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  • Kimberly Stryker

The Thanksgiving where they ran out of Turkey


Hola chicos!

Guess what?! My mom came to visit me for the week! It was such a great feeling to see her through the glass doors and then actually get to give her a big hug! I missed her so much.

She only came for a short visit to see where I live, see my neighborhood, make sure I’m alive, you know… However short the visit, I’m just glad she came! She was my first visitor in Casa de Kim. She said my apartment is so cute and just perfect for me –which I’d have to agree!

On the day she arrived, I picked her up at the airport and we headed back to my place to drop her things off. I showed her around the area and took her to the funny statue park down the street, Parque de las esculturas. She enjoyed feeding the stray dogs, the apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree…

At night, I thought it would be fun to take her to watch the sunset at the top of Sky Costanera. I was proud of her because she is afraid of heights. I’ve been to the top of the building once before but I’d highly recommend going at sunset. We had a gorgeous panoramic view of the fiery sun setting over the city. We also had a great view of the full moon.

I was granted permission to take Thursday and Friday off since there is not time in my work schedule to go home for Christmas. Since Thursday was Thanksgiving, we prepared a nice Chilean Thanksgiving meal. We had to laugh because they ran out of the whole turkeys at the grocery store. We had to cook turkey breasts instead. Mom brought stuffing, Jello mix (we don’t like cranberry sauce) and cookie mix. Our dinner was lovely, one of the best yet! And props to mom for cooking in Celcius! ;)

On Friday, we did some shopping and had a nice lunch together. My mom and I are very similar in that we don’t need to be busy every second of the day –and we both enjoy naps. That night, my friends came over to meet my mom. We had such a great time talking and eating pizza and of course we made Benja do magic. My mom loves my new friends and is very happy I have found such wonderful people here.

Saturday was her last day here. We went to El Cerro San Cristobal to meet Juan Pablo the lama. We also took the funicular to the top of the hill and explored the top and saw the giant Virgin Mary statue. We took a taxi back to the mall where we planned to have another crêpe with manjar, but the taxi guy was a jerk and charged us almost double. I tried to fight back the best I could in Spanish saying that we just took a taxi 2 hours ago and it was half that price. He wasn’t having it. I told him that I was going to report him, I tried to whip my phone out to get a picture of his license plate but instead I fell into the street and scraped my legs and feet up. Fail.

A note on that… being a Gringa (American) in Santiago has been a little exhausting. I understand that I am not from this country, so it's not going to always be easy, but sometimes the amount of disrespect I receive is shameful. Maybe I’m addressing this because I’ve encountered one too many rude people this week. Whether it’s the taxi drivers overpricing the meter because we’re not from here, or the store clerk “forgetting" to give me my change or the grocery store guy freaking out because God forbid I accidentally put my veggies in the wrong plastic bag. I try to be polite as possible, but sometimes I just want to cry. I would never treat a foreigner, attempting to speak my language, so rudely. I also want to be clear that I don’t have hostile feelings towards Chileans at all. I love love my friends and co-workers. Many people are so kind and have welcomed me with open arms. It seems to just be the people in the service industry, the ones whose job is to work with people. Sorry, this was a tough week …. rant over!

I dropped my mom off at the airport on Saturday night, and got a little teary. It was so nice to have a familiar face in town. It was definitely a week to remember, we made a lot of new memories! I can't wait to see her again in January!

Laughable Moments:

  • In the mall, I was looking at a nail polish and I accidentally dropped it. It broke and went all over the store… they wanted me to pay for it which I probably should have but they were so rude about it that I refused. I’m probably not allowed back in that store again.

  • My Chilean friends don’t understand the concept that we Americans have live Christmas trees in our houses. They thought we plant them in the ground outside, and felt bad that they eventually die.

  • My mom realized I have 2 bottles of shampoo in my shower and 0 bottles of conditioner. I'd been wondering why its been so hard to brush my hair lately!!

  • My mom bought a snow hat that says "Chile" so she can wear it when it is chilly outside...

  • Mom was disappointed because the stray dogs didn't want to eat her pumpkin cookies. I warned her that they are picky!

^^ Classic difference between buying this guy in the U.S. vs in Chile (besides the language) is the fact that in the U.S. he would come with the piece of chalk...

^^ Spanish Santa Claus says "Jo Jo Jo" instead of "Ho Ho Ho"

^^ The Chilean version of Elf on the Shelf is a lot less creepy

^^ My feet after the nailpolish fiasco

^^ Man, I look good.

^^ "My favorite animal is T-Rex"

^^ My mom got my class all sorts of books!

^^ I got all sorts of goodies from the US!

^^ This pup enjoyed the bag of dog food I keep in my purse!

Also, thank you to everyone who sent out some prayers for our big boy Dobbin. Late Friday night he went into emergency surgery for bloat. It’s something that Great Danes are very susceptible to, where the stomach twists itself and cuts off the circulation so the stomach eventually dies. Luckily, my sister Karen caught it very fast so he was able to get the surgery and survive. It was a very scary night, big Dobs is my buddy and I would lose it if anything happened to him. Apparently this is what happened in Marley and Me (people are telling me). I couldn't get through that movie so I don't know how it ends ;) Dobbin is back at home now and recovering; he is very happy his mom is home to take care of him. Thank you for the love and support!!

^^ Skypeing with my patient


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". . . and that type of bravery will take you places." -Evan Sanders