27 febrero 2007

Hair Cut! De nuevo!

So. Today I decided that:
Changing countries I live in, speaking a different language every day, dying my hair, cutting it once already, adding two new holes to my ears, and generally changing as a whole
wasn't enough change for me.
and I cut my hair again.
Just kind of....cut it. Up to my shoulders. It looks cute, I suppose. I like it, anyway. And it's just enough change to keep me happy for the time being.
Pictures will be added once they're taken.
Until then...I thought I'd do this as pure entertainment.
Taken from a thread on the culture's shocked board....You Know You've Gone Native When....
Chile style. Enjoy!

-Your speech is filled with words like: cachai, weon, carrete, filo, po, fome, güata, and bakan.
-You know what flaite is and how to spot and imitate them.
-You're ALWAYS late. I was 10 minutes late once, and actually proud of myself because yes, here, 10 minutes late is actually fairly early.
-Argentinos are pesados. That's just how it is.
-You also don't fall well to Bolivians or peruanos.
-You understand what "falling well" is.
-You'd probably die without bread. For serious.
-You've seen the large group of people fighting for the fresh bread as it comes out of the ovens in the supermarket.
-You've been part of that group of people.
-You find yourself walking out into the street, even if there's a car coming, because you know they will always stop for you.
-Catcalls are a normal, daily thing.
-You can recognize gringos a mile away....but no longer include yourself as one of them.
-You demand things, don't ask. Such as food. You will take food from someone while "asking" them to borrow you it.
-Every desert you eat includes manjar.
-You drink pap or kapo
-You drink tea. Every day. For onces, of course.
-People going out a lot is normal. People who don't go out a lot is kind of....strange.
-You are overly honest/blunt with people.
-Most things you eat come with mayonaise. ick. Or palta.
-It's strange for anyone over the age of 11 to not have a cell phone.
-You know that colo-colo is a fútbol team.
-You root for either colo-colo, cobrelua(just butchered that, I know), o la U.
-You know the chants for all the futbol teams.
-Flushing toilet paper just seems.....weird.
-Seeing a house without a fence around it is utterly shocking. Even more so if it has two stories.
-Everything you eat either has salt or lemon on it. Everything.
-You eat ice cream very often, even when it's cold, and know that you can find somewhere that sells ice cream every corner or so.
-You have a favorite brand of pisco.
-You can dance the cueca. Or be cool like Simon, and just clap when cueca music is played(even if it's in a store jaja)
-Not seeing mountains is a cause for concern.
-You can tell that someone's NOT from Chile because they speak slower and clearly(aka, they're easier to understand)
-To be vegetarian is just....odd.

and that's pretty much it.
¡Welcome to my life! haha

So...pictures are delayed, as it would appear my camera is slowly dying. And therefore refusing to upload the first picture, instead duplicating the last picture taken, but at a smaller size. Not to mention that it seems to enjoy turning off at random points, therefore deleting whatever picture I had just taken. Thanks a lot, HP.
Going back to school tomorrow.

23 febrero 2007

Kelsey....la estrella!

So today was my interview! Hurrah! I wasn't really nervous until they got there....and I realized how so very unprepared I really was. I had given some thought to the answers...but with me...no matter how well I have the answer in my head(and I have lots of Spanish down pretty well in my head), it always comes out wrong when i speak. Happens in English too.
Anyhoo. The camera guy(I think) was the same guy from the Rotary event who filmed me reading a book. The ...woman(I can't think of how to call her in English) was really nice. They interviewed me in the living room, asking why I chose Chile(which sucks! Because I NEVER know how to answer that), if I'm accustomed to things here, what have been some of my difficulties, what modismos I've learned, etc. They filmed me and mamá in the kitchen, pretending to get ready for onces(setting the table and talking, etc.). Then they interviewed mamá, who said really nice things about me! jeje
Then...the whole family stood together and they filmed us, and walking around the yard talking, and then they had me go into my room and pretend to play the guitar and read, and he filmed me doing that, and my wall(with the Chilean flag and pictures of back home, which he filmed too!). It was pretty bakan, I'd say. They told us it will probably...erm, come out?(salir) in the news Mon, Tues, or Wed night...so I'm going to work on filming that. Hurrah!
And Maggie took photos! Hurrah!

I made this slideshow today....THESE are my friends. ENJOY!

21 febrero 2007

No autographs, por fa.

So....what has dearest Kelsey been up to lately?
Went to the Valle with my host family for a wonderous day of swimming and such. I actually didn't take any sun because I had gotten burned slightly while riding horses on the beach with Nicole two days before, so whatevvv.
A group of teachers from NY came lately, and it's been really cool. Kind of weird to hear Spanish.
I've realized just how much I actually think in Spanish without realizng it, and it's kind of really exciting. As far as speaking is concerned, I think I've "clicked". Hurrah!
My picture was in the paper yesterday. I was on the news too for like, 2 seconds because I was a t a workshop for the teachers. They came to help English teachers here in Coquimbo area, and they donated a looot of money and such. There's a new computer lab and library in Coquimbo, which I must say is fairly bakan.
The news people called me today(the news station). Turns out they're working on a story about exchangers, chileans who have gone to other countries, and people from other countries here in Chile. And they want to interview me! They're going to come to the house to interview me and my host family, and film me in my room and with them and stuff like that.
Psh. I know...I'm getting pretty famous, haha
anyhoo. There was a dinner the other night for the rotarians from NY, and I filmed this, for all the people who have yet to see the wonder of cueca(which I can dance, btw!)
Here you are....
chao chao!

18 febrero 2007

Torres del Paine! Y Glaciers!

So...I'm totally putting two days as one, because I have new things and such going on that would be pretty bakan to update about, ¿cachai? anyhoo....
On Thursday of the trip, we went to Torres del Paine....which absolutely freaking amazing. I swear. It was like, 2 hours on bus....and we were just driving, and driving, and driving, and then some mountains started to appear and then BAM! There's the Torres. Gorgeous...I couldn't close my mouth, and I don't think many others could either. It's just....beyond words. Something you really HAVE to see in real life, because pictures and descriptions by silly people such as myself just don't do it justice.
We walked a bit and got a good view of the torres, next to this gorgeous waterfall. The water in this place was crazy....a green like you'd see in the Caribbean, but so cold that if you fall in, you're given two minutes before you're a goner. Anyhoo. We ate lunch at this waaaay fancy restaurant that had a gorgeous view of the mountains, and afterwards, I ran outside and stuck my hand in the water(it was COLD!) and had a sip of it too....yes, that's right, Kelsey's drank glacier water. Hurrah!
We went walking on a windy beach after lunch and could see a far off glacier, and iceburgs that were closer by. Everyone went crazy to eat a piece of iceburg that one of the chaperones went and found for us. Fun was had by all. On the bus, the chaperones decided that we were not allowed to sleep(despite leaving the hotel at like, 7 that morning) because of the view, and anyone who did was promptly woken up by water being dropped on their head. It was quite fun. I got to know the tour guide, John, pretty well too. He's a cool guy, and we had fun writing on each other's arms and bothering the chaperones along with some other exchangers.
The next day we woke up ridiculously early again to get on a boat in Puerto Natales to go on a tour to see glaciers. Being the idiot I am, this was, of course, the day that I forgot my camera. BUT Maureen's such a good friend that she took pictures for me, which I copied on my pen drive later. It was a pretty cool tour...freezing in the morning, with crazy waves and the like. The first glacier was insane....it looked like there was barely anything left of it....and to think that 20 years ago, it was at sea level. Way to be, global warming. We landed on some island, and went hiking for a bit, farther inland to where a giant glacier was. This was the coolest one, I think. Picture taking ensued.
For lunch, we stopped on some island ranch thing, where Luke and I discussed our plans to own a ranch just like it under a mountain in the Patagonia, with Jules, a Canadian, as our horse.
The ride back was the best because it had warmed up and was no longer windy, so everyone was out on the erm, deck? of the boat. I got to talk with Simon and see the sights from the...bow? of the boat, and it was all around cool.
The last day, Saturday was...eh. We left the hotel at SIX AM! Who does that? Drove 3 hours to Punta Arenas(EVERYONE slept the way there), then flew back to Santiago. It was way sad....I had everyone sign my flag, and it sucked royally saying goodbye to people that I had ended up growing so close to. Took a bus back to La Serena that night with Freja and Clara, and here I am. Fotos! Aca con un glacier....the one that used to reach the water. And then...the other glacier.

17 febrero 2007

Día....I've lost track already.

Hokay. So the day after the penguin adventure we drove THREE HOURS north to Puerto Natales. It was quite an exciting ride consisting of mostly....nothing. Listening to music and watching the incredibly flat landscape go by. Oh, we also played an exciting game which resulted in Lee from Georgia licking the ear of one of the chaperones. Fun was had by all. Anyhoo.
In Puerto Natales, we had a bit of time to wander around and see how crazy beautiful this area is. Mira:
I thinkthinkthink that it was after lunch we set off for a CAVE! The Cave of the Milodón, I believe, which is an extinct bear(however, Jules the Canadian, with the help of Simon, the Denmarkian, led me to believe that the bear still existed. Psh.) . And yes, there was a plastic look-alike which terrified both me and Maureen:
The cave was pretty cool, but the hike that we took afterwards was better, in my opinion. Utterly tiring, but incredibly gorgeous and worth it. For serious, it involved CLIMBING UP A MOUNTAIN, which is fine by me because that was on my Chile! List of things to do. Anyhoo...we climbed up the mountain and got to see an amaaaazing view. Fo rizzle.
Howeverrrr during the hike, some kids ran off ahead, and didn't hear the chaperones screaming for them to come back, so we all got a call that night from Jobanni(dundundunnn). It was then we all learned that pobrecita Niki from Canada was being sent home. She left Valentine's Day, actually. So that was sad.
I don't know where I'm going with this post really....so here are some pictures to keep you all happy. Also....a video I took at the entrance of the cave with Maureen. You can see the fear in our eyes!
Tomorrow.....Torres del Paine!

aaaand....just for fun...here's a picture of my FIRST NIGHT in Chile, at the orientation; me and Allison(from VT), and one of me, Allison again, Francesca and Sarah(all US kids) recien, en the cave:

16 febrero 2007

Día dos. bueno, tres.

Okay, so I've been busy cutting my hair and riding horses on the beach, and apparently, coming down with a cold, so shhh.
anyhoo. A continuación....
our second(er, third?) day was spent....going to the museum, church, and general cool places in Punta Arenas. It was pretty bakan, I must say. We went to a mall and got some food and such in preparation for the next day's 3 hour drive to Puerto Natales. Back to the hotel for lunch, and then....it was off to see the penguins! this day was quite exciting because just before we left for the penguins(about an hour and a half en bus), I was able to assist in a self-done nose piercing! it was quite exciting, I must say.
Anyhoo. Drove to the penguins, playing Never Have I Ever on the way to amuse ourselves. Finally got to the...erm. penguin place(I can remember the word in spanish, but not english, sorry). I bundled up, my alpaca sweater, fleece, and helly hansen coat along with a scarf, gloves, and hat. Of course, I unfortunately made the mistake of waddling over to a group of boys who then proceeded to bundle me up así:
Anyhoo. We walked something like a kilometer towards a beach, nearly being blown away the whole time. No lie, this was the windiest place ever. Patagonia as a whole, i think, is ultra windy, which is probably why it's so cold. For serious, you're walking straight, and the wind comes and pushes you sideways. It was pretty crazy. Anyhoo. The penguins were actually quite a let down. Too far away. But cute still, and I got video of one waddling. But alas. Demasiado lejos y a mi no me gustó.
Anyhoo. Back to the hotel for exciting things such as dinner. Afterwards, I, the resident piercing expert, accompanied someone to get something done in town. However, they blatently ignored my expert opinion on the place(sketchy!) and got something done anyway. Ahhh well.
Here are some fotos!
I'll hopefully get the rest of the trip down here soon...because things are happening and such, jaja and I'm just re floja lately. ahhh well. No sé sobre mañana...going to the valle with my host family to take sun and swim, and then sunday I'm celebrating the Chinese New Year with Mauricio(to honor his Chinese ancestors), but I'll try and update this soon.
chao chao

Okay...yahoo's decided to not work AT ALL, and unless this is somehow fixed tomorrow, I'll be putting all my pictures on snapfish instead. For serious, I can't do ANYTHING on yahoo right now. boo you.

13 febrero 2007

Día Uno

Okay....starting off with the early day(s?). Orientation was...well, orientation just was. Not really exciting, not really fun(until the end of it anyway). Just....was. It actually made me not look forward to the trip. Anyhoo.
On Monday we left Villa Alemana and drove an hour to Santiago. We got to the airport, checked in, and went all American and ran to the Dunkin Donuts(it's ONLY in the airport in Chile, no lie). Simon from Denmark had his first donut ever, it was quite exciting.
Flew an hour and a half to Puerto Montt, and then from there another 2 hours to Punta Arenas. We were all slightly disappointed at first considering it was FLAT(from the airplane) and only about 62ºF. We drove into town to our hotel, and quickly discovered that it was much colder. We had free time before dinner, so went around the centro and bought things like hats and scarves and gloves and such. It rained! It was so exciting....my first rain in six months! Anyhoo. Dinner was amazinggg....and afterwards we just hung out and did nothing.
The next day was amazing. We went to Isla de Riesco to a ranch. It was sooo cool. And freezing. We saw a puma! And sheep get sheered, herded, and washed. Alpacas too! I rode a horse which was amazing....the whole day was just....gah. Really awesome. The ranch was SO cool....it had it's own church since the island is so isolated.
I know this description kind of sucks...but oh well. Here are some pictures:

also...here's a slideshow of the entire trip, using only some of my photos though:

12 febrero 2007

I've returned!

Just got back a bit after 1 am today from the south tour. It was a crazy amount of fun, and I have a wicked lot of pictures....that will (hopefully) be all uploaded to yahoo by the end of the week, but it's well over 400 pictures...so I can't make any promises. It was crazy fun though....I got closer to a lot of people, and did some amazing things including: eating Arabic kitkat bars, eating part of an iceburg, drinking glacier water, riding a horse in the Patagonia, seeing a real life glacier, watching a penguin waddle, realizing that Canadians really are crazy, switched from summer to winter in a matter of hours, heard English spoken by people other than intercambios, belly danced for a group of people, drank whiskey with glacier ice in it, nearly been blown away by wind, saw sheep get herded washed and sheered, assisted in a nose piercing, dyed my hair in Punta Arenas, and a lot more. But it's late, so nothing comes to mind, hahaha

The way I'll go about informing you all of what exactly went down on the south will be this:
I'll go day by day. Each day I'll do an entry documenting what happened and such.
so there.
Here's a few pictures to keep you happy until then:
This is Pablo:(and yes, I did take this picture, I'm an artistic genious, for real)Chilling by iceburgs is, obviously, a chill, everyday activity.

Probably the greatest group of people ever. Even Paolo and Pablo, who like to make bunny ears.
well that's it for now.
chao chao

08 febrero 2007

From the end of the world....

Hey all! I'm typing now at 8:41 am from a hotel in Punta Arenas(they have free internet...but the computer's slow like woah). I'm having a great time on the south tour, and have taken only just over 200 pics(including orientation), I'm saving most of them for the days coming up, when we head to Torres del Paine.
It's been great so far....we've seen penguins here in Punta Arenas. Went to an Island called Isla de Riesco or something along those lines. I got to ride a horse! It's wicked cold though....32º when we landed(after a 5 hour flight from Santiago. Stopped in Puerto Montt, then came to Punta Arenas), but I think it's colder now. Buuuut...I've been missing winter like woah, so it's all good. I love being bundled up in scarves and hats and such. Way nice.
It's absolutely beautiful. Really. At first it caught me off guard, to see it from the plane, since it's pretty much just....flat. But it's so gorgeous! And...it's rained! First time I've seen real rain in six months;I was excited.
Anyhoo. We're leaving the hotel today, at 9 to drive 3 hours north to Puerto Natales, which is like a, erm....doorway? to Torres del Paine. I'm not sure what the internet access will be like, but I def. won't be able to update(I only can now because I'm the only one here, haha...I got everything done early), but parents, I'll be hoping to send out an email or two. We'll see.
Love you all...and I'll have a better update and some pictures(and video!) soon!