Day 23. Viña del Mar. Chile.

IMG_6459Que tu eres mi puerto magico. Para mi no hay nada mas fantastico que ver tu resplandor. Desde un paseo o un mirador por que eres Valpo, Puerto de mi Amor!

I’ve found a paradise in Valparaiso. I’ve never spoken so much spanish so consistently. Cada vez que voy afuera hablo castellano, y cada vez hablo castellano hablo un poco mas y mas del chilenismo; cachai?

In the past two weeks my highlights have been visiting a vineyard in the Casablanca Valley. Well, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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the little stone pathway

the little stone pathway

I can get used to a view like this everyday

I can get used to a view like this everyday

all this wine is grown and nurtured from this vineyard

all this wine is grown and nurtured from this vineyard

on weekends this dining hall is always full

on weekends this dining hall is always full

it's like a little piece of tuscany met a little piece of southern france and fell in love in chile

it’s like a little piece of tuscany met a little piece of southern france and fell in love in chile

it's barrel time

do a barrel role!

history time

history time

so many barrel roles

so many barrel roles

old school grape collector

old school grape collector

everybody working

everybody working

clutch time

clutch time

all i know is that when i get my own land and grow my own wine, i want to be that guy

all i know is that when i get my own land and grow my own wine, i want to be that guy

squish em!

squish em!

now this is luxury living

now this is luxury living

it was sample time

it was sample time

color coordination

color coordination

with a lasting image that can last life time

with a lasting image that can last life time

This consisted the larger part of my time last week. A week where my work schedule continues to fit into place, a week where my spanish continues to get better, and a week where I met some travelers from across the continent.

Hannah and Baptiste

Hannah and Baptiste

They are traveling across the America’s and will be in Australia next week. My time I spent with them was wonderful. Full of laughter and always a positive attitude I was humbled and inspired by them. Baptiste s from France and Hannah from Oregon. We shared our stories about our travel experiences and our opinions on life and how we reached the point we are who we are today. We talking and talked and talked and ate together, drank a lot of tea, and walked all over Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. They had a great time and so did I. I’ll never forget them and I know our paths will cross once more.

So here are some of the pictures from our day spent in Valparaiso and Viña.

it's sad but there's many dogs on the streets in the cities of chile

it’s sad but there’s many dogs on the streets in the cities of chile

there's a tiny little plaza made entirely of bottlecaps and ceramics

there’s a tiny little plaza made entirely of bottlecaps and ceramics

this is supposed to be who knows but it's an expression of art

this is supposed to be who knows but it’s an expression of art

in case you haven't noticed. art is huge in Valparaiso

in case you haven’t noticed. art is huge in Valparaiso

LIFE IS A POEM, SO WRITE IT IN CAPS

LIFE IS A POEM, SO WRITE IT IN CAPS

she creep'n

she creep’n

ballons!

ballons!

a staircase poem

a staircase poem

many narrow streets of valpo

many narrow streets of Valpo

ceramic tree

ceramic tree

cat on books

cat on books

After being satisfied with Valparaiso we headed out and made our way towards Viña del Mar to enjoy the sights and enjoy the sunset.

muelle vergara

muelle vergara

the beauty can't be more clear

the beauty can’t be more clear

thinking of the future looking into the sea

thinking of the future looking into the sea

lovers would nestle into the rocks all along the coast

lovers would nestle into the rocks all along the coast

just clutch dog thoughts

just clutch dog thoughts

a popular restaurant that was once a boat.

a popular restaurant that was once a boat.

sus ojos brillaban anciosos de paisajes

sus ojos brillaban anciosos de paisajes

el famoso castillo wulff

el famoso castillo wulff

some shady 007 going on back there

some shady 007 going on back there

the last ray of sunlight before the night

the last ray of sunlight before the night

a couple of chumps up to no good on the beach

a couple of chumps up to no good on the beach

a child on the beach grows his mind

a child on the beach grows his mind

From the US, to Italy, Spain, France, and now Chile

From the US, to Italy, Spain, France, and now Chile

So from the comfort of my table I sign off with my latest post. My spanish is increasing, my walking has increased immensely and already I feel a small but honest difference in my weight changing. I look forward to keeping up this habit of eating plenty and walking twice as much.

Saludos desde Chile!

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Living in Viña

the tablethis table will see much writing

At the end of my second wednesday I have started taking classes in castellano, and I have also started working at my internship.

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Incubadora de Negocios

Chrysalis is a company from the PUCV (Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso) that specialize in helping startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs get going. The office is young, modern, and I feel like I am fitting right in as a marketing and audiovisual intern.

my officemy office

I won’t give much details about work because it’s work.

IMG_6227but with a view like you can’t beat it

I moved into an apartment house in Viña del Mar on 10 Norte off of Libertad. It’s extremly close to the beach and the busy and happening area of San Martin.
IMG_6188outside my window

In walking distance from a lot of things. Kids play soccer in the streets, there’s a laundromat right on the corner, there’s also a supermarket around the corner.

IMG_6192This is our little kitchen, it’s adorable and small but it gets the job done.

IMG_6193More accommodations in the kitchen.IMG_6196Outside the kitchen there’s the washing machine and an area to relax at the end of a day.

IMG_6214Further down the street is Paris, no big deal.

IMG_6218So I’ll end this blog with some tea and a little reminder of home.

Chau

First Post from Chile

Me on the ledge

Sitting at my table in my apartment in Viña del Mar.

Last sunday, the 24th (my birthday!) I left the comfort of southern California-home-to come to the country of my mother.

Chile

Valpo BayHell of a vision.

 

Compared to a living room littered with my clothes and shoes and other essentials I had three years ago, I’d say this is quite an improvement in my travel habits.The new way to travel

I had little to no hassle going from airport to plane to airport to plane to airport to plane etc. My trip was going fine until I hit the immigration line in Santiago. So after waiting about 2 and half hours in the wrong line I had to go back and get into another line and wait some more. I had no way to contact my uncle and auntie who were anxiously waiting for me. I had no internet signal, I was truly isolated to the long corridor with hundreds of other outsiders. It wasn’t fun. Needless to say once I finally made it out I left through the doors of the salida and saw a large crowd of strangers. Some had papers and signs, some were taxi services I saw him. My tío Washington.

la familia en Limache

We embraced and drove home. Then I met the rest of the family. I was home.

Every morning was tesito con pan and often times palta, queso, mantequilla and other goodies. But generally bread, tea, and avocados.

desayunoThe really cool part about my uncle’s house…

verduras, frutas, etcNo, it wasn’t all those vegetables…

masnor all these too…but…

El ÑoñoThat’s right. My uncle has a butchery that started from his garage years ago and now is one of the most happening spots in Limache.

otro tioMy uncle Washington can be seen on the very edge of the picture. The other man there is his brother. The two of them smash and run the butchery. I enjoyed visiting them each day and finding out how things were going. Then the grand master taught me a thing about butchery 101.

el_carnicero_washingtonIt was my turn to learn from him. It went well.

El Ñoño carniceriñoI was not as smooth as he was, I thought “Just maybe I’ll be an exception and have the true butcher’s touch” I didn’t.

meat and meBut it didn’t stop me from taking this picture. So my time at their house was spent in peace and in company of a busy family. It was relaxing and inspiring, especially for reading and writing.

en limacheThis was my room, well it actually belonged to a 4 year old little girl named…

la_valentinaSo for a week I got to enjoy the company of Disney Princesses.

princessesStuffed animals.roommates

and a clever bit about education.

educationOnly the educated are free. The education, on the other hand, costs an arm and a leg.”

But the view from the window in that room. The view was unbeatable.

mountains

Yes, those mountains are of the Andes.

But before I had to begin my journey as a student and an intern I had to have a day spent in my future home. So off to Viña and Valpo, my cousins, my cousins’ boyfriend, her daughter, another nephew and me.

en Viña01We arrived in Viña saturday afternoon and drove through most of it. I was amazed at what I saw.

en Viña02

So I’ll stop talking and just insert more photos from Viña.

en Viña03 en Viña04 en Viña05 en Viña06 en Viña07 IMG_6107

Castillo Wulff

We had to get out and see things closer for the eyes and body and see together and experience what there was.

wisdom - keyzyAll along the rocks on this section of Viña del Mar there are writings, bible verses, graffiti, all left behind by someone who wanted to leave something. Before my time here is over, I will write something on a blank rock. What will it say? I’ll show you in 8 months.

smiles are freeThe simple things in life make us the happiest.

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clutch guyOh yea, that guy was taking a serious nap. Smashers gotta sleep too.

Then we headed south towards the end of Viña. There was still plenty of beach oh and a famous clock.

IMG_6123The beach will experience what the locals call the Invasión de los Argentinos in a couple more weeks.

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Pics or it didn’t happen
-and yes weight loss is also a priority on this trip.

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So after Viña the next thing on the list-geographically as well-was Valparaiso.

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They call Valparasio San Panchito which means ‘Little San Francisco’ clearly you can see why. If not, it has to do with hills and lots of them.IMG_6149Now granted these photos were taken from a moving car but as soon as I start working here I’ll be flooding the internets with more pictures of Valpo and Viña and everywhere else.IMG_6151 IMG_6152

What that ledge says is Tu recuerdo no será eterno 
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Castillo Wulff, the famous Castle Wulff was a historic reminder of Chile’s german and swiss connections. Still very present today.

IMG_6164So after a day in the city and by the coast we ended the evening with some Doggis the Chilean fast food version of Wienerschnitzel-and what is famous in Chile is the hotdog completo.IMG_6157

Dangerously ambitious and incredibly Chilean.

So after a hectic meal thanks to two children whose combined age is 9. We were satisfied for the day.

yo con la valeSuper bien!

Me voy a Santiago para escribir el nuevo capitulo de mi vida.

At 2150, 24 November 2013, I will be boarding a flight from Dallas to Santiago Chile where I will go to the country of my mother.

MyselfWith a future brighter than anything I can imagine I go forward knowing that I will become a changed man. I’ve been abroad once and now I am going again. I have the travel disease.

So let’s talk a little bit about that. For those of you who have traveled (extensively) or served for a period abroad as a student, employee, missionary, whatever, you know that at the end of the day if the experience was good or bad you grew as a person. That growth is where the true value of traveling can be measured. It changes the little things about us. It changes how see things, our we approach strangers, our friends, family, loved ones. And it stays with us for the rest of our lives.

Growing up moving around I suppose in a way that prepared me to be able to make such a big decision and not think much of it’s potential consequences but I know that at the end of the tunnel I’ll emerge a different man. The rush I get from having to think on my feet and be on the go before I’ve earned my rest is something I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate. It’s hard to leave one’s land and people but I believe gaining the experience in another country that returning to one’s home will only serve everyone for a better life.

I’ll write more when I feel like it, in the mean time I need to continue preparing my luggage for the next 9 months of my life.

-ciao