Archive for Category: "chile"
A coastal town known for its colorful murals decoratively painted on walls, sidewalks, lampposts, and anything else, Valparaiso, Chile is a charming, artsy town. My traveling companion and I decided it seemed like a geographic mix of San Diego beaches, the steep San Francisco hills, the Andalucían region of Spain, and a town in northern Israel.
To celebrate the end of my study abroad experience in Valparaíso, Chile, my best friend and I decided to head to the end of the world and try our luck in El Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. We allotted a week and a half to get down there, do the trek and have some wiggle room should anything go wrong.
Staring straight down a 100-foot waterfall, the mist clouding my eyes and my heart pounding to the sound of the water, I’m about to descend down on a thin rope. The phrase, “What did I get myself into?” repeats over and over in my head. Repelling down the cascading falls is the grand finale to my canyoning experience in the Rio Blanco
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wish someone would have told me about life as a female student in Chile before I came here to study for 6 months. Of course everyone warned me about the machismo ideals in Latin America, and fretted over my safety since I’m a ‘tiny, fragile, blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl,’ but what good did that do in preparing me for the reality of what was to come?
Each morning when I greet my students at the classroom door, some give me besos on the cheek and others simply say, “Hello!” They quickly file in and take a seat and as I close the door to walk towards the front of the classroom they all stand up in unison and say: “Good morning, Miss Lauren!”