Sunday, January 25, 2009

I really do love Chile...

I feel like recently I have had kind of a negative attitude to my cultural experiences here in Santiago...what does that mean? That some things are driving me crazy! Getting shoved onto the subway in the morning, all public transportation in general and of course that silly calefont! But yesterday on my daily 13 minute walk from my house to Pablo´s, I thought about all the things I really do LOVE about Chile and thought I would make a list for you!

1.) Foggy/smoggy mornings. I love it when it decides to be cool in the morning but I also love it when you can see the Andes and Santiago´s skyline.

2.) Once. (Pronounced on-say) This is what Chileans eat instead of dinner or supper--generally a cup of herbal tea, Ecco or in my case Milo (hot coccoa) with bread and butter and if you are lucky, some manjar. I don´t know why, but this is my favorite meal of the day!

3.) Kids playing in the street. Almost every single day there are kids playing soccer in the street. The street are narrower here and not so full of traffic and the kids will play for hours and hours outside. If there aren´t enough for two teams, then just kicking the ball back and forth will do. And the soccer ball is always one that has been used for years now and doesn´t even look like a soccer ball anymore!

4.) Attending church here. There are a few crazy members in every ward that make my Sunday´s just a little more interesting. Oh, gotta love how blunt Chileans are!

5.) Asado. Americans think that they know how to do barbeques but they do NOT. Unless you have half a pig, cow, a few chickens and chorizo on your grill (coal not propane) then you don´t understand!

6.) El Centro. Downtown Santiago where I work is one of my favorite parts. Pablo and I could walk around looking at shops, eating Mote con Huesillo and watching crazy people all afternoon. This was something new to me since this part of Santiago wasn´t in my mission. I wish I could fully describe how fun and entertaining this part of Santiago really is.

7.) Watching subtitled movies in the theater. Last night we went to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and because the movie was subtitled, everyone would start laughing before Brad Pitt had said the punch line (because they had already read it)

8.) I love how after a long, hot day everyone is outside enjoying the coolness of the evening. You can always seem to find a good bargain for a completo or papas fritas and all the old people sit outside and talk until it is finally time to go to bed.

These are just a few of the things I love about Santiago--if you have some others, add them to the list!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Don´t Cry For Me, Argentina!

Sorry for not getting these pictures up earlier, but Pablo and I went to Mendoza, Argentina last weekend! We ended up having to go to, um...well, let´s just say "renew my tourist visa" since it is only good for 90 days. That ended up to be a bit more complicated then I wanted and we ended up (thanks to a stupid bus driver giving us false information) changing our bus tickets and leaving at 10:30 Friday night. Driving time to Mendoza is about 6 hours, but it took a little bit more time because we had to pass through customs at the border (at 2 am). We got into Mendoza about 5:30 and illegally exchanged some money into Argentine pesos and hopped into a taxi to take us to our hotel. It was soooo nice! It was as American as I could have hoped for!
The next day we went for a nice little stroll through downtown Mendoza. Here´s a picture of us at lunch.
Mendoza is a really calm, town and it was so clean! I think that I am just used to dirty Santiago, but it was really a calm little city. (Did I mention they have a Wal-Mart?!) The food was amazing too! Everyone who says that the meat is better in Argentina was RIGHT. It was so yummy! My favorite Argetine food was the Dulce de Leche. I have never eaten anything so creamy! Here´s a nice little picture of Pablo in the old school phone booth in downtown Mendoza.
On Sunday afternoon we ate at this fancy yet delicious restaurant, Don Mario. We have heard so many good things about the barbeque in Argentina, and the rumors are true. We ate the best slice of meat I have ever had. The restaurant was really fancy so we didn´t take a picture inside, but waited to leave. If my belly looks huge, it´s because I had just finished eating!

For those of you who have seen my attempts at Photography, you know that I have a thing for doors. I don´t know where it comes from. But as we passed this door, I had to take a picture. All the different houses in Mendoza were small but so clean and well kept, fresh painted, etc. It was so cool to see them so clean! (The opposite of Santiago)
This picture above I like to call, The Long Journey Home. Wow, the drive was worse during the day on Monday. We had to cross The Andes, and that was an aventure! We started off the drive home with a nice little protest on the freeway. Don´t worry, they were just burning garbage across the freeway. But we took a little detour and then were on our way home. Going up and then back down those huge mountains...don´t think I will do that again for a long time! We did have to wait for about 2 hours in the border again, so here is a picture of Pablo at the top!
All in all, we had a nice relaxing time. We got to swim at the hotel, take naps, eat yummy food and just chill!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Life is like a fountain!

Last night to give me my 2nd ring if you will, Pablo took me to this awesome water fountain in Santiago. (We don´t know the name of the park, just that it was sweet!) I know it may seem kind of silly, but we really enjoyed it. We sat on a bench in front of the fountain for a good two hours, just listening to the water shoot up and fall down and talking about everything. It was way too pretty to not put up a few pictures! As soon as it got dark, the water had lights in it too. It was really sweet! Pablo is always taking me to fun and new places here in Santiago and this one does top the charts!
Pablo getting in the way of my picture taking to flash his ever-so-famous peace sign...
This statue guy signally the water I guess...
You know me and my panoramic pictures! I couldn´t resist!

The Nutcracker

The day after Christmas Pablo and I were able to go see The Nutcracker live at El Teatro Municipal in downtown Santiago. It´s this super old theater that is really neat and I´m sure when it was built it was something else! But, now it´s a bit old and without air conditioning...
We didn´t want to spend a lot of money on the tickets so we bought the cheapest ones thinking it wouldn´t be too bad of seats. Talk about nose-bleed seats...actually, we didn´t even have a seat, but a bench, on the 4th floor, on the side. Yeah. We had to climb up 4 floors of stairs and then were shoved in the corner--but it was worth it! The show was awesome and Pablo loved it. His eyes were glued to the stage the whole time! And he did say that he thought we each lost about 10 pounds just sitting there in the hot theater!


First of all, sorry I didn´t get these pictures up earlier BUT I thought the last post was a little more important! And I left out a few details that were important...the reason for the Olympic Fanfare playing on my blog is because just as Pablo was asking me to marry him, this song was playing on the TV with the fireworks. It was just too random and too...Chilean I guess you could say. We thought it was pretty funny! Also, I didn´t know but Pablo wanted me to pick out my own ring but he wanted to surprise me so he just got a ring and asked me but we got it exchanged yesterday and I got a new ring! I liked the old one, but Pablo insisted we go and find one I really liked. When I saw this one, I really liked it but it isn´t really a Becki ring. After I tried it on, I totally fell in love. So here´s a picture of my new ring...Now, on to Christmas pictures. We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner with Pablo´s parents and the elders from my ward. Not very many of the pictures turned out because we ate dinner at like 10 pm here and it was pretty dark. After we had dinner, we played a white elephant gift exchange and it was really fun. Here´s a picture of Elder Krainik and Elder Torgerson getting ready to eat and Pablo and I with our sweet white elephant gifts!

Do I look tired? Cause I was! Oh, and the best part of my Christmas--Chorizo! Not, the sausage, but the bunny that Santa Claus brought me! I must have been good because Santa brought me the cutest, little bunny. Here are a few pictures we took at the park the other day of him.

We hope you all had a great Christmas too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Año nuevo, vida nueva...

WE ARE ENGAGED!!! I´m sure there is a more tactful way of saying it, but I am seriously so happy right now, I don´t know how to hold it in! Pablo really did surprise me too!
He and I had decided to spend New Year´s Eve at my house (well, the house where I live) and cook dinner together and just enjoy a relaxing evening. Here you have to eat dinner around 11 pm so we had buffalo wings and potatoes with Chilean style salads. Dinner turned out really nice and we finished washing the dishes before midnight. We had just turned on the TV to watch the fireworks and countdown to midnight and were enjoying the last few seconds of 2008 when it all happened! Pablo looked at me and said, Año nuevo, vida nueva... (New year, new life) and pulled out of his pocket a ring! I couldn´t believe it. I just started crying and he did too and then he asked me to be his wife.
I am so grateful for Pablo in my life. He quickly has become my best friend who I can share everything with. He is so patient with me, even when I´m tired, complaining about Chilean things or upset. He treats me better than I deserve most the time and he does so much for me. I´m so excited to soon become his wife and be able to be sealed to him for time and all eternity! Here are a few pictures from dinner, the ring and after he asked me!