Monday, July 26, 2010

Dogs in Coats, Terremotos & FUN-iculars

It's crazy to think that I've been here nearly two weeks.  Time feels like it is rushing by but at the same time I've been here for a long time.  I'm scrambling to fill my time with everything I want to see in this city since we are in back to back trainings.  Orientation/training ends later this week and soon I'll be shipped off somewhere in the 5th region, Valparaiso, to begin teaching - location TBD.  Yes it's that random.  Oddly, I now feel more comfortable in big cities and the thought of being placed in the campo (aka rural rural) makes me pretty nervous.  I just have to keep reminding myself it's all part of the adventure.

So while I've been here in this smog-fest yet modern city (everyone says Santiago is not Chile so don't want to get too comfy), here are a few more interesting things I've come across and seen since I've been here...

Stray Dogs in Coats rule the streets.  They are everywhere and extremely friendly and tame.  It's not unusual to have a little friend follow you while cruising around the streets.  They are actually quite tame, well fed and A-dorable.  I kept seeing the little guys in coats and finally was told by a Chilean that people feel bad for the dogs and buy/put coats on them.  In my head,  I've adopted 10 of them so don't be surprised if you all get dogs wearing fleece jackets for Christmas.
Perro y Amigo
Perro Wearing A Superman Jacket

Rock You Like a Terremoto (Not the Natural Disaster Kind). The Terremoto is a scary, genius concoction of pure red wine and pinneapple ice cream.  As the Hurricane is to NOLA, the Terremoto is one of Chile's signature drinks or perhaps a way to laugh at gringos that dare to try it.  It's extremely potent and more than one is probably not a good idea.  So of course I had to try it.  Our Spanish teacher, Profe Arvanik, took us all out to a fantastic, local spot and introduced us to this drink, as well as what I can only describe as a hybrid of chili cheese fries and nachos - with a fried egg thrown on top for good measure.  The Chilean diet consists of everything you outwardly condemn but secretly love.  Trying to fit into my pants for the next five months will be a huge challenge.  Although it's fun to try, I'm constantly craving fresh veggies sin mayonesa (a treasured Chilean condiment on EVERYTHING).

The Terremoto

Taking it all in Atop San Cristobal.  A 72 foot Virgin Mary statue guards the city atop Cerro San Cristobal.  This hill overlooks the city and offers specatular views of both the city and Andes.  Tourists and locals flock to this spot when it's warm and the smog is low.  It's about an hour trek up to the top or you can take a funicular (like the Angel Flight in Los Angeles).  I chose option B after feeling the aftereffects of too much dancing and Ron & Cokas (Rum & Cokes) from the night before.   It was extremely peaceful, especially catching the gorgeous sunset.
Going up the funicular

Atop Cerro San Cristobal

View from the top
Cerro San Cristobal's Virgin Mary
One Last View


  1. I am totally following your travels Jen, love the pics! Nice work on the adventure too, way to go for it! xo

  2. Can you get a jacket like that for Mar-man?

  3. That was great! The dogs, the drink, the food... fun stuff. I found another blog about the Chilean dogs, as well: