Today at the Spirit Week was much better. During the performances I almost died, to crunched together, and a bunch of cheerleading, though, for girls who never have done it before it was probably better than any routines that I have seen at school or anywhere else. Afterwards was great though. There was a school barbeque, and once again I got to cook. I am learning more about barbequing and salting and seasoning as I go, really pretty simple. And all of the food turned out great, I’m happy. Now off to Cauquenes, if I find my parents. They aren’t here and I don’t know where they went.
Got to Cauquenes, outside actually, and had a look around the farm. It’s really pretty and very Chilean, it is what I would picture a Chilean farm to look like, except for some of the destruction. Cauquenes is near Concepcion and the epicenter of the earthquake and the farm was hit with some force, not enough to do major damage luckily. There are chickens, cows, horses, bees, and pigs. One of the two horses is pregnant, I’m not sure how far, but they are both great. And two dogs, each really sweet even though the German Sheppard looks menacing. I went into the main part of Cauquenes last night pretty late and got to see some of the destruction in the city. We picked up my uncle who is living with me and went to a bar. At the bar I learned that my aunt and uncle are leaving in October, which sucks. I really like having them around, they are a lot of fun and help keep me distracted, I will be sad to see them leave.
After the bar we drove back to where we picked up my uncle and got another one. This time the one from Santiago who’s house we stayed in the first week. We got back, my cousin and I both dying for a bathroom and went to bed. As I started to get into bed my cousin told me to check for spiders, which thoroughly freaked me out. I fell asleep and started dreaming.
I have noticed that when I sleep lately, my dreams have become more vivid that ever. People and places seem really and features and details are perfect. But, they are still in English. I hope they change soon enough.
Again I am writing falling asleep, but I doubt I’ll go to bed for a while. I got up at nine thirty ate breakfast and hung around until 11. I called Jessye, my friend in Rotary who lives close to the camp. She ended up coming later in the day. Until then I saw the farm, played soccer and some other game like horseshoes, and cooked some delicious meat as always. The farm is amazing, hills and terraces, a pond to swim in and animals. My cousins, my brother and I herded some cows for a bit and walked around the camp. Really beautiful in all. The meat I cooked was great, I would describe it as bacon chunks. It took a long time to cook, but it was completely worth it. Soon after that I went out into a field, with a book, a shirt to lay on and just read, soaking up the sun. It couldn’t get much better.
Jessye got there a bit later and gave me an easy person to communicate with, not to mention she is great. She is from Germany, the western side, and we talked mainly about Chile and our experiences here and how we felt about the whole situation. I’m supposed to go to another farm with her tomorrow. We had a small fire out aways from the house with my cousin and eventually drew my other younger cousins and brother who made the fire much bigger. It got dark and we went back to the house to have some food. And after having some food we started cooking again. This time on the grill. I got to take over and tend to it like usual, and I couldn’t have been happier yet again. By the end I had delicious meat, a beer, and friends and family all around with some good music and some cheesy music as normal. All in all a great time. We took Jessye home and I got to see some more of the destruction in Cauquenes, whole houses and buildings destroyed. And probably more sights tomorrow.
I just got up a little bit ago and I wanted to write down a dream. It started with me getting on the plane for Chile, and then it went through the first few months. And it went up until last night. I went to bed, and I woke up, getting ready to leave Chile. I just had one last orientation with my Rotary group, only it was a completely different group, and Mr. Griggs was there. I was ecstatic about my whole trip and couldn’t believe that I was going home. I was talking about how great it was that I had learned Spanish and how much better it had made my life in Chile once I learned.
Of cource, I don’t know Spanish now, and I don’t want to wake up and have all of Chile gone. I know that I would like to wake up and know Spanish, but that isn’t going to happen. Anyways, I woke up here and had some breakfast after waiting for the bathroom for way to long with a bladder that was way to full. Today is the Bicentennial and it should be great, last night was good and it wasn’t even the 18th. Out for a run now.
Great run, beautiful landscape, but a terrible shower. I’m not sure whether that shower was worse than my second one at my home. At least at home there was pressure, more than the drizzle that was less that a small faucet. And the temperature was ice cold. Together, I had to stay under the ice cold water for way too long to get the soap off of me. I did it though, and it’s over. I’m never taking a shower here again though.
A little while later we, my mom dad and cousin, left for the beach. We saw a few cities on the way there, saw some damage by the earthquake and tsunami. Then we went to one of the prettiest beaches I have ever been to. I took a bunch of pictures (a first) and wandered the sand for about an hour with my cousin, talking and having fun. She is a huge help with my Spanish. Her boyfriend who had been in the US last year told her not to talk to me in English, only help me if I didn’t know a word, not that her English is amazing, but it works really well and even in two days I have come a long way.
At home we ate, and not much else. I had the most unsatisfying oranges ever. Too much work to peel for not very much orange or good orange even. The other’s have made up for their short comings though, I forgive them. All in all it seemed like a pretty uneventful 200th anniversary of the country.
We ended up going out, a few of us to Cauquenes, the main city and going to a party there. It was put on by the fire department and was really big. Drinks, food, a band and a dance floor, the whole ordeal.
The next day I ended up making empanadas for a long time. It was entertaining to watch everyone make them and laugh and have fun together, and I got to be part of it for some of it, when I understood what was happening. Towards the end of making empanadas I got an idea, desert empanadas. I ended up making 8 or 9 apple empanadas, basically small apple pies, even though I was missing some stuff I would have liked to have. They turned out really well and tasted delicious. I think they were a hit, but who knows, they might now have actually liked them. Maybe they’ll let me make them again.
After the empanada extravaganza I went back to Pellehue, the town along the coast with my cousin and her family to their house. This part of the beach was amazing, probably the prettiest beach I have ever been too. Their house had been hit by the tsunami, but it was pretty much back to normal, I could see where they repaired with new wood. There was even a salt water stain on one of the beds where water had broken the window and gotten in. The crazy thing is that the house is probably 50 or 60 feet higher than the water on a cliff, big tsunami.
My cousin and I walked the beach, stood on some rocks, climbed some rocks, and then climbed a huge rock and watched the sunset over the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful beach. It was incredible, I don’t think I’ve seen very many sunsets like it, and for sure not from the kind of place I was watching it from. I took tons of pictures and a few videos. After sunset we went back to the house and had dinner with my uncle’s family. Crab, muscles or different kinds, and clams. Plus sausage and potatoes. It was all delicious in the process, but afterwards I didn’t feel so good. I’m not sure what, but something made me sick for the rest of the night, though it was completely worth it for the food. We hung around for a while longer, had some delicious dessert pastries and left. Got back and went to sleep.
Today, the last day there I went into Cauquenes to spend time with Jessye again. We wandered the city some and ate lunch with her family. There was still a fair from the 18th so we went and played some games and wandered around. Not a very exciting day, but it was still nice to see Jessye again. Then back to Los Angeles, another six person car ride in the jeep, cold cramped, and long. Back now with no water yet or internet, I’m guessing they’ll turn that on. I’m exhausted from the weekend and need sleep before I get up again tomorrow.