"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day. And I believe in miracles."
~ Audrey Hepburn


A Retreat and Our Treats

This weekend everybody in the UC study abroad program went to a little retreat in
 Cajon del Maipo, a small ranch just outside of Santiago. The purpose of the retreat was for
the program directors to give us a BUNCH of information about Santiago, the enrollment
process, and all that good stuff! It was also an opportunity for all of us students (from UCs all
over the state) to have a little fun and get to know one another a little better. 



Something I have to talk about is food in Chile. It is very... different than
 what I (and all the other U.S. students for that matter!) am used to. 
Not that is bad -- it fluctuates depending on where you are, like food in any country. 
My host mom, for example, makes great food. 
It is a lot healthier and plainer than I am used to (sooo many fruits and veggies), 
but I think that is a good thing! A typical day of her food is:

breakfast: granola, yogurt, and fruit (melons, usually)
lunch: a sandwich (avocado and beef?) and fruit (mixture)
dinner: some type of meat, potatoes, followed by a salad 
(beets, cabbage & onions with lemon as a dressing),
 dessert: fruit or ice cream (or a combination. The other day she made strawberry sorbet!) 

We haven't been so lucky with food in most places, like during our retreat. 
The food was bland, under or overcooked, and left everybody starving. 
Here are some photos (warning: don't let them fool you. The quality of
my camera just happens to be 100x better than the quality of the food!):

breakfast: (the best thing we ate) bread, angel food cake, and orange juice.
I managed to make it taste yummy by cutting the bread in half, spreading one side with
apricot marmalade, and the other with slices of cheese. Oh and another thing here --
the only kind of coffee they serve is instant. I heard there is a Starbucks, though, so
I am completely stoked! And here is their attempt at scrambled eggs. So. Runny. Ewww.


lunch: salad, meatloaf and potatoes, and canned (!) pineapple for dessert.


dinner: salad, bread & salsa, baby cheese empanadas, and some sort of sausage/bean soup.


We're going to be here for six months, so I'm sure we'll get used to the food.
There are mexican, peruvian (which I heard is amazing!)  and chinese restaurants
(tons of them!) all over Santiago, so I would like to try those soon.
And maybe I will be able to cook a little while I am here?
I think I'd give my host family a heart attack with all the
butter, spices, and sugar that Americans typically eat hahaha.

More on Flickr  ♥


La Vida Chilena

First things first! I flew out of Los Angeles, CA at noon on Monday
and arrived in Santiago, Chile on Tuesday morning, therefore accomplishing goal
#025: Visit another continent.
It has been one HECK of a few days! I have been taking some pictures 
and thought you might like to see how my trip to Chile has gone so far :)

Since my program didn't officially start until today,
 a few friends and I stayed in a hostel last night.


We met soo many people (some from UCSB, some from other UC's,
and even from other countries!) and had so much fun getting to know one another 
and playing with the hostel's pet guinea pig, named Lucy.

 We grabbed lunch at a random café (there are so many here) but we were not at all
satisfied with our meal :( After going home to nap, we resolved to go out later that night,
get ourselves a real dinner, and celebrate our arrival in this city with some drinks! 

We went out to Bella Vista, which is a beautiful area of the city with tons of bars and 
restaurants. We ended up eating at a restaraunt called "Como Agua Para Chocolate"
 (we chose it because it is named after a popular US book! Which is now on my to-read list...). 
At that restaurant I had what I would consider to be one of the best meals EVER. 
We drank Pisco Sours (a popular Chilean drink comprised of brandy & mango juice.
Sounds weird but it is so sweet and soo yummy!) and shared a bottle of wine at the table. 

I didn't bring my camera out, but my friend Lara took a few pictures!


Today I went with the other students in my program to
 La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (which happens to be the university
 I will be attending here) to meet our host families.


I was really nervous to meet my family, but they turned out to be so great!
I am living with a woman named Enriqueta (Keti for short) who totally reminds me of my nana,
 her son Pablo who is an assistant professor at the Universidad de Chile, and two other girls
whom are both studying abroad (one from Illinois and the other from S. Carolina).
I also have my own room, which resembles a college dorm!

While Tuesday was spent mingling with other travelers and, obviously, speaking english,
on Wednesday I spoke almost entirely in spanish. I mess up a lot, but my host family
is very helpful. I can't believe all of the subjects we exhausted! My ability
to communicate in spanish really surprises me! This means I accomplished goal
#046. Have a conversation in Spanish

I spent the day getting to know my new host family,
eating great food that Enriqueta prepared, and walking around the city.
Santiago is HUGE. The narrow cobblestone roads and beautiful architecture
are something you might see in Europe. The graffiti (sometimes beautiful artwork,
other times political rants), the litter, and the neglect of many of the buildings
remind me of something you might see in East LA or Hollywood. And the energy,
the street vendors, and the metropolitan atmosphere are definitely features
that remind me of New York. I happened to notice that there are TONS
of stray dogs in the city. What is weird is they don't bother people at all --
they just go about their own business and wander around, chasing cars. Strange...
Overall, a very intricate city. I am excited to continue exploring!



More on Flickr