Hey there guys and gals,

I have no idea if anyone still reads this blog, but you know what, I’m going to write nonetheless.

I’m in the dry town of Arica up here at the top of the country of Chile. We explored the harbour today and fed the pelicans and sea lions that were hanging out by the dock. The sea lions are unbelievably fat and pelicans are really weird looking up close, but they both love fish, so it was pretty fun. We saw the Chilean Navy marching along side the United States Navy here in the port today, and I heard my national anthem played by the Chilean military band. I felt very patriotic about the whole thing.

It feels great to be back in Chile and away from the possibility of getting rocks thrown at us as we drive past burning tires, like what happened twice by Ica in Perú. We made it out of Perú without a scratch, and I already miss some parts of the Peruvian life, one of them being the insanely cheap food and lunches that were available (you can get an enormous lunch for $2 just about anywhere in the country.)  We celebrated our arrival with a very Chilean dinner of super big sandwiches and enormous completos followed up by some Escudo. Tasty.

The end of this trip and my time in South America is bitersweet in many ways. We said goodbye to our good friend from our university and travel buddy David as his trip ended today; he’s headed back to Santiago today. I am excited for the next leg of the trip, but at the same time am sad that our vacation has to end so quickly.   I am looking forward to my last couple days in Santiago and seing a few special people there before I leave, but that just means that I have to say even more goodbye’s, some of them forever.  Bitterweet.

It sounds like Salta and northwest Argentina is going to be awesome. Good wine and meat.  There are vineyards, national parks and historic buildings to check out.  I’m not going to be particularly happy to have to put up with the “sha, sha, she, she” Spanish of the Argentinians, but I’ll do my best not to laugh in their faces as they shush their way all over the place. 

Cheers from down here in the southern hemisphere, guys.  I’ll be back before you know it.  I’ve got quite the to do list set out for when I get back home.  Number one on the list is go to Chipotle, so whoever picks me up from the airport is going there with me ASAP.  I’ve got about 20 other things that I want to do when I get back.  One of them is to volunteer at a place where I can use my Spanish so I don’t lose it right away.  Mom, can you organize something through Neighborhood house for me?

Saludos amigos,

Ian J