Ahhhh so much to write about…
The last weeks in Chile were absolutely amazing. Partly because I had two great friends from GWU visiting me, and partly because I got to re-visit all the places I’d done my first phase of research at.
So here is a bit of a recap of what we did:
Santiago: Ildi and Adrienne land at 6 am- I had one of my last meeting with my supervisor before starting Phase 2 of research (more on that in a bit)… then I go wake them up and we go on our drinking tour of Santiago. We had some awesome Chilean sushi for lunch (and beer), then headed to get some famous ice cream right by my apartment, then off to Bellavista for wine, met up with my ‘family’ for some more wine and empanadas, and then well lets just say our drinking tour ended at 4 am with us losing our key to the apartment and having to spend the night at a friends (Thanks Henrik!), and none of us felt that fantastic(well– I felt alright) the next day when we had to make our way to Valpo. However, we made it and after a couple hours of sleep and Chorrillenas we were ‘Fit for Fight’ for the upcoming New Years!
New Years 2011- Valpo/ Viña: Can we say — Synchronized Fireworks. Yup they exist. From Valpo down to Concón we viewed fireworks on the roof-top of the apartment we (Me, Ildi, Adri, Henrik, Thea and Martin) rented with lots of other friends and neighbours. It was amazing and a lot of champagne was consumed… We stayed in Viña for a couple more days, spending time in Reñaca on the beach, going to the dunes, eating mariscos, and playing kings (in the middle of a bar).
El Quisco/Algarrobo/ Isla Negra– I obviously had to take my friends to the places to where I’ve spent most of my time outside of Santiago. We hung out on the beach in Algarrobo, met up with Karen in El Quisco for some lemonade, made it to Isla Negra and Pablo Neruda’s house (pretty but not worth the 3 luka for the tour), and I also had time to interview 4 different presidents for phase 2 of my research, while Ildi and Adri spent some time on the beach. Good work girls.
Cajon de Maipo– Hiking in mid-day in 30 (celsius)+ degree weather is not my favourite activity, however, making it up to the top was well worth it. Fernando – our guide , and now good friend, let us stay at his family’s house and we had a BBQ at about midnight after our hike. Mmm good!
In the mix of all this fun, I also had to complete my research. aka Phase Dos. Which meant interviewing the 8 presidents of all the Sindicatos that I’ve been to previously. And well, yes, my spanish has improved, but having in-depth conversations about views, strategies, etc., in Spanish was going to be nearly impossible ( I mean it would be difficult in English and Swedish as well…), but luckily my friend, Paulina, helped me with everything. We made it back to El Quisco, Las Cruces, Algarrobo, Maitencillo, Quintay, Montemar, and Los Molles! The interviews were very interesting and a good way to get a different perspective of how these organizations work.
After finishing my research, I spent the last couple of days in Santiago getting together all my stuff, a wine tour at Concha y Toro with friends, having a final meeting with Stefan, and lastly a lovely birthday party for Thea/ goodbye party for me. Sangria and friends- wonderful combo.
There are also a few things I’m going to miss a lot when back in Europe:
1. Palta. It’s number 1 because there is probably nothing more delicious than avocado on toast (this combination is completely competing with ice cream right now…)
2. Men saying (under their breath) “Que Bonita” or ” Que Hermosa” etc…. It was a nice little ego boost everytime I walked anywhere…( and no- there was no obnoxious whistling actually…. well at least not until I dyed my hair back to blonde… )
3. Guys with long hair. (Not the ‘I haven’t showered or shaven in weeks’ look, more like ‘ I can pull this off and somewhat look like Johnny Depp’ look. Swedish guys need to get on that).
4. Awesome hippie imspired fashion. Colours everywhere. Wearing black all winter is not happening this year.
5. All the AMAZING people I met along the way. You are all missed.
6. The ocean and everything that comes along with it.
7. Good cheap wine.
Now I’m back in Sweden, where it is cold, and dark. Fortunately I have a ton of stuff to do, such as moving back to Stockholm- SÖDER (wooohooooo!!!!) , starting my data analysis, and in about 10 hours going to visit my sister in Vietnam. So although I do miss Chile, being back home is not that bad either.
I’ve also decided to keep up with the blog, but from now on it may be about more things than just research related, but don’t ya worry- I’ll update ya’ll on that as well.
p.s. Nos Vemos Chile- June perhaps?