It's a well known fact to Chileans that Southern Chile is beautiful. It's not a well known fact to everyone else. But now that I know I'll share it with the world. Southern Chile is incredible!!! I wish I had more time to go into detail, but the pictures will have to suffice for now.
Bike ride in the rain
Penguins on Chiloe Island (which turned out as tiny white dots in the pictures)
My mom came down to visit me en Chile for eight fun-filled days. She served her mission in Concepcion 30 years ago so Spanish is not a problem for her. Glad that makes one of us. It was so good to see her and I enjoyed showing off Vina like a pro (and I also really liked how she was my fall back translator). We traveled down to Southern Chile and I was amazed by the beauty of Region X. Picture this: Ireland-like rolling green hills, huge lakes, and gigantic mountains/volcanoes. Simply breathtaking. I would often stop and try to take in all the beauty and I seriously felt like my heart could just sing because I loved it so much.
Me & Mom in front of Vina's icon: el reloj de flores (flower watch). **Pictures of Southern Chile are on the way...they're all on mom's camera! Pucha!**
The international students at the University of Vina del Mar are placed into groups of about 5-7 students for small class sizes and such, and I ended up in group 3B. I love the girls in my group. They all have incredible Spanish and are super simpática.
Left to right: me, Linda 2 (Lindsey Phelps), Linda 1 (Lindsey Smith), Gillian, y la Renata. And I don't think I should reveal how long it took to get this picture...yea 3B!
The other day I was trying to remember what my cell phone number was. I was racking my brain for the digits when some familiar numbers came to mind. It wasn't until after I said them that I realized I was reciting my social security number and not my cell number. Ha!
I traveled over to Mendoza, Argentina a couple days this last week with eight other international students from UVM (Universidad de Vina del Mar). It was a short, two day and one night trip that was rather relaxed, but still fun.
The most I probably have to talk about are the bus rides. Uuuuuuugh. Both times we left at 10 p.m. which sounds like a good idea on paper: "leave at 10 p.m. and arrive at about 8 a.m. refreshed and ready for the day." Ha! I forgot to take into account crossing the boarder and going through customs and such at about 2:30 a.m. Not my fav. But, I did have some things I really loved about my bus experience...like my face mask for my eyes, the Presidents of the Church lectures on my iPod, and staring at the stars when the rest of the world seems to be sleeping. Priceless.
This picture was taken before we even started to move. This face only got better as you can imagine.
Meet Alfie: the Hostel dog. I was struck with puppy love.
Seven of our group decided to go paragliding. A-ma-zing. It wasn't quite the adrenaline rush I was expecting, but I definitely enjoyed it all the same.
A woman in the ward gave this puzzle of the Plan of Salvation to Alina at her baptism. (Please click on it to see a larger image.) I love it. One time in Seminary Sister Knowles drew unlabeled circles and a few lines on the board and asked the class what it was. We all told her it was the Plan of Salvation; Premortal Existence, the Veil, Mortality, Death, Spirit Paradise or Prison, Resurrection, Judgment, and the Three Degrees of Glory. Nothing was labeled. It was just circles and lines on the chalkboard. But a group of high school kids knew the answers to questions people have been asking forever. Yes, I really do love how Alina's present reminds me how valuable our knowledge is.
I know I say the darnest things in Spanish (okay, okay, English too), but Chilean translations into English make their fair share of mistakes as well. I can't even begin to tell you how many translations I've seen that just make me cringe. Some are downright awful, and some are just too funny to pass without a photo. I'll share just a few examples.
Yeah, I know this translation is fine. I just thought it was funny because it's so obvious. I'm glad they took the time to explain to gringos that the magnets are "for your fridge."
This badboy is hanging in el Congreso (Congress Building). Instead of turning my phone off next time, I'd rather just grab the fire extinguisher and douse it.
I think this one's my fav. Please be full of care as you exit.