Friday, January 26, 2007

My first Chilean winter...

on top of "Cerro Santa Lucia" in Santiago, Chile- those mountains are freaking cold!!
*Dennis looks so young! I look so thin! I'm wearing Dennis's coat and the red/maroon "jacket" underneath is pretty much all I brought with me for my first Chilean winter!!!

On one of the forums I belong to, the question was posed "If you could write a book about your host country, what would you write about?"

I'm in the US but I have memories of Chile (I was there for 3 months), and it's a great memory to blog about! (the photo above is us in a Chilean restaurant! starving and weeks before marriage!)

I would definitely write about preparing for my first winter in Chile! My husband told me "bring your winter clothes"- I'm from Southern California and we just wear sweatshirts in the winter so I brough a very light jacket and some ugg boots and that was it! I was sooosososo cold!!! I remember seeing the Andes mountains from Santiago and then going to Los Andes, where his family lives and thinking "I'm so stupid!" There was a Uruguayan soccer team that ended up crashing in the Andes mountains- it was so cold and they were so isolated that they resulted to cannibalism to stay alive! ("Alive" is the movie of their story). I had seen the movie and I knew there was snow in Chile but it didn't connect that I would be freezing! I remember wearing like 3 pairs of socks at night and socks over my hands! And our apartment didn't have heat! just a little stove and a "heating mattress"! What was I thinking!

And just meeting his family- "gringa" is a term of endearment from his family to me (it's offensive to some Americans but I think Chileans don't mean it to be mean)- his mom calls me a "gringita". It was just so fun to talk to them and to live with them. They thought I was german or something (I have some german heritage) because they didn't know any americans and I kept saying "ya" instead of "si". They made fun of my accent and my spanish but I still felt so welcome! We are still close! I remember going with my mother in law to shop for a wedding dress, in this small small town (Los Andes)- we went to a costume rental place so I was trying on wedding dresses in this tiny room full of halloween style costumes!

I might also write about things like his father asking me if I was mormon (I'm not but I'm protestant and that's like equal to mormonism for a strict catholic LOL!) or how we were saving so much money that to go to mcdonalds or pizza hut was a huge treat for us (and it was american food!)


kuri & ping said...

Cute photos! How many times do you get to go to Chile? It sounds like quite a hike to get there. :) I think it's great that you get along with his family.

cindy said...

Erin, you look skinny in those photos! Wahhhhhh !! And beautiful too! :D Hmm.. actually Dennis looked a lil skinny too. Is he? :P

Oh, I noticed you put up the "Funny International Words". LOL. I laughed when I saw that. xD By the way, "Sumandak" is not Malay. It's a "Kadazan" language - an ethnic in Malaysia. :D

Great idea putting those up, Erin. I hope it grows longer so I can learn other International words too! xD

I'm Just Sayin... said...

You could say that *some* of the soccer players resorted to cannibilism and the others were just slow runners! HA!

Sorry - that was bad.