03 septiembre 2006
Today we went to Andacollo, the town where my host dad works. We drove for about an hour or so, through and up the mountains. It was really really pretty! Then we finally reached the small town, which probably has the population of Tiverton or so. It was really really quiet....kind of strange. My host parents had to go to a funeral in one of the churches in the center of town. There's a really famous cathedral there called the Batista. I took pictures of it and whatnot. It was huuuge inside, and really pretty. I went to a little museum with my abuelos, which was fairly interesting. It was mostly stuff that had nothing to do with the Batista. I think it was all stuff that people had kind of given to the Virgen de Andacollo for doing miracles or something, but I couldn't really understand....that's just what I assumed.
I walked around a little bit with my abuela and took some pictures. And then the funeral ended and everyone came outside. They were all dressed really casually, in jeans and whatnot. For a funeral! Which was kind of weird to me. And the coffin came out.... which was slightly creepy(I've never seen a coffin before), but I did pretty well, aka I didn't freak out, haha. They put the coffin on the ground and said some prayers or something over it, then picked it up and put it in the hearse, which was just like a station wagon, but with flowers on the roof. And then, the hearse started driving away, really really slowly, and everyone walked behind it off to the cementary. It was so different, but so cool.
Then we drove to my host dad's office, and up a little further to a mina, which I assume means mine. It was pretty much a construction site. More pictures were taken, and then, we drove back home to La Serena.
It was really cool to get to see another town, and it made me so happy to be in La Serena. Andacollo was cute and all, but it seemed really poor, and really....boring. At least in La Serena there's always something to do, and if there isn't, then there's something to do in Coquimbo. Andacollo struck me as a boring nothing town, up in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. You have to drive like a half an hour up winding roads just to get there, and there's nothing except small houses and restaurants. And churches. And lots and lots of Virgin Mary stuff being sold everywhere. I'm thinking there's a story about her appearing or something, because I saw a few pictures that had her like, floating over the city. And her statue was everywhere. Everywhere. It's a good place to live if you're hard core Catholic.
And. I saw ostriches there!!! Someone had ostriches like, fenced in in their backyard! Crazy!!
Anyhoo. More pictures should be uploaded to my Yahoo tonight. Woohoo!
Love and miss you all!