Well hello my lovely friends!
I have been on vacation since last Friday for the September holidays. I have had time to recharge, and get organized in my new home.
As many of you know, we had a strong earthquake in Chile on Wednesday. This was the first strong quake I’ve ever felt –since in Connecticut we don’t get much quake action. I was in my apartment (on the 12th floor) when I started to feel things shake. The shades were banging up against the windows and the sliding door was slamming on its frame. I quickly jumped up from my bed and ran to look out the window. It was so surreal to look into other buildings and see their lights rocking back and fourth too.
I wasn’t too scared because I didn’t feel like I was in immediate danger. I knew right away that my building was built for this kind of thing because it was swaying back and fourth –like it was on wheels or something. I was mostly confused –is this an earthquake? Can my friends feel it in their homes too? What should I do? Since nothing bad happened, I actually thought it was pretty cool!
The quake lasted for about 2 or minutes. It was strong, I’ll tell you that. But not even a tree branch was down in the street. Santiago’s buildings are built to withstand earthquakes since Chile receives the most earthquakes in the world. Chile sits alongside the Nazca plate, which contributes to the ever-growing Andes Mountains.
When a large earthquake hits, there is always a chance for a possible tsunami, which can be more even more dangerous and catastrophic. Luckily, Santiago is inland enough that we did not need to evacuate. All of the coastal towns evacuated as a safety measure. Thankfully, there was just a few extra large waves that hit. The country takes earthquakes very seriously after the 2010 quake (8.8) that killed over 500 people and shortened the earth’s day by a fraction of a second.
After the earthquake, we experienced several small aftershocks. This week, there have been many small earthquakes. Now, I don’t really even bat an eye. The small ones sort of feel like someone is shaking your bed to wake you up.
In other news, this week Chile celebrated their Independence Day on September 18th. I was invited to a friend’s family picnic in a town about an hour north of Santiago, called Los Andes. We spent the day having a barbecue with more food than I knew what to do with! It was delicious and the company was lovely.
^^Torta -very thin layers of cake with manjar in between. SO DELICIOUS!
^^The famous Terremoto drink -I thought this was an appropriate week to try one! (this one was not authentic because it was made with white wine) It was far too sweet.
The following day, we went to delicious Chilean restaurant and then to a fonda. Fondas are typical Chilean parties held in honor of September 18th. Chileans celebrate the 18th for 3 or 4 days! This fonda had dancing, a Chilean rodeo, artisan markets and lots and lots of food. It felt very similar to a fair.
^^In Chilean rodeos, the two huasos (Chilean cowboys) work to pin the cow against the wall and are rewarded points for how efficiently they do it
^^I've been sick 2 out of the 4 weeks I've been here!
^^This little pig only has 3 legs which represent health, money and love. They bring luck to those who possess them.
^^ This friend found his way into my apartment (on the 12th floor) with all of the windows shut!
^^ Flying my princess kite we found in the field
It’s been a wonderful and exciting week off, but now its back to school tomorrow!