Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grab bag!

Dearest ones,

Well, I'm fresh out of profound topics to discuss with you all, so this week is going to be a free for all of anecdotes! Enjoy!

Language faux pas of the week: A few days ago, the lightbulb burned out in the bathroom. I thought I knew how to communicate this so I marched up to my host brother and said confidently: "El bombero se quemo!" There was an awkward pause and he looked at me in a confused and concerned manner. Turns out the word for lightbulb is "bombilla"..."bombero" means firefighter. Hopefully I haven't spoken a bad omen.

Strange food of the week: Kentucky Fried Chicken. I kid you not, also lovingly referred to as KFC here. My host family had a cornacopia of coupons and decided sunday was the day to indulge cheap and fried flavors of fast food. (Naturally I abstained) Yet I was surprised to find that the food was neither cheap nor fast; a box of chicken, sauces and empanadas (instead of french fries) cost close to $10 and instead of going through the drive-thru, my host brothers called the restaurant on the phone and FIFTY minutes later, the doorbell rang with their delivery. I will say though that the appearance and smell of the food didn't fail to impress and disgust; a nice reminder of home?

News of the week: A few weeks ago, a mine collapsed in a northern region of Chile, trapping 33 miners deep underground without a means of communication. Sunday, after 17 days of being underground with limited provisions, a note was received which read "estamos bien en el refugio, los 33 (We are fine in the shelter, the 33)". Amazing. My family and other host families spent much of the day glued to the television, celebrating and talking about this incredible event. There were literally celebrations in the streets. Even days later, people are still talking enthusiastically about the event. Yet not one person I have met knows these men or their families personally. But it seems they all feel a strong connection to their suffering, a compassion not only for them as people, but as Chileans. I have pondered the reasons for the strength of their reaction but I also find myself wondering why I'm pondering it. Perhaps because there have been several collapsed mines in the US in my lifetime and I've never spent the day flipping between news broadcasts hoping for an update.

Shout out goes to Catie Gainor and her cleanse! Don't be concerned that there is an excess of junk food in the world because you aren't eating any this week; in the last day and a half I have achieved a record high sugar consumption. Seriously, I've eaten cookies, the equivalent of a donut and roughly the third of some sort of delightful lemon meringue cake. Keep on cleansing!




  1. From an out-of-Chile perspective, the news of the disaster, survivor miracle and nationwide celebration has been broadcast internationally and has been on the news regularly in the US the past few days. I remember that when the disaster happened, I read about it in the local newspaper while we were in Santiago. I mentioned it to Pablo and Francisco (Abby's host brothers) but they seemed to, either, not know about it or it didn't mean much as they showed little reaction. Then again, there is the distinct possibility that they didn't understand my broken Spanglish.

  2. I read a TIMES article about the miners literally right before I opened your blog!

  3. CLEANSE OFFICIALLY OVER! SUCCESS! Grand success. Next time we videochat, I will attempt to use words to describe to you the lifechanging flourless chocolate cake I had for dessert tonight. It literally almost brought me to tears. Not even a little bit kidding.

  4. I was supposed to try the KFC when I was in Pakistan because apparently it's better than American KFC... needless to say, I wasn't too interested in finding out what "better than American KFC" meant.