Hello Blog Readers!

So I’m writing on my new setup of my Acer tablet along with the Bluetooth keyboard which will likely be my laptop replacement once I get fully used to using it on a regular basis. I’m writing from the stairwell of Camila’s family house while listening to SBTRKT and getting used to the workflow of writing on a tablet (for example, that writing in Google Docs (now Google Drive) is much better than using the clunky interface of WordPress to craft my entries.)

I’m having a great, relaxed time on the trip so far and everything is just as I had left it a year and a half ago. ¬†Camila’s family is just as charming as ever and Santiago has its same charm and faults as before. We have spent a good amount of time just Camila and I relaxing, although we’re still making an effort to get out and be social. So, I arrived on Monday morning after the standard 12 + hour flight through Dallas (including a delay for storms in Dallas as well as a long wait for the baggage after getting off the plane in Santiago). Camila was waiting for me at the gate for over 2 hours and I was amazed at how she wasn’t irritated or angry at the long wait. While I was waiting for my baggage I was able to call her using a Chilean cell phone I borrowed from a girl named Coni who had recently married Sebastian – this young couple was my first non-Cami test of my Chilean spanish since arriving and it felt great to shake off the ol’ lingual dust and get my Espanol on.

One wonderful thing Camila had done while I was away was to save one of each item she had baked in the last two months and froze them all for me. So when i arrived I had a gorgeous plate of about 10 different home-made desserts as well as three different artesenal beers that she had bought for me on various trips (southern Chile, Columbia, etc). That welcome gift was greatly appreciated after the airport delays, the long night and the mediocre airplane fare.

Besides doing lots of lounging and cuddling, etc we have gone out to a birthday party (last night, for her friend also named Cami), walked various times throughout the Reina neighborhood, explored Barrio Brasil (a former cultural and governmental hub that is now a neighborhood in somewhat poor repose), saw a Museo para la Memoria (torture memory museum), a global photography exhibition, eaten Patagonia food on a romantic dinner in el Barrio Lastarria, taken a tour of Camila’s law school campus in downtown (which I had been to before, but it was nice to walk around and see who we could find), visited with one of her grandmother’s who is temporarily bed-ridden while she awaits back surgery (she’s a WONDERFUL woman), and also invited her cousin Nacho and his girlfriend Maria Jesus over for home-made pizza. Wow, now that I write it all out it seems like much more than if has felt like, hehe.

For our future plans, we have a long hike tomorrow through a nearby park that extends up into the mountains with one of Camila’s girlfriends, then an “once” {ohn-say} with Camila’s other grandmother, watching a Chilean socer game with Camila’s brother Andres and dad Alfonso, a three day trip out to a beachside apartment of Camila’s aunts, as well as other social events that I am likely forgetting since there are so many.

Hmmm, what else to write – the weather has been beautiful during my time here and just on Wednesday of this week the city broke a record for the high temperature during that particular winter day. It hit 28C which is 82 F according to Camila’s precise mental calculations. Because of that it has been great to walk outside, take pictures and take in the sunshine. The one downside is that without any rain the urban air pollution has the tendency to accumulate into a dense, brown fog that is very visible, and can be felt while breathing in the centro.

(Update: 7/21 – Just uploaded pictures to the post after getting back from a hike in Parque Mahuida near Cami’s house; you can check out the Facebook album for the comments.)

Cheers, saludos y abrazos de Santiago!
Ian

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