So our most recent group day trip brought us to Pomaire, a small pueblo about an hour and a half outside of Santiago where 80% of the population makes ceramics for a living. Not sure if you all could tell but I've been in a bit of a slump the last few weeks, but the combination of fresh air and dirt miraculously brought back the spring in my step! Highlights of the day included:
Not going to lie, I was expecting the whole Disney magical kingdom of pottery schpeel, an inside (superficial) peek at the men behind the magic. Yet I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at a cozy country home where we were served a delightful little breakfast of tea, toast and jam and chilean pastries. Next we took a stroll through town on our way to the "factory" which turned out to be a huge open air shed where they make the ceramics. We got to see the whole process, from the hardened clay they dig out of the ground to making the pot itself. I found the whole thing fascinating; actually, it's possible I was a bit over zealous. The guide had barely finished offering us the chance to make a pot on the potter's wheel when I screamed out "YO!" (ME!) and skipped ahead of everyone else like a school girl. I'm not ashamed of my actions.
However, I sadly report that pottery is not my hidden talent. While on the wheel, I ripped open my pot several times and sanded off part of my pinky finger nail, so I don't think it's in the cards for me. Perhaps next I'll try carpentry?
If you'll all recall, chicha is a delightfully sweet Chilean drink, somewhere between wine and juice. When our guide asked us how we celebrated the bicentenario, we couldn't help but gush over the sweet nectar that is Chilean chicha. She quickly informed us that the best chicha in Pomaire (actually in all of Chile) was located just around the corner from the factory. So we decided to go for a recorrido (a tour, a walk around) to investigate. I was rather dumbfounded when we stopped in front of a house, the guide rang the doorbell and a woman as old as the cerros answered the door. She made the chicha in an annex just off the living room! We were warmly invited inside where we sat on her couch and tasted three different types, all distinct yet each one delectable. The price was roughly $3 for a liter, incredible! When we asked to take it to go, she handed us old plastic Coke and juice bottles filled with the chicha. A bit sketch yet excellent for measuring liters and environmentally friendly!
I've been here for over three months now but the Chilean landscape still doesn't cease to amaze me.
Shout out goes to Megan McLean. Apparently you look exactly like a friend of my host mother's. I'm sorry to say her friend is in her mid 50's, but I think it's because her friend is also a red head, not because you look like you're middle aged. Love you!