought the tickets originally). Basically, who wants to travel with 8 months worth of stuff? Not I! I love to pack light and so the idea of us lugging around two good size suitcases each sounded a bit lame. I checked into luggage storage but all that I could find was at the airport and they charged about $5,000 pesos per piece per day. At this point $5,000 pesos is pretty near $10 US...yes the dollar is becoming worth nothing. So, 2 pieces of luggage for 8 days...thats $80,000 pesos...close to $160 US. Mmmm, I don't think so. Then we asked our hostel and they said they would take them for $500 pesos per day and the 1st day is free. So, it would be $7,000 pesos, about $14 US. Now THAT'S more like it. So, we are traveling light again and I'm once again excited to travel.

THE PROGRAM: So, the program is over. It officially ended on Friday. It was weird to realize that we are no longer affiliated with English Opens Doors. For the last 8 months it has been a part of our identity. Now we are "just travelers". I'm ok with this fact but it's still strange. I think that the hardest part of it was the lack of closure. The way it ended seemed abrupt. Then everyone started leaving and flying home. I guess we were just used to having the hostel full and bustling with people so that when everyone started leaving it felt weird. The hostel felt a little desolate! I'm not sure how much sense that makes. I fell tired! haha

SANTIAGO: So when we came into Santiago a the beginning of the program we looked around and thought, "huh". We didn't find it to be that nice of a city. It was interesting and big and all that jazz but it was a little dirty, there were street dogs and yada yada. Well, when we came back this time the 1st thing that struck us was how orderly Santiago was, how clean it was, and how few street dogs there were! hahaha. My how your perspective can change! We are enjoying the city but it will be nice to move on and do a little traveling.

COMING HOME: So, it really, really weirds me out to be thinking that we are coming home in 8 days. I have never lived away like this. I didn't go away to college. I have traveled some but I've never been away from home for so long. So, the concept of "going home" seems super strange to me. I'm excited but all of us volunteers were talking and most of us said that we are more nervous about going home than we were about coming to Chile. This is so true of Jason and I. I'm kind of one of those "dive into it head first" type of people and so the idea of Chile sounded so cool. I knew that it would be hard but in general I had the "bring it on" attitude. I'm excited about going home but we are also a little nervous. That probably sounds so strange.

FOOD: I'm hungry and want some. So, that means that I'm going to get off the computer and eat! See ya in 8 days...well, some of you at least! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

1st Place!!!

Hola Todos,
Hey guys, how are you all? Well, it is Friday night and almost midnight here in Santiago so I am not going to make this a long blog post. I just wanted to share with you guys that today during the Closing Ceremony of our program I won 1st place in the Photo Contest!!! About a week ago a person from the "English Opens Doors" office sent out an email to all of the volunteers asking them to submit up to two photos for a contest. The "carrot" to get everyone to participate was that the winners would receive a free dinner in Santiago during the closing ceremony. Anyways, one of the two photos I submitted won (the photo above)!! I can't really claim the idea for the photo as my own because really it was Anna's idea. One day she came home and told me that to help her students learn the "partes del cuerpo" or parts of the body she had them tape cards with the vocab. on a volunteer student's body. Well, I thought that was an awesome idea and did the same with my Basica students. During one of these lessons on the parts of the body I took a picture and it turns out it was a good one because we won dinner for 4 at a restaurante called "Las Vacas Gordas" or "The Fat Cows". Anna and I took out the other 3 8-month volunteers to eat some yummy steak, potatoes, etc. The whole thing was just another blessing from God because it allowed us 8 monthers to get together one more time before we go on to return home or travel. It is hard to say good bye to a group of awesome guys whom we have bonded with, but the dinner tonight gave the "closure" we were all looking for. We will continue to try and stay in touch. It was an awesome night and a great way to end the program!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On The Road

Well folks, we are on the road again. And this time...we aren't just traveling. We are going home. Well, eventually. After a little traveling of course. On Tuesday night Jason and I got on the bus with the rest of the volunteers in our region. Jason's co-teacher and her husband saw us off. It was so sweet of them to come. I didn't really think about it but if they hadn't come we would have been the only one's with out a family seeing us off at the bus stop...since we didn't live with a host family. So, off we went. It was a great mix of emotions. We were a little excited at the idea of going home an moving on to something else but we were also pretty sad. Copiapo has been our home for the last 8 months. Jason and I have lived almost all of our married life together there. Yet, I'm ready. I'm ready to see friends and family and to just enjoy the USA. The problem though is that after a couple of weeks at home I may be ready to return to Chile! :) I guess we will see!!!

So now we are in Santiago until Sunday night. From here we will catch a bus and go to Pucon, spend a few days there and then go to Valparaiso. After Valpo we...COME HOME! So weird.

On another note...yesterday...I'm getting a little teary just thinking about it. Yesterday...I had a Starbucks Mocha. And it was beautiful. When Jason and I arrived in Santiago almost 9 months ago Jason REFUSED to let me have Starbucks. He said that I needed to "experience the culture of Chile"...or some nonsense like that! haha. Well, I have experienced the culture and now I'm allowed to once again indulge in Starbucks. Oh it was so wonderful. And I'm now going to go get another one! Ooooh, maybe they have peppermint so that I can have a peppermint mocha. THAT would be marvelous!!!! Ok, so that's a very mini, some what uniteresting update on what's up with us!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Top 10 Things I Just May not Miss... :)

Ok, so Jason and I have made a real effort to not really voice a ton of negativity on here about Chile...though it has come out a few times (haha, strikes!). Basically, I´m a firm believer in the idea that when you dwell and think often of the negative...the negative things become stronger and more consuming. We in no way deny the negative things of Chile but just try not to dwell TOO much on them. So, now that we are back in the States, and out of Copiapo...I thought that I would post a few things that were a little um, "harder" to get used to. So, before I created a TOP 10 THINGS I WILL MISS LIST...well, now here are my TOP 10 THINGS I AM OK TO LEAVE BEHIND list...hehe! Enjoy! :)

10. Walking. So this one is a bit of a mixed basket. I love the walking aspect but it is super lame to HAVE to walk when you buy groceries. I always seem to over buy, a gallon of water, a pineapple, a kilo of bananas, a kilo of apples...that is SO manageable don´t you think?! :)
9. Street dogs. Hmm. There is so much to talk about on this subject. From them getting into your trash, to being dead on the side of the SEEING them get hit by cars (which is seriously traumatizing). Then there is mating season. um, Let´s just say that we have seen our fair share of Animal Planet at it´s finest...if you know what I mean! ;)
8. The water. The water in Copiapo was so full of minerals that it left a coat of salt chunks after a few times of using a kettle. You have to fill the kettle with vinegar in order to get the salt coating off. blah. I take water for granted at home...though people think SLO tap water is horrible I don´t think it´s so bad and it's nice to not have to buy water!
7. Being stared at. Yeah, at times it´s nice to be "different" and unique BUT...and I mean a BIG BUT...I crave like nothing else at this point to be able to walk outside with out the whole crazy city turning to stare at me (and this is not an exaggeration). Yeah...let´s just say that me leaving Copiapo has left it with one less blonde in there will be 0! :)
6. TP in the trash. Ok. So, basically the sewer system in Chile in not "equipped" to handle toilet paper...not sure what that means. So, everywhere you go there is a TP trash can next to the toilet. We had one in our house too, obviously. I will give no real details on this because I´m sure you can figure out why this is just plain nasty...and smelly too :)
5. Parties that go till 6am...LITERALLY...6 am. When do they sleep? We have no clue. We have lost many nights of sleep because of our very "social" neighbors.
4. The lack and diversity of exercise. I just can´t wait to work out in the run where it´s more "runner friendly". To not run in the excessive heat.
3. The sun´s INTENSE UV rays here. I´m not sure why...oh wait...maybe it´s because of the HOLE in the ozone layer above Chile. Yeah, that´s right. Really though, this is a big one for me...the resident whitey. After 10 min. in the sun, tops, I was burnt. It´s a bit of a problem being that we don´t have a car and we have to walk everywhere. 2. Doing laundry in the bathtub. Yep. 8 months. EVERYTHING hand washed. Sheets. Towels. Hundreds of Jason´s socks. I will say no more.
1. Hmmm. Well, I really can´t say that this is the worst thing...but I believe that I took it for granted big time while at home. It will be unbelievably nice to be able to express exactly what I want, when I want, and to actually have people understand me! What a concept! It's hard sometimes to just want to be able to contribute to a conversation, to know what you want to say, but to not be able to vocalize it in an understandable way. My Spanish got better over time but there were still many times where people just didn't quite know what I was trying to say. I missed just being VOCAL! :)
So, there you have it folks. Really, these things are very silly in the scheme of things. We truly loved Chile and feel like we have left a part of ourselves behind. So don't judge! haha. Every place, even SLO has advantages and disadvantages (shocking huh?)
Oh, and the Pucon pics are coming soon! :)