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Iquique, Chile

Iquique, Chile

Desert, desolation, pure hot sand as far as you can see...and then you pop over a sand dune and see ocean!  That's what it's like to be travel from Bolivia through the Atacama Desert, to Iquique, a medium-sized port city in northern Chile.  This time I arrived via airplane from Santiago and spent Easter weekend in Iquique. 

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Film Roll: Valparaiso & Viña del Mar

Valpo and Viña, sister towns on the coast near Santiago de Chile, were two great towns to explore.  For less than a $5 bus ticket  I got to the beach and out of the big city.  I know where I'll be most weekends from now on... 

Viña

Viña

Valpo // cats and coffee

Valpo // cats and coffee

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Viña // the town's dogs loved sleeping on the beach

Viña // the town's dogs loved sleeping on the beach

Valpo

Valpo

Viña // pure happiness, eating a fresh-out-of-the-fryer empanada and watching the sunset

Viña // pure happiness, eating a fresh-out-of-the-fryer empanada and watching the sunset

Viña

Viña

one of a billion sunset photos, but this one's mine

one of a billion sunset photos, but this one's mine

An ode to the ocean and my film camera that makes me so happy. 

Santiago de Chile

As beautiful of a city it is and as much as I love speaking Spanish, the transition to living in Santiago de Chile has been rough for me.  I went from volunteering on a farm in rural Bolivia - to living and navigating a city of 7 million people in Chile, a country with an average income triple that of Bolivia.  Taking the Metro, navigating the bus system, and just being immersed in the energy of 7 million human beings has been like constantly leaning on the accelerator pedal: feeling constantly drained.  After a month it's definitely getting better, thanks to wonderful friends, host family, and my parents taking my calls with their never-ending patience and love. Here's to becoming a big city fish sooner than later...

film. taken from Santa Lucia hill in the middle of the city.  beautiful. 

film. taken from Santa Lucia hill in the middle of the city.  beautiful. 

I live with my chilean host family in one of many apartment buildings with a large central park area where families and groups of school kids gather to talk 

I live with my chilean host family in one of many apartment buildings with a large central park area where families and groups of school kids gather to talk 

Skyline of Santiago's business district, affectionately known as "Sanhatten"

Skyline of Santiago's business district, affectionately known as "Sanhatten"

Flowers Outside the Bellas Artes metro stop // nature and concrete

Flowers Outside the Bellas Artes metro stop // nature and concrete

Manquehue metro stop // steel and light

Manquehue metro stop // steel and light

Gustock music festival raising money for the public park // good music and even better veggie pesto ravioli  

Gustock music festival raising money for the public park // good music and even better veggie pesto ravioli  

Camila Moreno performs at Gustock music festival // love the sparkly blue dress

Camila Moreno performs at Gustock music festival // love the sparkly blue dress

"Bienvenidos!  El museo ahora es gratis" (Welcome! The museum is now free) did not apply to the dog who followed us in. He was not welcomed by the museum staff :(

"Bienvenidos!  El museo ahora es gratis" (Welcome! The museum is now free) did not apply to the dog who followed us in. He was not welcomed by the museum staff :(

NuNu's derp face // no animals were harmed in the taking of this photo

NuNu's derp face // no animals were harmed in the taking of this photo

Fruit from the Vega market, known for its cheap, fresh produce. I bought a kilo of strawberries for less than 2 dollars and a small box of huge juicy blackberries for the same amount // nomnom 

Fruit from the Vega market, known for its cheap, fresh produce. I bought a kilo of strawberries for less than 2 dollars and a small box of huge juicy blackberries for the same amount // nomnom 

Shadow of a palm tree on the concrete in Parque Uruguay  

Shadow of a palm tree on the concrete in Parque Uruguay  

Buildings in the older sector of Santiago

Buildings in the older sector of Santiago

More photos to come...semester ends in July.

film. Sunset from a friend's balcony.  

film. Sunset from a friend's balcony.  

From high vantage points it's apparent that the city goes on and on, in layers of buildings and cranes that get blurrier as the distance increases, due to the smog. 

Bolivia, Part 3: Vinto

I spent two weeks at a HelpX farm called Vinto Lindo, located just outside Cochabamba.  It was nice to be out of the hustle-and-bustle of the city and work with my body in the garden, pulling weeds, getting calluses digging post holes, planting fruit trees, harvesting corn by hand, and sharing hour-long lunches with the other volunteers and our host.    

view from the farm

view from the farm

Two teams being led by local farmers in the corn field

Two teams being led by local farmers in the corn field

building with the volunteer kitchen and tool shed

building with the volunteer kitchen and tool shed

garden extension and greenhouse

garden extension and greenhouse

Main garden with lettuce, pole beans, onions, potatoes, strawberries, and squash

Main garden with lettuce, pole beans, onions, potatoes, strawberries, and squash

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I met some people that were very genuine souls: a Tim from France who made a killer Bechamel sauce (used in vegetable lasagna..nom nom), Caitlin from England who had been travelling South America for the past few months, and Anneliese from Canada who did advanced-level woodworking and knew a lot about permaculture from WWOOFing in New Zealand.

Tim playing his violin

Tim playing his violin

famous vegetable lasagna with Bechamel sauce, my first meal at the farm

famous vegetable lasagna with Bechamel sauce, my first meal at the farm

Caitlin bonded with this little creature who followed us home

Caitlin bonded with this little creature who followed us home

Quinoa plant

Quinoa plant

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Cactus and its fruit,  tuna   

Cactus and its fruit, tuna  

plant outside the volunteers' quarters

plant outside the volunteers' quarters

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The stars at night were gorgeous, a glimpse into the southern hemisphere's night sky

The stars at night were gorgeous, a glimpse into the southern hemisphere's night sky

All in all a satisfying, rewarding, and challenging stay.  To have a look at my first HelpX experience in Costa Rica, click here.  To read Part 4: Carnaval in Oruro, click here.

A Day in the Life of a Cherry Tomato

A lot of cherry tomatoes and some evening inspiration.  And my dog, who was mostly a willing model.  Poor guy sees my camera and just gives up.  <3  My mom has had a garden since I can remember, and this year is especially bountiful.  The Earth is good.

My mother's hard-working hands

"This is not an all-natural beef treat as you led me to believe"

The whole tomato family and some accidentally picked green ones.

Support shelter dog adoption and you too can have a tomato-investigating furry tailed friend.