Sailing + Crayfish = AWESOME

So this past weekend we (Fredrik and I) went sailing with a fab crew and one of my favorite badass couples : Andrew and Gurly (Yes, I really do like you guys that much).

Our sailing adventure started off on Friday evening and continued until Sunday evening.

Here are some of the BEST moments with photos of course.

1. It was cold. Andrew wore a furry hat.

Andrew is gangsta

2. We did have beer. 3. Fredrik. Love the look.

4. We made crayfish party hats.

5. They did the ‘lets intertwine arms and drink beer thing”

6. We ate crayfish. It was good.

7.  Mattias made the best hat. I wish I had his skills.

8. We sailed back to Stockholm.

9. We were ‘kinda’ close to a big ship.

10. Alright, not that close. But it was exciting.

11. Hi Autumn!

As you can see- it was fun, adventurous, and really cold. No more sailing for this year- but I can say that I’m excited about next year. Yes- even with 4 layers of clothing.

……Here’s a new (new as in new to me) band I’ve gotten a bit obsessed with.

ForRealNotPretend

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Same, Same- but Different.

Same Same- But Different.

First scene when getting out of the Airport at Ho Chi Minh City- Hello millions of people…. (a recurring theme throughout the trip…)

My first thought – ‘ How the hell are we going to find Ida and Matt?’ — Well, thankfully we did, and so our 2 week trip begins:

We spent a couple days in Ho Chi Minh- eating crabs on the street, drinking beer while sitting in miniature plastic chairs, and getting fitted for some tailored clothes before heading off to Phu Quoc via Vietnam Airlines (surprisingly good).

Phu Quoc is an island that is part of Vietnam but lies in Cambodian waters. It’s gorgeous. We spent 5 days here- exploring different beaches, going snorkeling, eating sea urchin and celebrating the Lunar New Year with fireworks- the year of the Cat (in Vietnam).

After Phu Quoc we headed back to Ho Chi Minh and explored the city a bit more as well as the Cu Chi Tunnels (where the US was defeated during the Vietnam War) before leaving for a 2-day excursion through the Mekong Delta.

Day 1 of the Mekong Delta involved lots of jumping on and off boats, a bee farm, local food, and a homestay- the best part.

Our homestay started with 4 Vietnamese men picking us up on motorbikes. Me and my driver lost everyone after about 5 minutes- so I got a bit nervous considering I had no idea where we were, I didn’t understand a thing this guy is saying, we are in the middle of nowhere, it was pitch black outside, and well- we were driving on these tiny back roads…  besides all that- It was so fun- and after about 30 mins we stopped at this gorgeous place right on the river and everyone is waiting for me. Hey- its not my fault I had the slowest motorbike.

At the homestay we spent 1 night hanging out with some Kiwi’s that were very chill, and had the funniest kids, as well as drinking beers with the guy who runs the homestay and his neighbors, playing guitar, and in the morning taking another boat ride down the Mekong to a floating market- and some more tours of the area (The trip was well worth the homestay- but after 2 days with 30 other tourists- well we were a bit sick of following our tour guide around and listening to him talk about rice, coconuts and other stuff- tip: Do it solo).

Our last 2 days were spent back in Ho Chi Minh– doing some last minute shopping (obviously)- where lots of lotus lamps were purchased as well as some colorful clothing.

All in all- Vietnam was wonderful. The people were so friendly and always willing to help out (even if we didn’t understand them- and I decided to speak Spanish with them- for some reason this made more sense than say English. I don’t know. ). The food was good and always interesting, although it all tastes very similar. I also really liked Vietnam because it is not as exploited as say- Thailand, but it probably will be soon.

Take home message: Go there. Eat Hot Pot. And Buy some sweet lotus lamps. Well worth the 10 bucks

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Now back to some ‘Thesis work’. Muacks! xxx

Floripa! Oh my!

Brazil. You are gorgeous.

So this last week I spent in Florianópolis, Brazil with my study buddy Daniel. Although the weather was so so (it rained a bit), Floripa was fab. I spent a lot of time on the beach making new friends with all the stray dogs (they loved me). We went white water rafting- and our guide was from Chile- so naturally awesome. And of course- we had to make some pepparkakor (gingerbread) for Christmas- which I spent with some interesting construction worker friends of Daniel (haha check the pics).

Also in Brazil I tried some new food:

Acai- frozen berries that are ground up with ice and served with granola and your choice of strawberries, bananas etc. SO Good. Super healthy.

Caldo de Cana- freshly pressed sugar cane juice!

Pão de Queijo- literally Brazilian cheese bread. Mmmm!

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But after a week it was time to head back to Chile. I have about 2 more weeks left, which means a lot of work, but also alot of play! Two of my amazing friends are here visitng me and we are spending New Years in Valpo— although off to a bit of a rocky start in Santiago (we lost our keys to the apartment and well-lets just say we figured out we aren’t 18 anymore), however, we made it!

Happy New Years! Nos vemos en 2011! xoxoxo

Peace out Santiago- ¡¡¡HOLA Fishermen and the Coast!!!

‘Ello Loves.

So now its officially SPRING (Summer in my mind). Aka 25 degrees and SUNNY. Did I mention I get to hang out on the Coast for the next 6 weeks. Yes- Life is FAB. I had a great week/ weekend. Finished my Survey (after many revisions by Stefan and Juan Carlos Castilla). This past weekend I went to Viña del Mar or more specifically Reñaca. The weather was fantastic and so was the beach. AND Sushi. OMG- they wrap it in palta. Could I have been happier? Nope. (Check the pics) ….I also went to a friend of a friend’s birthday party, Valpo, walked on the Dunes (awesome), and basically just hung out.

Then back to Santiago for a day at the Barrio Bellavista- my new fav. place in Santiago. Lots of great bars, restaurants, and little shops, after that off the zoo (yes – it was not that bad) and then to La Casa en el Aire (you get somewhat of a weird communist vibe here) with live music and beer. All in all- great weekend. I’m falling in love with Chile.

Tonight I leave for El Quisco. My first interviews start tomorrow…. eek. I’m quite nervous but it should be alright. I have help and the people are pretty nice. However, I’ve got to interview at least 85% of the members- this means pulling out all the Swedish/American (which is better?)  charm I can muster. Wish me luck!

Besitos!

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Nun or Julia Roberts in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’?

So this past week and weekend have been quite busy. I fine-polished my survey and am now working on translating it to Spanish (yikes it’s hard- but I have help). I went to a Feria- aka Farmer’s Market with my ‘family’ -where you can buy all types of vegetables, fruit, fish, rip off DVDs, etc. Afterwards we went  to the Mall (yes they have those here and they are HUGE— very American and so on…blah). We stopped in the ‘Home and Garden’ section- Karen L-O-V-E-S plants, gardens, trees, and can spend a good time deciding on what kind of plant she wants (this took a good 45 minutes) :), afterwards some general ‘shopping’ but this lasted about 30 minutes before everyone got fed up and hungry.

Picking up on that food note. Food here is fantastic ( at home and at friends at least).  I’ve been introduced to so many new things that  I love, and my love for avocados continues to grow and grow (I think I  eat one per day or at least every other day).

Deliciousness:

1. Chirimoya ( a fruit that looks kinda of like an avocado but with tons of seeds, it’s much bigger and well, it’s a fruit) you eat this with orange juice in a bowl. It’s good- Mark Twain even called it ‘the most delicious fruit known to man’ (yes I googled).

2. Avocado (Palta)  filled with tuna. (Did I mention I love Palta?). Just a fantastic combo that spices up things. ( Also palta on toast for breakfast has become a recent fav.)

3. Beets. You are probably thinking- ‘ Beets?, Emma? Really?’- well yes. Here they don’t have an association with ‘Thanksgiving’ or ‘ Pyttipanna’- you eat them in salad and I just think they make everything taste so much better.

4. Fresh fish- yes- Fresh fish does exist in Sweden and the USA but I am also working with these Caletas and I feel that there is a difference having fish cleaned and prepared infront of you (and outside) and then going home and cooking it. Mmmm or Mums!

5. Pisco sour. A type of brandy called Pisco, with sugar and lemon or lime juice. Or Piscola aka pisco and cola. Oh la la. This you can buy at any bar and it even comes pre-mixed with different tastes such as Mango.

In general I feel that I’m turning into Julia Roberts or ‘Liz’ in ‘ Eat, Pray, Love’ because I eat everything (don’t worry yoga and walking everywhere is saving me)… and everything is so good. Well either Julia Roberts or a Nun…

So as I said before, I’m learning how to knit. And to my surprise, and Grandma’s I’m actually good at it. I’m almost done with my hat- which is purple and teal (lovely colours) and I’ll be posting pictures when I’m finished. (ps get your orders in now for Christmas- I may be able to make you something- say  a scarf, or hat, or hmmm gloves?). Besides the knitting, I listen to classical music and opera alot because well- Sergio blasts it in the apartment so thus it’s a bit hard to avoid. So instead of going out every night (don’t worry I do somtimes..)- I knit, do yoga, and listen to opera – I’m not sure  ‘nun’ is the correct word- more like ‘modern-day hermit’ or something…ideas?

And yes- I went out. Saturday I met up with some friends- drank pisco sour and ron y coke. Then on to a club aka ‘underground bar’ with fun music and drinks. I got home around 5:30. Super bueno, however Sunday I spent sleeping a lot, and then I went with my ‘family’ to see ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (hence the mention- still fresh in my mind), and something else interesting (obviously food related)- popcorn(in the movie theaters) is covered with sugar here- not salt and butter.

Until next week. Besitos!

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Vino, Dominos, Knitting- Not Necessarily in that Order…

So now its October in Chile— this usually means warmer weather and sun. However, this October has been anything but… it has been colder than usual and its been raining. So instead of feeling that I’m in Santiago and it’s SPRING, it feels like I’m in Stockholm  (or Pennsylvania) and it’s FALL. Not Okay.  But besides the ‘not so fantastic’ weather, Chile is getting better and better.

This past week I’ve spent finishing up a questionnaire I’ll be using in the field, which hopefully, in about a week or two, I’ll  actually start doing the real ‘research’.  For those of you who need a little bit of an update or refresher for what I’m actually doing in Chile, here ya go:

I’m  here to research/understand how these fishing organizations, Caletas (check the pictures), actually work internally.I’ll be using an approach called Social Network Analysis (in one part of the study)- this simply means I’ll be trying to understand different networks within these organizations. Networks based on communication on the Caleta level (issues, problems etc), Ecological Knowledge between members (what they know about the resource), Trust (who do you  go to if you have a problem) and lastly Occupation Dependency- ( who you depend on or does someone depend on you for things…gears, boats, supplies etc)…. and from these networks key individuals will become more apparent.

Another part of the study (also part of the questionnaire) involves asking members about satisfaction, attitudes, perceptions &  views about the Caleta, and rules &  sanctions. All of which somehow tie into the idea of Social Captial. Social Capital involves aspects of trust, rules and sanctions, and connectedness within groups. This idea is found to help organizations coordinate and cooperate to a common mutual goal or benefit.  Thus I will also be evaluating and understanding these perspectives within the Caletas.

Lastly,  I will go back and interview these key individuals which may be formal leaders such as presidents or vice-presidents of these organizations or they may also be informal leaders- or people that members go to or trust with different issues. And speak to them more specifically on their views, ideals, and goals for the Caleta as well as other things (still working on the details… ).

I hope that makes a bit more sense 🙂   Its a lot of work, but I am learning a TON!

This weekend I spent celebrating a friends birthday, and then going to El Quisco with my ‘family’ aka Karen, Sergio, Grandma, and Stefan’s family–where I drank wine, learned how to play dominos and pokemon, ate fish eggs with butter, learned how to knit (well knit and pearl stitch– I’ve actually started on a hat!), and read. Overall a pretty great weekend, even if the weather was so so.

Besos!

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