Thursday, December 2, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Chile


Saying goodbye to Chile was much more difficult than I every imagined it would be. When I started out this journey, I assumed I would live in a different country, improve my Spanish, tour around the sights to see, make a positive impact on the kids at school, and then leave and return back to my normal life. I wish it were that simple.

When I first came to Chile, I didn't feel like I was in a different country. I have many ski school friends in Santiago and they know my life in Tahoe and all speak English, so I felt oddly at home. But when I moved down South, I knew no one and hardly anyone speaks English...the challenges began.
I had a hard time adjusting to Chilean culture: everyone is always late and they never move out of the way on the sidewalks. It rained almost every day and the kids never study. It takes forever for change to come about and things are not very "productive" by North American standards. I couldn't really communicate with anybody. These were the challenges I had to overcome and I had never felt so homesick before in my life. I waited for my mom to log on to Skype and for my dad to pick up the long distance calls. I was counting down the days....

...then something changed. I became busy with my schedule and was committed fully to my basketball team. I was judging singing competitions and taking weekend trips to nearby beautiful cities. The weather started to change and it only rained 3-4 days a week. My students and I finally started to understand each other and I was taking field trips with them and having BBQs with the teachers. I met a special Chilean man who made me feel a part of his family and taught me how to dance salsa. Suddenly my life was Chilean and even my Spanish was progressing and I wanted to put the brakes on the days that started to pass by so quickly. It was a total 180 and I dreaded the day of departure.

Chileans are a special breed of people. At first they seem lazy and a little rough around the edges, but when you get to know them they are honest, funny and hard working people. When you step over the threshold of anyone's house, you are instantly family, "una hijita" (a little daughter). They would happily give you the shirts of their backs without asking for a thing in return. They love you with food and will gladly give whatever is in their house to you without asking for anything in return. One teacher gave me a tour of her house, pulled a matching pair of earrings and necklace out of her closet and told me to give it to my mom as a gift. She doesn't even know my mom!!! I feel that in our country, people are friendly and always give you a helping hand, but we also expect things to be just and fair and for each individual to be able to take care of himself. Chileans are one big family and they love you and open their home to you as if you really were a daughter. I think the part that really got me was that I let myself be loved by these Chileans. I finally let myself go into their culture. It's incredible and difficult to explain, but for this, my heart became bound to the people in Puerto Montt and I never had such a hard time saying goodbye to a place. And the people there had a hard time saying goodbye to me too.


A desperdida is a farewell party, and I had a solid week of them booked before leaving. I had one on Thursday night with the other volunteers, Friday night with the teachers, Saturday night with my friends, Sunday afternoon with another group of teachers, Monday morning with the school, and Tuesday night with my basketball team. My bus left Wednesday.

I received so many wonderful gifts and the hardest part was leaving the school. Half of the students were there in the cafeteria to say farewell. I was shocked! They had a slideshow presentation, a few speeches, 2 students sang a song for me and 2 couples danced the cueca for me because they know I love it. I cried. Then we had cake for breakfast. It was difficult for me to walk out the door without one last photo or one last adios. One student didn't let me go, and these are high schoolers, not little kids! I had no idea what kind of impact I was making at this school, but at the farewell I realized how special my time here was, for both the students and for myself.
So thank you CHILE for totally rocking my world. I have never experienced such emotion in my travels before. This was the greatest challenge but most rewarding experience of my life. Thank you to you too for reading and supporting my journey.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pucon in Pictures

Here are some pictures from the turist city of Pucon. It's an expensive town with nice restaurants and a lot to do. It was the most relaxing weekend I've had so far here in Chile. I think I could live here if everyone spoke English =)

The BEST ice cream in town.
Los Ojos de Caburgua: beautiful waterfalls that were easy to get to!

Jumping in the LAGUNA AZUL
Relaxing at the hostel Tree House...this is the life =)
At the Termas Los Pazones outside of Pucon...AMAZING!
It was a very relaxing beautiful weekend. I'm glad I had the opportunity to get to know Pucon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Torres Del Paine

I just returned from Torres del Paine and wow, what an incredible journey. I don't really know how to describe it all, but I have never seen a place like Torres ever before in my life.

September 15
I flew to Punta Arenas at the end of the world and saw the Magellan Strait. Strange to think that this was the passage explorers were looking for for so long hundreds of years ago. Then I hopped on a 3 hour bus ride to Puerto Natalis, the gateway to the park. I stayed at a hostel some friends had recommended called Erratic Rock and it was fantastic. My original plan was to have a home base in the park and set off on day hikes from there because I was hiking solo, but a guide, Nacho, suggested I hike the "W" trail to get a true understanding of the wonders of the park. The trail is called the "W" because you hike around the main part of the massif and hike up valleys along the way, making a "W" shape. The Paine Massif that makes up the park is a separate mountain formation from the Andes mountain chain. It was formed 12 million years ago by magma and later by glacial erosion, giving it its unique look and formation. And I have to say, nothing else is comparable to its formation.

Torres del Paine National Park Map

Now, I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous. I would be carrying all the weight of food, a tent and everything else alone, and would be hiking alone, and camping alone. And it's the off season, so there wasn't a lot of hope for meeting people along the way. But then I got pumped up for this once in a lifetime opportunity and said, LETS DO IT! I bought all my supplies and rented the rest and was off for a 4 day journey early the next day after the hostel loaded me up with a hefty breakfast.


Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
One Change of Clothes
First Aid Kit
Toilet Paper

September 16: Day 1
I met a couple from France (Carolin) and Belgium (Samuel) and hiked the first day with them, which was lucky. Here is a journal entry from that day:

THANK GOD I had these 2 for starting out. I probably would have never found the trail head on my own. We walked through an open field in a valley with a big old rainbow stretched out on our left side and the Paine Massif on the right, although the clouds covered much of it. But HOLY CRAP the wind is incredibly strong-the strongest I've ever been in. It literally pushed me sideways as I wondered if it was possible for my contacts to blow out of my eyeballs. My mouth was open and my spit was blowing out of my mouth-seriously. I would have been frustrated and disheartened if I didn't have the company. I was actually drafting behind Carolin. But the views of the Paine Massif are just spectacular and there is no one in the park really, except a decaying horse carcass that was killed by a puma (yes, we really saw that) and when we came upon the bright blue lake with the mountains in the background, I thought I was in a place that wasn't real.
After 5 hours of hiking we set up camp outside of a Refugio, or hostel inside the park. Bunk beds run for $30 and dinner for $20, so it was much cheaper to camp and cook your own food. We got to sleep outside near the giant mountains and the skies were clear. It's incredible to look up at a whole new sky here in the Southern Hemisphere.

September 17: Day 2
I woke up to the Paine Massif and plenty of sunshine. While everyone was cooking breakfast inside the Refugio, I was boiling water for oatmeal and tea outside in the temperate weather. I had to say goodbye to my European friends as they were on a different schedule. I started on the first stretch of the "W" and so could leave my heavy pack at the Refugio, as I would be passing by it again on my way back from Gray's Glacier...that was a nice feeling.

There was nobody on the trail to Gray's Glacier and when I came upon it I said aloud, "Oh my God. Whoa. Oh my God." Gray's Glacier is absolutely humongous and the massive mountains behind it make it surreal.

I can actually hear the ice cracking even though I'm pretty far away. I am so intrigued by glaciers, maybe because we don't really have any in the States. I don't get to see them often, most are receding, and they're just so monstrous, powerful and alive. I could just sit here forever and watch it recede, carving out the land like an erratic artist.

I grabbed my pack at the Refugio and headed another 2 hours to Campamento Italiano. It was a quiet cloudy day and it was just me on the trail. The lakes were calm and I could see the reflection of the Paine Massif mirrored in the lake. Another awesome thing about this area is that you can drink straight from the lakes and streams, as they are all glacial fed and contain no bacteria or microorganisms, which helps with the weight in the pack!

As I've been hiking John Denver's Rocky Mountain High has been stuck in my head. I've also been thinking of The Lord of the Rings. Can you imagine journeying this much and then having to battle orks?

I reached the campsite and set up my tent in 6 minutes flat! Then I continued up into the French Valley, the middle part of the "W". I didn't make it up too far as my legs were tired, but suddenly I heard a sound like thunder and looked up at the massive mountain (Cerro Paine Grande) to my left only to see snow falling from its cliffs. The sound of thunder was an avalanche, and there were many. I sat on a rock and watched about 5 of them go, amazed at the fact that I was really there watching such a spectacular event. Later I enjoyed some tea and lemon cookies by the river. I am quite comfortable and quite happy here in the wilderness.

There were a group of Germans at the campsite who I chatted with a bit; it was nice to have the company at night. As I slept I heard a bit of rain outside. I dreamed of the weather holding out for a few more days.

September 18: Day 3
I woke up to a windy day, but no rain. I got my day started before the Germans as I had about a 10 hour hike ahead of me. I was pumped and happy to be able to go at my own pace.

As I hiked I left Cerro Paine Grande behind me, but could still hear the avalanches falling. An impossibly blue lake opened up to my right and the Andes were behind it. I walked passed the Paine Massif on my left and then through an open valley, where the wind pounded my face. I found the shortcut to my campsite and made the turn into the last canyon, the last section of the "W" shape.

I'm not going to lie, it was a long hike to Campamento Torres. It was a lot of ups and downs, but luckily I have consumed a lot of the food weight from my pack. The Germans passed me with about 2 hours left to hike. We stopped at a "closed" Refugio but there was a Chilean there selling coffee. The Germans and I took a much deserved rest. Then we carried on to the campsite. It was getting colder and there were signs of snow. I pitched my tent beside a creek and fell asleep to its lulling sounds. My legs were very happy for the rest.

September 19: Day 4
I unzipped my tent and snow fell into it. Yes, it had snowed about 6 inches that night...WHOA! I didn't sleep great, but luckily today was the day for the sunrise hike to the famous Torres- the Towers of the park that gives it its name.

The Germans started out early, but I have my priorities: I made breakfast. I started up the snowy trail around 6:30am and it was steep and slippery, but pristine and beautiful. I'm really glad the Germans blazed the trail, as I probably would have lost it.

(And at this point I have to say I finally have all the perfect gear for trekking: a good rain jacket, water proof boots, a micro fleece and hard shell fleece and snow pants with thermals and wool socks. It takes a while to accumulate these clothes, as they are expensive! But thanks to working at Squaw Valley where I get 30% off everything, I was prepared.)

Anyway, I got to the top and the Germans were waiting for the snow clouds to clear. We all waited about an hour and nothing changed. We couldn't see the Torres =( The Germans headed back down, but I waited a bit longer as another group had arrived to the top. One was an Asian hiking in CONVERSE SNEAKERS and JEANS! What a crazy person! We waited and waited and waited and then it started to snow again.

I decided to hike back down. I got 1/3 of the way down and the sun started to rise. I turned around for a few minutes to hike back up, but the clouds were still there, so I started to hike back down again. Then the sun rose more and I couldn't tell if there was a view above or not. I thought, why the heck am I even compromising the wisp of a hope that with the sun maybe there will be a view? I will be here only once in my life: get your butt back up there Kim!! So up again I went and NO REGRETS because the clouds cleared just enough to see the Torres...

...and they were incredible! I mean, in the clouds I thought, 'no big deal, I don't know what I'm missing,' but once I saw them it was majestic. It was like the Towers were 3 old friends and that's where they liked to stand and give advice with their ancient wisdom and knowledge on life. They really were a sight to see and you can bet I was glad I went for one last look.

I hiked back down, packed up camp, and then headed out of the park happy as a clam, save for the pain in my right knee from hiking. Am I getting old?

Another guy and I hitched a ride on a truck to our meeting point...that was lucky and FREE! The van picked us up and I was back at the hostel welcomed by open arms and a hot shower. Good thing because I was stinky. They made me a big breakfast the next morning, I caught the bus to Punta Arenas and flew back to Puerto Montt and now I'm back into the school routine.

On the trail I felt like a badass. I flew to the bottom of the world, hiked the "W" solo, saw some life changing sights and now I can wear my Patagonia gear with pride because, yep, I WAS THERE.

For a Photo Album of the trip, click below:

Monday, September 13, 2010

18th of September

This year is Chile's Bicentenial and were they ever preparing for a party! Septermber 18th is Independence Day and Chile is full and rich with traditions. I was lucky enough to experience them with my family and school.

EMPANADAS: My host mom, Rossy, is an incredible cook. She wants to open a restaurant some did I get so lucky? She made homemade empanadas from scratch and even taught me the tricks to the trade, although I highly doubt I will be able to replicate them. A lot of food here in the south is still made my hand or your neighbor sells some homemade goods. Empanadas are basically hot pockets with a mixture of meat, onion, spices, olives and raisons inside called PINO. You can get them in any restaurant for cheap...I will miss them when I go. But everybody ate them during Independence Week.

La CUECA: La cueca is a traditional dance of Chile and all residents of Chile have been taught how to dance it, but some are better than others. The students had a cueca dance off during school and it was so entertaining to watch young kids dance something so old and traditional. La cueca involves a white hankerchief and a couple who dance around each other waving the hankerchiefs in the air. They wear traditional dress: the men wear hats and boots with spurs, the women wear dresses that flare out and are colorful.

ASADO: aka Bar-b-que Chilean style. Chile LOVES its meat and when they cook up an asado, they do it right. It takes hours for everything to be prepared and cooked, but after you are enjoying smoked meat, chicken, sausages covered with fresh bread and PREBRE to top it all, which is basically what we call pico de gallo.

My school also had an Expo presenting the history of Chile and explaining its traditions, indiginous people, La Mapuche, geographical features, wars, history and foods. I learned a lot, but would have learned way more if it were in English! The kids received marks in their history classes for their projects.
Chile also celebrated with 2 days off work, fireworks, parades and a flag on seriously ever person's house. I heard you could get fined if you weren't displaying a Chilean flag somewhere in your house, but that could just be a rumor.

So 3 cheers for Chile's bicentineal and amazing independence day!!! What an awesome way to learn about a country rich with culture, pride and tradition.

Chi Chi Chi, Le Le Le !VIVA CHILE!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Colegio

So I've been posting blogs and photos from all my trips in this Chilean adventure, but now it's time to share what I really do with all my time. This blog is all about the Colegio, translated literally to "college," but it's what they call high schools around here.

My School
Liceo Bosque Nativo = "Native Forest
Kids in ONE classroom = 45
Block Periods = 1 1/2 hours for each subject

Poverty Rate = 70%

Uniforms = Yes

Amount of kids I teach every week: 360

Our School Color = Green

Here's How It Works:

I work 25 hours in the school and about 6 hours outside of it with extra curricular activities, so I get Fridays off...sweet!

I work with 2 English teachers, Rosita and Janette, but mostly I work with Miss Rosita and she is AWESOME. She's 26 years old, fun and very flexible.

Miss Rosita and I split the class, so I take the first 23 students for 45 minutes, and then we switch the kids so I teach the 2nd half of class for the last 45 minutes. Miss Rosita teaches the grammar parts with reading and writing, and I provide the fun activities, songs and games to get the alumnos (students) to practice listening and speaking.

How It's Really Going:
So I had high expectations of speaking with the students, but reality has hit and it's saying, "These kids don't study!" I've found that it's the same in ALL classes, not just English. I am teaching high school and these kids have learned English since 5th grade and when I ask, "How are you?" I get an absolute blank look back. So I've adjusted. My lesson plans are VERY simple and provide A LOT of structure. For example, today we reviewed "Winter Vacation Vocabulary" so I drew a stick figure skier on the board and the kids had to draw and label the skier with items of ski clothing. Then we repeated all the words. The kids get a kick out of it because we're doing a lot of group exercises and games.

Other Lesson Plans:

*The Hokie Pokie
*Bob Marley songs
*Dress for the Weather
*Practicing Imperatives with a Beach Ball

*Using a Student to Label the Parts of the Body

Advice I've Received:

Everyday I still find it incredible how much these kids don't understand because they are unmotivated to learn. (How well would you learn stuffed into a classroom with 45 of your friends and no room to separate the desks away from each other?) So the teachers tell me:

"Enjoy your time here. You are a foreigner and that alone will help these kids think differently."

"Just teach them the basics. If you can get them to respond to "how are you?" you've accomplished something."

"Relax and remember some of these kids have bigger problems outside of school. Make your classroom a fun and safe environment."

So I've finally listened to the advice and we spent a week learning ways to respond to "How are you?" We made posters and lots of visuals and everyday I ask the kids that question. They are finally responding in a variety of ways, even in the hallways outside of the classroom!

The key is to "go with the flow." To be honest, I'm starting to get attached to these kids as I'm beginning to remember a lot of their names and we all have been laughing together in the classroom, although some of them still drive me crazy. It's difficult to get the whole class to listen, but I just figure the ones who want to get something out of the class will. And I've been helping out with the basketball team. Coach Robert told me that after I started helping out, more girls have been coming to practice =)
PS- Robert is the big black guy who was a shock to see on my first day. He's from New Jersey and plays professional basketball here in Chile.

Other Differences:
1. The kids occupy a classroom for the whole day. For example, Aula 4 is always in classroom #4 and the teachers do all the switching. But I get my own classroom so I can make seating arrangements and decorate it however I please.

2. All teachers wear white lab coats.

3. There is no heat in the school, so kids wear gloves, scarves and hats. The teacher's lounge is the only place with heat and no one ever wants to leave it!

4. The gym is a barn with one light.

5. When the teacher walks into a room, the students stand at attention until asked to sit.

6. They all call you Miss + your first name. So I am always Miss Kim/Kem.

7. They have "inspectadoras" who take care of all the discipline, roam the halls, lock the school doors and call parents if the student is not in class.

8. The kids love to play ping pong in between classes, and they're really good at it.

9. There's something called "THE BOOK" which is really like the Bible. It has a roll call of the students for a specific class (ex: Aula 4). All the grades, lesson plans and absent kids are written in this book. The teachers scramble with them at the end of term so they can finish all the grades, but you only have the book while you're teaching that class.

Check out our Facebook page: Bosque Nativo English Club!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Kim: narrator
Steve: volunteer from Louisiana
Tina: volunteer from Pennsylvania
Corie: volunteer from...I forget
Camilla: old Squaw Kids ski instructor (06-07, 07-08) from Brazil
Lucy: old rentals worker in Squaw Valley, from Brazil
Esteban: new Argentinian friend in Las Lenas
Cesar, Manuel T. and Alejo: old Squaw Kids ski instructors (09-10) from Buenos Aires
Sara: volunteer from Montana
Frankie: volunteer from New York

First of all, the flight from Santiago to Mendoza, Argentina was incredible. I had to fly from Puerto Montt to Santiago first and it was only then I realized just how narrow this country is. The ocean was on my left and those incredible Andes were on my right and there wasn't much land in between. Crossing over the Andes to Argentina was well worth the extra expense of a flight vs. a bus, and after I heard horror stories of my friends having to push their bus out of the snow, spend 4 hours at customs and then pay $300 for a taxi ride to get to Mendoza, I was extra glad I took a plane.

Mendoza is the equivalent to Napa Valley; it's famous for its vineyards and wine. I met up with 4 other volunteers in Mendoza and miraculously, thanks to Facebook, we all found each other at a little hostel without the use of cell phones (it's still possible!)

Corie had some friends in Mendoza and one worked at a fine wine shop located in the governor's old mansion. We marveled at how much someone would pay for a bottle of the good stuff.

We took advantage of the nightclub scene and all the parks and plazas. It's really popular to take siestas in Argentina, so most stuff is closed from 1-4 or 5. And there are lots of ditches lining the streets to water the trees. Our friend Steve found that out the hard way after a few beers! He was busy watching 2 people get arrested by police armed with rifles when he fell into one.

Tina and I bought a bus ticket to leave for Las Lenas, a small ski town 8 hours away, at 6:00AM. I woke up at 5:15 and saw that she was still out at the bars. I packed my stuff, hopped in a cab and just had enough time to buy a coffee before boarding the bus. It was 5:59AM and I assumed Tina would meet me later, but low and behold I hear a "KIM! OH MY GOD" behind me and there's Tina looking like a mess, but on time for the bus.


So Tina and I met with 2 old friends from Squaw Valley,
Camilla and Lucy. They are both from Brazil and set up a vacation in Las Lenas for Tina and I to join. Steve met up with us the next day, so we had a right size party group. Plus we made good friends with Esteban, the hotel's front desk man. I definitely felt right at home in that mountain town: I made friends quickly, took advantage of the incredible skiing, enjoyed some good beers and felt like myself there wrapped around tall peaks, running streams, white snow and low valleys. It was strange; it was like suddenly I was aligned within.

So Camilla and I ripped up the slopes after we gave Steve, Tina and Lucy a few lessons to work on for the day. We discovered canyons, gullies, chutes and stunning beauty. One gully we discovered shot us out far away from the chair lift, so we had to traverse back, but I didn't mind because it was a gorgeous day.

Although I didn't have my normal ski gear and had to rent some basic skis (due to my budget) I realized that you don't need much to enjoy your day, just friends and good snow! I also discovered the ALFAJORE in Argentina, which added to my happiness. It's a chocolate covered cookie filled with dulce de leche, a yummy caramel cream.

So I had a flight to return to Puerto Montt, but with a week left of vacation and an addiction to Argentina's culture, I said "screw it" and bought a bus ticket to Buenos Aires. 12 hours later I was at the bus terminal and my Argentinian friend, Cesar, was there to pick me up.

At this point I must say THANK YOU to a job that provides an opportunity to work with people from all over the world. After 4 years at Squaw Kids, I've met and worked with my fair share of foreigners, and now I was Facebooking them all for places to stay and tours of their city. I'm a lucky girl and I laughed to see people on those sight seeing tour buses...I had my own personal guides!
Cesar's family all spoke English, thank God! And they live in a really nice apartment downtown. I was spoiled with Frosted Flakes for breakfast and cafe con leche and alfajores...JOY. Cesar, Alejo and Manuel had an ASADO (BBQ) for me and whoa, Argentinians take their meat seriously. I mean, I think from now on I will only go to the butcher for meat. But they also sold cow lengua (tongue) and intestines in the supermarcado...gross. I took a nice tour of Buenos Aires and enjoyed some Milanesa, a delicious cut of meat breaded and fried just right with sauce and cheese...TAKE ME BACK!

Argentina has seen its share of political turmoil, and like Chile, the military has taken over from a sour dictatorship, but instead of passing the power, they kept it and mysteriously neighbors and everyday people went missing. Yes, Americans can gripe about their govt., but to be honest, at least we all feel safe and protected by our rights in our country. There were posters of the revered Evita everywhere too, as it was close to the anniversary of her death.

Cesar, Manuel and I also checked out the Royal Expo, which was kinda like a State Fair, but bigger. There were cows, sheep and llamas all being shown in competition. They had fresh meats and cheeses from the country side and a huge variety of tractors. I guess Argentina has a pretty big farming community. But it reminded me of home because my cousins live on a farm and thrive off that kind of thing. I ran into some cowboys drinking MATE, a strong herbal tea that tastes really earthy. You usually pass the drink around with friends and there were hot water dispensers everywhere to refill your thermos for Mate. Anyway, I stopped them for a photo, but they didn't seem that interested.

So after enjoying the city life, Manuel and Cesar took me back to the bus terminal and waved farewell as my bus pulled away. I have to say that boys have much better manners in Argentina. I always had to walk through the door first, never carried my bag and was always refused when I offered to pay for something. All in all, I felt like a princess!

22 hours later on a bus I ended up in the resort town of Bariloche, where I met 2 other volunteers, Sara and Frankie. I can't believe I really didn't have to be alone at all during this whole all worked out perfectly.

Bariloche...WHOA. Similar to Tahoe, but I'd have to say more incredible, Bariloche is a town situated on a beautiful lake with a few ski resorts near by. Now this town has a huge influence from the Swiss and Germans, and so the chocolate and beer were amazing. I mean, we went on a chocolate tasting tour and I felt like I was in heaven! Every ice cream was better than the one before and we even treated ourselves to some cheese fondue. Everything is pretty cheap in Argentina.

I wasn't going to ski again due to my financial situation, but then I said "screw it" and rented some skis and bought a day pass and I'm so glad I did. Frankie, Sara and I all skied well together and so we really challenged each other on the slopes. We skied down chutes and enjoyed the incredible views of the absolutely HUGE mountains and beautiful lake below. We sang and woohooed all the way down the mountain. We even had to ford a creek to get to the base, but I didn't mind walking at all...a new experience! Also a new experience for me: looking like a gaper (a person who is obviously an out of towner on the ski slopes). I didn't have goggles or proper gloves, but who cares??!!

When it was all said and done, I skied 5 days total, met up with many friends, shared some great memories, ate a lot of incredible food and saw some spectacular vistas. Then I contracted Montezuma's revenge, but at least it didn't hit until I got home to Puerto Montt and I've had this whole week off getting better. Everything works out alright in the end, eh?