Mel in Chile: Missing Richmond

Here it is!

I cannot accurately chronicle my time abroad if it didn’t include a post about how I am starting to miss Richmond. This also comes a couple of days after I decided that I would will go back to Richmond in lieu of another semester abroad.

Maybe the blog about missing UR and being excited to come back and the nostalgia that starts to hit me, would be more romantic or fitting if it were my last blog. But I will break with tradition here and talk about how I miss the red brick and grassy heaven that is the University of Richmond only a month and a week into my program.

Evidently, I am not the only one who feels this way. Our program director walked in today and said “Look, I imagine the month long excitement of being in a different country has waned by now. I know you all want to eat hamburgers again and are getting tired of eating so much bread (NEVER!). But this will pass. I promise it doesn’t last.”

After the one-month mark, I get the feeling the excitement of being abroad turns into a routine of waking up, having class during the day, hanging around a bit before going home, and finally coming in for dinner at 8 pm. After this, I start with homework/skype/reading news/reading things that don’t matter/answering emails until all this culminates into a trip downstairs for some pan con aji pebre (bread with the best spicy salsa concoction to ever be put on the market). I will be bringing 5 bottles of aji pebre upon my return to the states. This will probably last me a month or so and then I will suffer through a withdrawal phase. I could write an entire blog post about aji pebre.

The title of this post is “missing Richmond” and before I wrote the main body, I thought I was going to write about how much I missed Richmond, what I missed about it, and how I am so excited to come back.

All of this is certainly true, and I was going to write about it all without being too “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” –ish

But then I decided not too. I will be back in Richmond and “have” all of what I miss in a couple of months.

So instead, I decided to write some things I love about living in Chile.

Pebre

Aji

Aji Pebre

How it is socially acceptable to eat a copious amount of bread

The movements for social progress

The people who perform in front of rows of cars stopped at red lights

The hot dog with fried potato chips around it

THE HOME MADE ALFAJORES BY THE LA MONEDA STATION (I can never buy just one)

The colorful stones the country has

The friendly Chileans

Chilenismos (Spanish words used exclusively by Chileans)

The Human Rights Museum

The National Library I go to study in every day after school

My walk to the university

The Andes.

The Andes.

The Andes.

San Pedro de Atacama

That good pizza place I went to on Tuesday after visiting Pablo Neruda’s house

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda’s houses

Especially the one in Isla Negra

$2 Yoga classes at the studio close to my house

My host family

The delicious meals they cook
But most of all, I love sitting in the kitchen at 1 in the morning, when everyone is asleep, doing my homework while listening to a radio station that plays old Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French classic songs, with the volume super low.

The kitchen at night is my favorite place in all of Chile.

The list could be long enough to circle around the equator at least 13 times.

But nobody has time to read that!

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One of the most memorable days in Santiago! Neal, a UR student studying in Valparaiso, Chile, came to visit me for the day. We stopped for dinner at my favorite bar/restaurant “The Clinic”

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This view is from Pablo Neruda’s house in Isla Negra. I can definitely see what he loved about the place!

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Picture from a section of the Museum of Memorial and Human Rights in Santiago. This is a museum dedicated to the 17 years of dictatorship (1973-1989/1990) in Chilean history

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This is the porch in my Chilean house. Now that summer is coming, it makes for a lovely place to spend a Saturday morning. We will start to have many barbecues here as well!

Hasta la próxima (until next time!) 🙂

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