Santiago, Chile | June 7, 2017 | 7:08PM
This all feels like a dream. The subdued maroons and greys of los edificios in Santiago, the autumn leaves lining the city streets, and the fortuitous Andes mountains peeking out through the smog on the eastern horizon. It just doesn’t feel real sometimes that I am actually here – that I am actually making my life down here for ten weeks.
This weekend, I made my way with a fellow Lobo, Danielle, to the historic La Moneda district of Santiago. La Moneda functions as the Presidential Palace in Chile, but also the site of the famous 1973 military coup against the Chilean government. It was in this building that President Allande took his own life while the military bombed their way through the Palace and would subsequently rule the country for almost two decades. Now, the Palace stands as a beautiful portrait of Chile’s rise back to a democratic nation, free of the Pinoche dictatorship.
We also visited Plaza de Las Armas, which once was the city square of Santiago. Street vendors, musicians, families, and all walks of life in Santiago all spend time in this area. I need to explore it more because I came on a Sunday when all the stores were closed (indicative of the rest of Santiago). However, Danielle and I stopped at a Chilean restaurant. We had chorillanas (a fried egg atop steak atop papas fritas) and Austral (a mild and sweet brew from Patagonia).
I was also happy this week to spend some time with another friend from home, Karlyn. We hung out in the Providencia district, poking our noses into the different bars and dives that can be found on every block in Providencia. I had my first pisco sour (10/10 would recommend) and also had some shwarma. I had not seen Karlyn in almost four years, and it was crazy to run into her in a city thousands of miles away from our own.
It’s hard for me to say how much I loved spending time with someone from home. Going abroad can be nervewracking, but it’s comforting to know that I have someone here that has my back and that I can ask for help when I need it. ¡Muchas gracias, Danielle y Karlyn!
More adventuring to come this weekend. I’ve made friends through work that hope to see and do as much they can this summer, so we’ll be sure to explore together in the short time that we have here.
Thanks to everyone for all of the love and the support you have sent my way in the past week. It has kept me going as I continue my trek in these new tierras.