Archive for the ‘Chile’ category

Parapente

October 15, 2010

Em's Launch

Chile Flashback: Parapente Date: August 30, 2009: Iquique is a mecca for parapente (paragliding). The conditions and geography make for primetime parapente conditions year round. Some of the most ideal and consistent parapente conditions in the world. The thermals funnel in off the Pacific up the couple thousand foot coastal escarpment that climbs from the ocean up into the Atacama Desert above Iquique, which is sandwiched between the ocean and the coastal mountains behind it. The takeoff zone is up on the edge of the otherwise bleak Iquique bedroom community of Alto Hospicio. Suburbia Atacama style. The takeoff looks down on the dune system of Cerro Dragon, which backs Iquique, and the city and beaches of Iquique. The Pacific stretches off into the horizon, a field of blue offsetting the Atacama brown. Landings are on the sandy beaches of Iquique or the dunes of Cerro Dragon. Our landing would be on Playa Brava, the closest beach to our house.

Preparation

Kill Bill 3

Em was hesitant to fly at first. But after much deliberation, she decided to go for it. Earlier in the week, I signed Em and I up at Avitours on Baquedano. Avitours contracts out with parapente companies for flights. I signed us up for Sunday at 10:30 a.m. 30,000 Chilean pesos a piece. Our pilots would pick us up at our house. And they did. Our pilots, Jorge and Daniel (if my hazy memory serves me correct), showed up just after 10:30 a.m., and we climbed in their rattly car. They were a jovial pair:

Jorge: “Is this your first time to parapente?”

Us: “Yes.”

Jorge: “Me, too.”

Scoping the take off

My foot over Cerro Dragon

We rattled over to their shop and grabbed all the neccesary gear, as well as our shuttle driver. He would drop us off up in Alto Hospicio, get us launched, and meet us down at our landing spot on Playa Brava. The five of us squeezed in the small car and rattled up the switchbacking road to our Alto Hospicio launch spot. Being a Sunday, the launch spot was kicking with all kinds of parapente action. One of the first things we saw was a solo pilot take off and just as quickly plunge down out of sight towards the road below. Everyone ran to the edge to see if they could see his fate. Luckily, it did not end on the road on the front of a semi. He crash landed on the sloped desert above the road, and struggled his way back up the hill with his chute for another go round. Shaken but undettered, he would successfully take off a little later.

Camino

Up, up, and away

Vuelos en parapente

After that death defying excitement, we all got geared up. Em and Jorge would go first. Their running start put them airborne. They dropped a little towards the road, but soon found a thermal and circled up. Free from the ground, they were flying. Daniel and I took off 10 minutes later. I dangled in front of and a little below the pilot. I felt completely safe in his capable hands. We caught thermals and circled higher and higher. Alto Hospicio and the highway soon spread below. We circled and soared, over the dunes of Cerro Dragon, the streets of Iquique, and finally a soft landing on the sands of Playa Brava. We were airborne for just under 30 minutes. It was amazing. I can see why the diehards risk life and limb in their pursuit of flight. Soaring with the wind as your only propulsion is hard to beat. They offered to drive us home, but earthbound once again, our feet were up for some Iquique roaming. We said our goodbyes and strolled off down the beach, our heads still in the clouds.

Calles y Casas

Post flight celebration


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Mamina

October 7, 2010

mudman

Flashback Travel Dates: September 3-5, 2009: Our first month in Iquique was spent getting settled in to our homestay and work lives. We explored Iquique on foot, bus, and colectivo. The marriage of Mario and Kitxi (our host “parents”) was all encompasssing for a week as family and friends descended on the homestead. Lots of socializing and bbqing with the extended family. Em and I tried tandem parapente (paragliding), for which Iquique is a mecca. Someday, I will get to flashback blogs about these momentous events. I did not start Elven Space Helmet until two months into our four months in Chile. A lot went unblogged, but slowly I will try to remedy the Chilean gaps with flashback entries. This will be the first: our trip to the precordillera oasis town of Mamina.

Our ride to and from Mamina

In Iquique, the powers that be, blessed most of us English Open Doors volunteers with 3 day weekends. Our work week was Monday through Thursday, giving us Friday to Sunday to explore northern Chile. Our first several weekends in Iquique were chock full with in town doings (some mentioned above). Our first trip out of town into the wider Tarapaca was our previously blogged about trip to Pica. We were ready to get out of town again and consulted the Lonely Planet for options. We chose Mamina for our second trip out into wider Tarapaca. We judged the regional debate contest on the morning of Thursday (September 3), had some lunch and beers on Baquedano, and then headed downtown to the Mercado Centenario. Around the market is a cluster of transportation services to various locales via bus and colectivos. I had signed up with Taxis Tamarugal a few days prior for two seats to Mamina in their colectivo minibus pictured above. Our colectivo left just after 4 p.m., loaded down with goods and passengers. We were the only gringos. The other passengers, a young couple with a baby, a grandma, and a young girl, were all Aymara heading home to Mamina. It was a tight squeeze. Em ended up with the shotgun seat with me behind her looking towards the back of the colectivo. We climbed out of Iquique into the Atacama. We took a short break in Pozo Almonte before continuing our climb into the pre-cordillera. It was slow going with the loaded colectivo struggling up steep grades. The trip from Iquique to Mamina is only 125km, but it took about 3 hours. It is a long, slow climb in a loaded to the gills colectivo. Mamina sits  around 2,800 meters above sea level, where Iquique sits. We rolled into town in the dark.

Streets of Mamina in the daylight

Our first stop was in the center of town plaza. We were going to disembark here and hoof it to our lodgings at Cerro Morado. But the driver said it was a ways off and a little hard to find in the dark. He had to go that way anyways and would drop us off at the lodge. We were greeted by the proprietress and got settled in and soon headed over to the dining room for dinner. Most of the other residents at the Cerro Morado were miners working at the big copper mine close to Mamina. Buses of miners came to and fro from the mine covering the different shifts. A whole group arrived for dinner as we ate. After dinner, we shot some pool at the outdoor table and chatted with the ladies that ran the dining room before retiring to our room, which featured a TV and a hot spring fed bathtub. The bath left much to be desired (not hot enough!), but the mineral water was relaxing nonetheless. Mamina is famous for its pungent hot springs. One of them, Barros Chinos would be our post breakfast destination on the following morning.

Barros Chinos

Bucket of Mud

The cold night morphed into a warm sun baked day. We headed to Barros Chinos for a “restorative mud treatment”. This would be a first for both of us. With directions from our proprietress, we walked to the  springs at the back of town. We paid our entrance fee, and got tutored on the intricacies of our self applied mud treatment. We were given a bucket of stinky, sulfurous mud and plastered ourselves and each other with it head to toe. After our plastering, we lounged on slatted loungers and let the sun bake the mud hard on our skin. We lounged as the mud dried and cracked on our skin working its magic. This was followed by submersion in the pooled off spring. Impurities peeling off with the mud into the warm water. Relaxed and invigorated we made our way back to the Cerro Morado for lunch.

Hardening

Mud on, Mud off

After lunch, we headed back into town to explore more on foot.  We wound our way around homes clinging to desert hills to the central plaza. At the center of town is Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Rosario. The church is a national historical monument that originally dates from 1632. It has been substantially remodeled over the years. Its unique feature is a twin bell tower, not usually seen in the churches of Andean Chile. Most Andean Chile churches have a single phallic bell tower that is detached from the church itself. We took in the details of the church from the plaza, wandering around it. Unfortunately, we could not get in to see what is inside. It seemed to only open on Sundays and religious holidays. We lounged in the shade of plaza trees before continuing our walkabout around town.

Downtown Mamina

Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Rosario

La pared y la puerta de iglesia

Our walkabout soon got a lot more interesting. We were hailed by a red headed PE teacher, nickname “Cobre”. He was interested in what we were doing in Mamina and anxious to share its attractions and history in rapid fire Spanish. We were catching a good bit of it, and missing a good bit. It was building to a confused crescendo of him finding us a guide, his friend Eric. He bid us to follow, and we did uncertain as to where this was going. We roamed through the narrow streets of the town following Cobre to a door off an alley. He pounded on the door and entered summoning his friend. Eric soon emerged and Cobre bid us a fond farewell, ecstatic that we now had a guide. When in Rome. We chatted with Eric in Spanish and decided on a walking route into a canyon on the edge of town to check out ancient petroglyphs. Eric led and we followed out of town into the desert. We soon headed off road into the desert canyon following a creek. We crisscrossed the creek and were soon staring at a wealth of petroglyphs etched into the rocks. Murky history shining a blurry light through the ages of etched animals and human figures baking in the high desert sun. Eric, a wealth of local knowledge, clued us into local history in patient Spanish. Much understood and much not. But all appreciated.

En el desierto

Animal

Guide

We continued our circuit, climbing out of the canyon past generations for sunset ridgetop views among the cactii. We scrambled up rocks and squeezed through cleaved fissures to the top of the ridge. Cactii lined the ridge looking down canyon on the sun soaked Atacama below. The sun dropped and the pinks and purples moved into dark. Our circuit continued up and over hills before dropping steeply back down to a creek crossing under star soaked skies. Eric led us back into town where our history tour continued on the streets of Mamina. We dropped in at the town market and stocked up on some snacks and beer to enjoy in our room. Eric walked us back to the Cerro Morado, and we tipped him for his excellent 3 hour tour. A tour that was totally unexpected. One of those unbelievable experiences that make the hassles of travel worth it. Personal connections spanning continents, oceans, and mountain ranges. We bid a fond farewell to Eric after exchanging contact info and learning that we are all big Faith No More fans. He was going to see them play in Santiago the next month. Twas the Real Thing. We retired to our room for a relaxing night cap and lukewarm spring fed bath. We were up early the next morning to catch our colectivo back to Iquique. A party was being held at our house to watch the Chile/Venezuela World Cup Qualifier, and we didn’t want to miss that cultural experience in soccer crazed Chile.

Canyon Roaming

Fissure Squeeze

La Noche en el desierto

Adios Mamina

Regresamos a los Estados Unidos

December 3, 2009

Cerro Dragon Despedida

We are back home in the USA. We arrived early Sunday morning after departing Santiago at 10 p.m. on Saturday night (November 28). Our first leg was the Santiago to Atlanta international flight. Our second leg was the domestic flight of Atlanta to Houston, arriving in Houston just after 10 a.m. Central time (three hours behind Chilean time.) My parents met us at the Houston airport. We spent the last 5 days in Tomball readjusting to our (North) American life. I took the GRE on Tuesday. My brain is still recovering. Tomorrow, Friday, we hit the open road west to Yellowstone, where we will be spending the winter working at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. I will be driving snowcoach, and Emily will be working in the ski shop. Soon our transition from southern hemisphere summer to northern hemisphere winter will be complete. We spent our last 4 days in Chile in Santiago and Valparaiso. We had 3 days of Ingles Abre Puertas Closing Ceremony events in Santiago mixed with sightseeing, relaxing, and socializing. On Saturday, before flying out at 10 p.m., we got in a quick day trip to Valparaiso.

Cerro Santa Lucia

Cerro Santa Lucia

Mirador de Cerro Santa Lucia

Our journey home began on Wednesday morning (November 25) at 6 am in Iquique. The night before was spent packing up our Chilean lives until 3 am. The airport transfer arrived at the house 3 hours later. A small van. It already held David, Cushla, and Shirley. Em and I climbed in. Our luggage placed on top. We still had to pick up Ken, Jesse, Lai Nee, and Aaron. 9 passengers and all our 6 or 4 months worth of luggage made for a real tight squeeze. A final half ass farewell from Iquique. The driver placed more luggage up top. I say placed because this is basically what he was doing. There was very little strapping or bungeeing. One green bungee, tow strap, and some hip belts clipped around the rack. We fully expected to lose something on the 25 km trip south of Iquique to the airport. Our expectations were met: first with a dangling pack held on merely by the hip strap. We stopped and the driver “secured” it. Then about half way to the airport, we lost a pack. It went flying off and tumbling down the highway. Luckily, it was not hit or run over by another vehicle, but it bounced end over end down the road. We yelled to the driver. It was Aaron’s pack. The driver ran back to get it off the road with Aaron’s help. The pack cover on it took the brunt of the damage. The pack cover was ripped and torn, but the pack itself looked good. The driver loaded it back up top. We inspected more closely his work. It was not good. Most of the packs were just tetris-ed up there, unstrapped and un-bungeed. The driver did not take kindly to my criticism and fears. He pointed out a little ledge on the back of the rack that was magically holding everything on, including my pack piled on top. He assured me that it was being held on by the other packs and climbed back in the driver’s seat ready to go. I stood dumbfounded, thinking of my sack of bungees I carry when coachdriving. If only I had them now, I could show him a thing or two about bungeeing! But I did not. So we loaded back up and hoped for the best. Amazingly, we lost nothing else on the rest of the trip. We unloaded brisquely and the driver sped off without even a goodbye. He was glad to wash his hands of this group of gringos. Next time, send a bigger transfer or at least one that is equipped with bungees.

Climbing into the future

Torre Mirador de Cerro Santa Lucia

Our Iquique to Santiago flight was uneventful and smooth. An English Opens Doors rep was meeting us at the Santiago airport with transport to the Hostelling International in Barrio Brasil, our home for the next three nights. After gathering our bags, we exited to an array of signs greeting people, but none of them were for us. Fifteen minutes later, we finally found our greeter and headed off to a shuttle bus, but it wasn’t for us. We waited and our shuttle showed up 20 minutes later. On our trip to the hostel, President Michele Bachelet and her entourage roared by us in there autos shooing everyone in their path out of their way. We checked in and settled in our rooms. This time, they set all of the married couples up in our own rooms free of charge, which was a great perk. We had a private bathroom and a TV. We vegged out for a while in the room before heading out for lunch in the Ministry of Education Cafeteria and then taking the Spanish BULATS (Business Testing Language Service) at 4:30 p.m. This was another perk paid for by the program. After the test, Em and I headed out for some sightseeing. We walked to Cerro Santa Lucia. In the 19th century, under the direction of Santiago mayor Benjamin Vicuna MacKenna, the hill was metamorphosed into a beautifully landscaped park. A web of trails and stairways lead you up and around terraced gardens, groves, and 19th century structures to the fortress like Torre Mirador at top. From the Torre Mirador, there are great 360 degree view of Santiago sprawling below on all sides and the Andes to the east.

Plaza de Armas

Adentro de Catedral Metropolitana

After the Torre Mirador, we wound down the back side of Cerro Santa Lucia and out into the streets of Bella Artes. We strolled down to Parque Forestal, a beautiful park along the dingy Mapocho River that runs through Santiago, by the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and on to Plaza de Armas, before heading back to the hostel for dinner and vegging out on some TV in our room. Unfortunately, Em was put down sick later that night with a head cold that had been creeping up on her for a couple days. It finally got the best of her, and put her out of commission for the rest of the night and most of the following day. I was up at 8:30 am the next morning for the days group sessions, but Em stayed home. The first small focus group was worthwhile, with program reps actually listening to and taking note of our concerns with the program. The second large session was not. The Chilean powers that be in the program did not really seem to want to hear the negatives, only drone on about the positives on the defensive. Em was better off in the hostel. Later that night, Em was recuperated enough to make it out for the Closing Ceremony Dinner at the restaurant Buenos Muchachos. It was a good time with some good conversation with some good people. We turned in after a fun night around 2 am.

Pared de iglesia

Old Congress building

Friday morning was our final official Ingles Abre Puertas event, The Closing Ceremonies. It took place at the Universidad de Chile. It started late as to be expected. Speeches were made in English and Spanish, mostly Spanish. Some awards were given. Gifts and diplomas were given to all of us volunteers, 180 plus. The two hours were all viewed through rose tinted glasses. Afterwards, we loaded back up on the buses back to the hostel. Ingles Abre Puertas had officially washed their hands of the 2009 volunteers once we disembarked. Our official duties were over. Our time was now entirely ours. We went up to the room to relax for a while before heading out for some food, coffee, and more Santiago roaming and sightseeing.  That night was spent out in the courtyard of the hostel with the other volunteers for one last night of comraderie. We turned in at 3:30 am.

Faux Terracotta Warriors in La Moneda

Juguetes de los Carabineros

We meant to get up at 6:45 am the next morning to spend the day in Valparaiso before flying out to the US at 10 pm. An alarm clock SNAFU prevented that early hour, but we were up at 8 am thanks to some loud hallway noises. We packed up, stored our bags, ate some breakfast and were out the door at 8:45 am. We walked to the Metro and jumped it to Estacion Central, found the bus station, and headed to Valparaiso for the day. We got a 10:10 am bus to Valparaiso. It is a beautiful hour and a half ride from Santiago to the coast, through the hills of the coastal range. A canopy of verdant green compared to the endless brown of the desert north where we spent the last 4 months. We rolled into Valparaiso at 11:45 a.m. and rendezvoused with a fellow volunteer, Aaron. We roamed the flat section of Valparaiso to Cerro Bellavista. The hills are the draw of Valparaiso. We jumped on Espiritu Santo, one of the funiculars that climbs the abundant hills of Valparaiso, saving people from having to climb up the steep residential streets. Our destination was the house of Pablo Neruda, La Sebastian. The five story nautically themed house is preserved as a museum. The views from the house over the city and sea are beautiful. It is a cool, funky house oozing with Neruda’s character expressed through his passion for collecting and decorating. His study sits on the fifth floor overlooking the beautiful grounds and all of Valparaiso. We roamed back down the steep streets, grabbing an empanada along the way, to the flats and jumped a local bus back to the bus station. We got a 3:45 pm bus back to Santiago. Our trip to Valparaiso was short (4 hours in town) but sweet. I feel I definitely got the flavor of this unique city. In Santiago, we made our way back to the hostel via Metro and foot, grabbed our bags, and jumped a bus to the airport. Bidding a fond farewell to Chile along the way. I will continue to make sense of our experiences in Chile on this blog for months to come. Stay tuned. Chinstrap optional.

Track of Ascensor Espiritu Santo

Casa de Pablo Neruda

Afuera de la ventana de la casa de Pablo Neruda

Calles de Valpo

Caminando con Pablo Neruda

Ultimo Dia en Iquique

November 24, 2009

School good bye. Profesora Lucy, Directora, Gigante de Iquique, Inspectora

It is our last day in Iquique. Things are wrapping up quickly. Most goodbyes have been said. Only the family remains. Yesterday morning, I made my post strike goodbye appearance at my school. After the customary Monday morning group flag raising and singing of the national anthem in the patio, the directora gave a heartfelt farewell speech to me. Then I was called up to the front and presented with a farewell gift and more kind words from the directora. Then I grabbed the mic and made my farewell speech to the assembled crowd and grand applause. Following my speech, I rejoined the crowd and other announcements and proclamations were made before the crowd dispersed to their respective classes. There was a short photo session with the school VIPs. I stayed at school and sat in on the first period English class with 8A. It was being taught by one of the student teachers. At the end of the class I got to say a more personalized goodbye to Octavo A, which was the class that I had the most contact with during my three months of teaching. After class I had a final coffee and bread with the 9:30 Breakfast Club of 7 or 8 teachers that I was a part of during my time at Placido Villaroell. Then a tearful Lucy escorted me to the school entrance, and we said our final goodbye before I walked off into the streets of Iquique and a full day of more goodbyes to people and places that have been our life for the past four months. Tomorrow morning we fly to Santiago for closing ceremonies. We will be there for 3 nights before jumping our plane back to the USA on Saturday night. Muchas gracias por todos Iquique. Chao. Buena Suerte. Buen Viaje.

Packing up our room begins

Punta Cavancha

Chao Iquique.

Time

November 22, 2009

Alejandra Carrera Yentzen, Secretaria Ministerial de Educacion, Region de Tarapaca, le saluda atentamente y tiene el agrado de invitarle a Usted a una cena de despedida de los voluntarios de Programa Ingles Abre Puertas, la que realizara en el Hotel Gavina, el dia Jueves 19 del presente a las 21 horas.

Carrera Yentzen agradecera vuestra prescencia ya que ustedes han sido un pilar fundamental para el desarrollo del programa.

Iquique, Noviembre de 2009

(invitation for Iquique volunteers farewell dinner)

Kitxi and Emily

Thursday was our farewell dinner. The 11 Iquique volunteers, our host parents, and our English teachers were invited to the farewell dinner with the above invitation. The person whose name is prominently dislplayed on the invitation was not there, but I guess she was thinking about us somewhere. The event was held at Hotel Gavina, which sits right on the Iquique coast overlooking the Pacific. The invitation said it would start at 9 pm, but in classic Chilean form it did not start until 10 pm. Ever the punctual gringos, Em and I were ready to roll out of the door at 8:45 pm. Kitxi and Mario knew better. They were still getting ready. Worried that this event might actually start on time (being the stupid gringo that I am), I was chomping at the bit to go. Come 9:10 pm, it looked like Mario was getting ready to go. “Listo?”, I queried. “Casi, casi,” he answered. Ten minutes later we loaded up, arriving at the hotel at just after 9:30 pm. Of course, they were correct in showing up a half hour late. Everyone was standing around in the lobby of the hotel waiting. We joined the waiting crowd and chatted in the lobby for the next half hour. We finally entered the dining room at 10 pm. Right on time an hour late. The delay another mystery chalked up to “Chilean time.” I will not miss Chilean time. The lackadaisacal approach to punctuality is maddening to me. If an official invitation says an event is going to start at 9, then start it at 9! Maybe I am just impatient. Chileans seem to have no problem waiting around for things. I do. Cultural baggage that I just can’t shed. Punctuality means something to me. A lesson hard learned in my lackadaisacal youth. I look forward to bidding a fond farewell to Chileno time.

Emily, Kitxi, Jeff, and Mario

But once the dinner started, it was a good time, seated at a round table with Emily, Mario, Kitxi, my co-teacher Lucy, and Aaron and his entourage. In total there were about 45 people in attendance. Speeches were made and certificates and good bye gifts were given. It ended at midnight. Eight of us volunteers went out for drinks afterwards on Baquedano into the wee hours of the morning. The news of the night was that the strike was over. On Friday, all the public schools were resuming regular schedule. Classic, since Thursday was our last day of work. One month of strike ended on our last day of work. But after talking to Lucy, I decided to go to school on Monday morning to make my formal good bye to students and teachers on the microphone in the patio just after the Monday morning flag raising ceremony. At least I will have some closure and a chance to bid all at Placido Villaroell a fond farewell. I plan to be on time. I won’t hold my breath for the rest.

Round tables

Mid-bite

otra idioma

November 17, 2009

Em and I are taking the online E-blended Spanish Course offered by Ingles Abre Puertas. We are in the basic level. For Chapters 5 and 6, we had a 300 to 500 word writing assignment about a trip we have taken. I wrote about our recent 4 day trip to Pisagua and other Tarapaca places in our rental car. I have already posted about the trip on this blog in English. Here is my juvenile Spanish homework account of the trip followed by a version with corrections from the instructor. Note my grammatical struggles and get out your red pen.

Tarea Ultima para Capítulos 5 & 6: Jeffrey Meyer

La semana pasada mi esposa, Emily, y yo fuimos en el viaje en Tarapacá (Región I). Nosotros arrendamos un auto en Iquique para tres días. Visitamos muchos lugares en Tarapacá. Por ejemplo, visitamos Santa Laura, Humberstone, Pisagua, Gigante de Tarapacá, Pintados, y Pica. La historia de Tarapacá es muy interesante. En el pasado, salitre fue la cosa más importante en la región. Pero ahora cobre es más importante en el norte. Después de salitre, muchas cosas cambiaron en Tarapacá.

Ahora, nadie vive en Humberstone o Santa Laura. Pero, en el pasado ambos lugares fueron muy ocupados con muchas personas. Caminando en los lugares fue muy extraño. No personas estuvieron. Solamente edificios vacíos, maquinas rotas, y el viento y sol del desierto. Sentimos las fantasmas del pasado. Feliz y triste. Bueno y malo. Sentimos similar fantasmas in Pisagua.

Ahora, Pisagua es muy tranquilo. Pero en el pasado Pisagua fue muy ocupado. Primero, Pisagua fue un puerto importante para salitre. Después de, Pisagua fue un prisión político para el gobierno de Pinochet. El gobierno mató muchos prisioneros políticos en Pisagua. Fuimos el cementerio afuera del pueblo. El cementerio es arriba del mar. Un monumento recuerda las gentes muertas. Es un lugar triste. Pero las montanas y el mar son muy hermosos.

Los edificios en Pisagua son muy antiguos. El pueblo es pobre y remoto. Los edificios son rotos. Pescadero es mas importante trabajo en Pisagua. Pero cada ano hay menos y menos mariscos en el mar cerca Pisagua. Es un problema grande para el pueblo. El pasado y el futuro de Pisagua son confundidos. A veces historia es muy difícil.

Después de Pisagua fuimos la tierra de la Batalla de Dolores, una batalla de la Guerra del Pacifico. Mucha sangre pierda en la guerra de Chile contra Perú y Bolivia. La guerra pegó para salitre en 1879-1884. Salitre fue muy importante en la historia del norte.

Antes de la llegada de los hombres de España en Chile, la historia del norte es más misteriosa. En el desierto del norte, hay muy geoglifos. El Gigante de Tarapacá es un geoglifo muy famoso. Es un geoglifo de un hombre gigante en un cerro en el medio del desierto. No saben cuando o por que el Gigante construyó. Es una cosa muy misteriosa y muy interesante. Visitamos el Gigante de Tarapacá después de Pisagua.

Entonces, fuimos Pintados, una zona de más que 300 geoglifos 40 kilómetros sur del pueblo Pozo Amonte en los cerros del desierto. Hay geoglifos de animales, personas, y otras cosas misteriosas. Caminamos abajo los cerros y miramos los geoglifos. Fue muy hermoso. Pensamos sobre la historia de la gente indígena en el pasado de Chile.

Nuestro viaje la próxima semana fue muy divertido. El desierto y el mar del norte son muy bonitos y la historia es increíble. Quiero aprender mas historia de Chile y quiero viajar más en el norte.

480 palabras

Tarea Ultima para Capítulos 5 & 6: (edit) Jeffrey Meyer

La semana pasada mi esposa, Emily, y yo fuimos en el viaje (DE VIAJE A) en Tarapacá (Región I). Nosotros arrendamos un auto en Iquique para (POR) tres días. Visitamos muchos lugares en Tarapacá. Por ejemplo, visitamos Santa Laura, Humberstone, Pisagua, Gigante de Tarapacá, Pintados, y Pica. La historia de Tarapacá es muy interesante. En el pasado, (EL) salitre fue la cosa más importante en la región. Pero ahora (EL) cobre es más importante en el norte. Después de (DEL) salitre, muchas cosas cambiaron en Tarapacá.

Ahora, nadie vive en Humberstone o Santa Laura. Pero, en el pasado ambos lugares fueron muy ocupados con (POR) muchas personas. Caminando en los lugares fue muy extraño. (NO HABIA NINGUNA PERSONA) No personas estuvieron. Solamente edificios vacíos, maquinas rotas, y el viento y sol del desierto. Sentimos las (LOS) fantasmas del pasado. Feliz y triste. Bueno y malo. Sentimos (FANTASMAS SIMILARES EN) similar fantasmas in (EN) Pisagua.

Ahora, Pisagua es muy tranquilo. Pero en el pasado Pisagua fue muy ocupado (HABÍA MUCHO MOVIMIENTO). Primero, Pisagua fue un puerto importante para (EL) salitre. Después de, Pisagua fue un (UNA) prisión político (puedes decir también “CAMPO DE CONCENTRACIÓN”) para (EN/DURANTE) el gobierno de Pinochet. El gobierno mató muchos prisioneros políticos en Pisagua. Fuimos (AL) el cementerio afuera del pueblo. El cementerio es arriba del mar (ESTÁ SOBRE EL MAR). Un monumento recuerda las gentes muertas. Es un lugar triste. Pero las montanas y el mar son muy hermosos.

Los edificios en Pisagua son muy antiguos. El pueblo es pobre y remoto. Los edificios (ESTÁN EN RUINAS) son rotos. Pescadero es mas importante trabajo en Pisagua. Pero cada ano hay menos y menos mariscos en el mar cerca Pisagua. Es un problema grande para el pueblo. El pasado y el futuro de Pisagua son confundidos. A veces historia es muy difícil.

Después de Pisagua fuimos la tierra de la Batalla de Dolores, una batalla de la Guerra del Pacifico. Mucha sangre pierda (PERDIDA) en la guerra de Chile contra Perú y Bolivia. La guerra pegó para ( What do you mean?) salitre en 1879-1884. Salitre fue muy importante en la historia del norte.

Antes de la llegada de los hombres de España en Chile, la historia del norte es más misteriosa. En el desierto del norte, hay muy geoglifos. El Gigante de Tarapacá es un geoglifo muy famoso. Es un geoglifo de un hombre gigante en un cerro en el medio del desierto. No saben cuando o por que el Gigante construyó. Es una cosa muy misteriosa y muy interesante. Visitamos el Gigante de Tarapacá después de Pisagua.

Entonces, fuimos Pintados, una zona de más que 300 geoglifos 40 kilómetros sur del pueblo Pozo Amonte en los cerros del desierto. Hay geoglifos de animales, personas, y otras cosas misteriosas. Caminamos abajo los cerros y miramos los geoglifos. Fue muy hermoso. Pensamos sobre la historia de la gente indígena en el pasado de Chile.

Nuestro viaje la próxima (SEMANA PASADA) semana fue muy divertido. El desierto y el mar del norte son muy bonitos y la historia es increíble. Quiero aprender mas historia de Chile y quiero viajar más en el norte.

480 palabras

Terremoto!

November 13, 2009

We experienced our first earthquake (terremoto, temblor) here in Chile last night just after midnight. Em and I were watching a movie (Sunshine Cleaning Service) on our computer in our room when the rumbling began. Slowly at first it built to a climax. We live on the second floor and it was definitely rocking and swaying, but nothing fell over or collapsed. It seemed to last 20 seconds. The electricity cut out. We grabbed our headlamps and conferred with our upstairs neighbors and everything was fine there. Then we headed downstairs to check things out. Mario and Kitxi were out, and the boys slept through the whole thing. We checked to make sure everything was intact downstairs. It was. No damage, just the electricity was out. The electricity was out for about 40 minutes. We went back to watching our movie on computer battery power. The quake measured 6.5 and triggered no tsunamis. Spurred by the shaking a local marching band hit the streets in the dark. They were probably disappointed when the lights came back on in the middle of their performance. If the house is a rockin’ don’t bother knockin’.

Below is the cut and pasted AP blurb on the quake:

SANTIAGO, Chile — A strong earthquake struck northern Chile early Friday, briefly knocking out power to a city but otherwise causing no major damages, authorities said.

The 6.5-magnitude quake’s epicenter was between the cities of Iquique and Arica, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) from each, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit just after midnight Friday local time (0305 GMT Friday; 10:05 p.m. Thursday EST).

Chile’s National Emergency Office put the quake’s magnitude at 5. It was unclear why the readings were different.

The office said the quake knocked out electricity in the city of Iquique but power was restored in minutes.

The quake had a relatively shallow depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers), according to the USGS.

Powerful earthquakes are common in the South American nation, which stretches along the quake-prone Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

Addendum: After several conversations about the earthquake, it seems there is a distinction between the words terremoto and temblor. Terremoto refers to a severe, disastrous earthquake (maybe over 7 on the Richter Scale) where houses collapse, people die, etc…Temblor refers to a more mild earthquake (under 7) which shakes the earth but does not really cause any damage or disaster. Akin to earthquake vs. trembler in English. But a 6.5 is an earthquake in English! So, I will stick with my more dramatic Terremoto! headline. Besides, I like the sound of that word better. It sounds stronger and vaguely Japanese.