Nos Vemos Chile!

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.

Much love,

La Sueca

p.s. Nos Vemos Chile- June perhaps?

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Over and ‘OUT’.

Friends, Amigos, Kompisar…

I’m a bit—- exhausted.

These last couple of weeks have been amazing. I’ve been up and down the coast from Los Molles down to Las Cruces. Here’s a bit of a recap from each place:

Las Cruces–  Although a bit disorganised this place is amazing– and thank god for Elliott- a friend I met through Paulina. Las Cruces is not as developed as the other Caletas I’ve been to…  so Elliot and I had to drive from house to house and track down different members. It was pretty fun, and interesting (standing and yelling ‘Hello’ to a house to see if anyone is home…) to try to find everyone, but in the end it all worked out- 17 interviews! Woop woop!

Montemar– Right in the middle of Reñaca. This Caleta is stationed right under a research centre that is part of the Univeristy of Valparaiso. This is good and well- bad.  The university is expanding and thus building all around this Caleta- there is constant construction and noise- the fishermen don’t seem to enjoy it too much- however the university also does help by bringing resources and hopefully in the future new projects. I really enjoyed being here (I went twice)… and since my friends Paulina and Andres have worked here before it was easy to establish connections and contacts with all the members….

Maitencillo– BY FAR- my favorite place in Chile… thus far. This is the furthest… 3.5 hours… I’ve been from Santiago and probably one of the reasons I liked it so much.  I stayed with a friend of my supervisor- Francisco- his mother rents houses for vacations etc— so obviously- I rented one. Absolutely beautiful- and the beach was just about 2 minutes from the house.  I stayed for the weekend- interviewing for a couple hours the first day with FranciscA- and then she had to go back to Santiago- and I did the rest by myself— 27 in total (I’m a bit proud of myself for that).  The members were so so so friendly, helpful and positive. They truly enjoyed what they did, and felt like part of the community (they have houses right on the beach). The President  is well organized and has established different comissions for different areas from the management area, discipline, social problems etc., and everyone understood the reason for a management area… yay! I spent a good deal of time just hanging out, drinking some wine and eating ceviche (no food poisoning this time) with them. And before I left I went for a walk with my supervisor’s friend  to another beach— check the pictures- there is a house there that is GIGANTIC- and it looks like a Castle.  All in all- great.

Los Molles– Another great place. And also a bit farther from Santiago- about 3.5 hours. Paulina and I went for 1 day and ended up interviewing 17 people. This Caleta is very productive (lots of algae– check the pics) and  like Maitencillo is very well organized. On the way back we decided to hitchhike back to Santiago…. this was interesting. We ended up stopping a pickup-truck – meet our driver- Julius Caesar (I’m not kidding about the name…)… and yes he was going to Santiago- however this also ment a bit of stop in a town called El Melon- where we drank some beer with him, and then about 4 hours later we got safely to Santiago. However, I obviously had to forget my ‘golden’ notebook in this guys car— with all my information, dates, numbers, phone numbers etc., but  thankfully Paulina took his number- so yesterday I met him and got it back. haha. Good one.

Quintay– This Caleta is located about 1.5 hours from Santiago, however down a very very veryyyy windy road (almost got sick). I went with Francisca and Celia- again like Maitencillo and Los Molles- Quintay is very well organized, and has an exceptional president. We ended up interviewing 20 members- during a meeting they were having-  here is how it worked: The president would send out 3 members and we would talk to them, and then they would send out 3 more, etc.,  and this continued until we had talked to everyone. Suuuper fácil.

Algarrobo- 3 days and done! At first a bit difficult to get people to talk to us, but by day 2 and day 3— not a problem. We were also there for a good amount of time just hanging out, helping and watching them bring in a fresh catch of lapa- a benthic resource. Francisca, Celia and I made one bad-ass research team and interviewed about 35 people. (AWESOME).

And well– yes its been a lot of work, but I’ve also managed to hang out with friends and enjoy Chile as well. I’ve met some fantastic people through Martin- my hairdresser- who transformed my hair from- orange,blonde, brunette— to brunette. Thank you.  I’ve been to some new places in Bella Vista (Adri y Ildi— we are going bar hopping)… and last night I went to kickboxing with two friends. Scenario- Me, my friends Thea and Sophie in a class with all guys who do this at least 3 times a week—- here is the place:

The class involved running for about 20 minutes ( I don’t run), and then doing different punches, jabs, kicks, etc with partners (thank god for padding) and well — today my entire body hurts. It was fun, but I think I’ll stick to yoga.

Entonces- its the weekend por fin! —  Out in Santiago tonight and then  spending some time in El Quisco with my ‘family’ before I leave on Monday for Florianópolis, Brazil! Sooo excited.

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Take care and Much love and God Jul, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad! or whatever else fits.