Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Summer Stories

Here are just a few things that have happened over the summer, more recently, that I figured were good stories or cool events that might be interesting for everyone and that I wanted to remember.
My family and I went out to the camp in Cauquenes for a weekend, mainly to harvest wheat and corn.  Of course there was great home grown food and amazing fruit, fish, crab, the whole shebang, but that was all basically to get ready for the next day, the harvest.  That night though, before the harvest, my uncles, brother, cousins, and dad, and I went hunting.  We got two rabbits and a hare just driving around the camp.  My dad had the gun and is a good shot, no more than 2 on each rabbit.  After hunting the rabbits we took them over to a neighbor’s where the wife gutted them and cleaned them for us.  I left before we could eat them two days later, but next time I hope.  Now, the harvest, I must admit, I didn’t do a ton, but a pretty good amount.  I ended up going off with my little brother and cousins and some other camp kids to a river and back to the camp.  The machine was moved from camp to camp around the area for the day and I work at just the first.  But for about an hour or an hour and a half I lifted 50 kilo bags from the old-time mechanical harvester.  The bales of wheat and corn were tossed onto a conveyor belt and went through what was in essence a cotton gin for other stuff, and the grains came out two tubes on the other side to fill the bags.  And throughout the day we got drinks, from the store, and then some great local drinks that the farmers had made in their house, and food, which was all from the camps that we were helping harvest.  I went back home a few times throughout the day and slept, I finally caught up with all the sleep I had been short and it felt good.  After the harvest was over we went to another neighbor’s house and had some food to eat.  I will never forget this old man, a worn out farmer, bald, red eyed, sitting outside alone with a glass of wine, piscola, or something, drunk beyond belief.  There was obviously something wrong with him and just to look at his bloodshot eyes, crying and hear his blubbering, was depressing.  But after that, we went back to the camp and hung out for a while.  My dad called us outside to watch a thunderstorm in the distance which was beautiful, but the cool thing was that it was around a volcano.  It was too far to really see, but we could see all the flashes of light on the horizon from the lightning, and then really big flashes from the volcano.  The next day it was home.
Just last weekend I went out to Marbello, a community up the hill from a coastal town, Mantencillo.  Alex’s family has a house up there and he had invited me up and I finally had time to go at the very end of his stay.  Their house was right on the edge of the hill and had a perfect view of the ocean and beach.  The house too, amazing.  I couldn’t believe that Alex had been staying there for two weeks, but at least I was getting to stay for a bit.  The second day we had a grill and a bunch of food, all incredible homemade dishes.  There as a eggplant salad of some sort that was a family recipe that they bragged about, with good reason.  Both nights Alex and I went out, the first night we just hung out on the beach and talked and the second night we went to a disco, but no one really showed up so we left.  The walk back to the house was two hours each night with a shortcut up a hill that was less than a foot wide and basically straight up.  If you fell, there was no stopping with a pretty big drop at the end, needless to say, you would be dead or paralyzed.  So we were pretty careful every time we used it.  In general though, there was a beautiful beach over run with people, and a beautiful place to visit, especially with Alex.
Yesterday my dad dragged me to soccer because they didn’t know if they would have enough players.  I had said I would go, but kept thinking and realized, yet again, that I don’t want to play soccer anymore.  So I said if they really didn’t have anyone, I would play.  I ended up playing.  And surprisingly, I had fun, the first time in a long time.  It was just a small field outside LA, and a bunch of guys of all ages came, from my brother and his friends to a guy who had to have been at least 60.  I don’t know what the score was, but I think we won, even though they said the last goal was for it all and they won.  Sorry, but that way of playing pointless.  I never understood the last point wins it all.  The whole point of a somewhat competitive game was destroyed.  If you are playing for pure fun, sure, but this was relatively competitive.  All in all it was good, I would have changed the fact that I got blasted in the leg by someone’s foot and messed up my shin and calf muscles pretty bad for all day today.  But who knows, maybe I will play soccer for the school now this year.
The last story is two days after my brother left I went out again into Santiago with my cousin and her boyfriend.  The one thing I really wanted was to eat the meat wrapped pizza that Seth, Mateja, Jana, and I had seen.  I ended up not getting it, but I’ll be going back soon and I am going to make sure to get it.  Anyways, we went out to see some pretty popular parks, Los Quintos (I think), and Parque Scultura.  The first was under construction in the most famous part and we ended up going to a science museum and wandering around that for a while.  And then when we went to Parque Scultura, it was closed completely.  So, I got a good lunch and a bunch of disappointment.  But at least I know where they are now and can go visit them next time I’m in Santiago.
Quick update on me.  I have been doing awesome, I’ve obviously had a ton to do and keep me occupied.  I’ve started losing some weight and I’m feeling pretty good about that.  School starts, which sucks, in the beginning of March, and a new addition to our Rotary group is arriving on the 15th.  I am probably going to meet here at the airport.  She is going to live with my aunt, uncle, and cousins who lived with me at the beginning, my favorites, and my brother’s favorites.  So, she is really lucky to have a great family and she already knows Spanish pretty darn well from what my family tells me, not to mention French too.   Well, the last few weeks of summer should be crazy.  I am getting together with Rotary students a ton in the next few weeks and I am probably going to see Eliza Hans-Greco who is going to be doing an exchange to a university in Santiago.  I am thinking about it now, and she arrived yesterday, I should get in contact with her and see if she can meet soon.  But, that’s about it, was exciting, kind of boring right now, and should be exciting pretty soon…before school.