Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
17Trip End Jul 26, 2009
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We ate almuerzo when we returned. There was chicken nuggets, french fries, and rice. They eat their fries with mayonnaise. I chilled in my room for a while on Friday, had once, and then went out with Oscar, my brother, and several of his friends. We met up with some of his friends at his apartment, went to Cafe Journal to met more people, then went to a dance club called Goose. It was a lot of fun! They can't believe that there are no discotecas (dance clubs) in my city! My brother Pablo says that that will be his new business venture! After dancing, we went to McDonald's. They serve several of their sandwiches topped with palta (avocado). I only had frenchh fries, which taste the same as in the U.S. Needless to say, I got home very late - or early depending on how you look at it.
The next morning, I went with my ISEP group (International Student Exchange Program) to the Estancia del Cuadro (the vineyards in the city of Casablanca, Chile). It is very well known for its fantastic wines! We took a tour of the vineyards and learned a lot about the history of making the first wines in the 19th century. I was able to see the first machinery that they used to separate the grapes from the vines, smash the grapes, ferment the wine (which only takes 15 days), test it, and store it. It was very interesting.
We returned around 6 PM, and Oscar, Papa, picked me and a couple of other up and took us home. The others all live on the same street as my family. Soon after, Pablo, Jenny, and Margarita came home. I sat and talked with them while they ate (I was definitely not hungry for once after all that food at El Cuadro). Pablo, Jenny, and Margarita took me on a tour through more of the hills in Valparaiso. It was a spectacular view at night. Pablo was again my photographer, but I do not have these pictures yet because he used his dad's (Oscar's) camera. I'll ask for them soon
The wind was getting very strong and everyone was getting cold and tired, so we returned home. There I was able to rest for a few minutes before Oscar, mi hermano, arrived home with his daughter Antonia. She is so adorable. I gave her glow stick bracelets, play-doh, and a Winnie the Pooh figure. I'm pretty sure she liked it because she kept running around with the bracelets! She was very shy towards me, but it was to be expected from a 7 year old. She played the Wii (Mario Smash Brothers) with Oscar for a while. Then, Oscar asked if I wanted to go with him for a friend's birthday, so I went with him to his apartment to chill with his friends. I think we were eventually going to go to another discoteca (dance club), but I was getting very tired, so we went home instead
Today, Sunday, June 21, is Father's Day! Happy Father's Day Dad! Sorry I couldn't be home to celebrate with you. I went to church in Viņa del Mar today. It was a very large Catholic church. It was very beautiful and about twice as big as St. Ferdinand Church. While I didn't understand everything, I could follow along by the order of the mass. Afterwards, while I was waiting outside for Oscar, Rodrigo (Oscar's best friend) found me and was waiting for him as well. Rodrigo was headed to Santiago to visit his dad for Father's Day and needed his jacket from Oscar. I was glad I didn't have to wait by myself. It wouldn't have been bad by myself, but it is a big city for me. After Oscar picked me up, we also picked up his grandparents and headed to the house for lunch. Our lunch around 2 PM consisted of wine, steak and onions, corn, fried potatoes, salad, and rice. For dessert, which I didn't need at all after all that food, was canned peaches with whipped cream on top. Everything was very good! After lunch, I watched Antonia play the Wii for a bit and went to my room to write my paper for class tomorrow. I had to write a one page paper on the similarities and differences between Valparaiso and Ferdinand. It was very easy to note the differences, the colorful houses, the huge hills, the dogs everywhere, gas stations here are not self-service, the ascensores, the graffiti, the sea, the seaport, and the list could go on and on
My host family all give their best regards, muchos cariņos (many hugs and kisses), to my family and friends! This coming Friday, Oscar is taking me to another discoteca, that's called Huevo, in Valparaiso. Then on Saturday the family is taking me on a boat ride along the whole side of the beaches. That way I get to see more of the city and the sea! I'm super excited!
Today is the first day of winter here. Brrr - it gets very cold here at night. Hope everyone enjoyed their first day of summer and Father's Day! Enjoy the pictures!