Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Going north to La Serena

A welcome invitation

I was asked to go to La Serena by a Chilean Fulbrighter, Sr. Julio Del Transito Parada Pizarro, about a month ago, to present some workshops in classes there. I was particularly excited by this, not only for the chance to talk with other professors to see how they do things, but also because this was the area I'd wanted to go to visit in Chile. The Coquimbo and Elqui Valleys are known for their beauty, pisco production, star gazing, and as we were to discover, papaya and hippie types.

Steve and Joel, at the beginning of the trip, before we 
all got overheated. Luckily, Tur-Bus does provide 
roadside assistance. We stopped for about 20 minutes
at one point, for a service guy who arrived in his Tur-Bus
van to fix the AC.

A little store, somewhere on the trip...A 7 hour trip, by the way. 
But our extra special "cama" (bed) seats were great. They did not
recline all the way into a bed position, but there were quite nice, and at
three across in the downstairs of our double decker bus, very roomy.

                                                      A rather suggestive underwear shop. Adds and posters are just as sexually charged here as they are in the US.              

The views during the trip were just spectacular. I really enjoyed it, and didn't find things to be particularly tiresome. Poor Joel did, and I think it got to Steve too, after a while. When I wasn't busy looking out the window,  I had my knitting, kindle, and papers to grade. 

Steve and I agreed that much of the scenery reminded us of the southwest. There were places that looked very much like New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas.
When we arrived, Sr. Julio was at the bus station to take us to our hostel. That evening, Sra. Sandra, and her husband, Sr. Elvis arrived to take me out to a wonderful dinner, at a very elegant hotel. 9 p.m. is VERY late for me to eat, and I was tired from the trip, and actually felt a little ill, so I did not eat much. I did take a doggy bag back to the hostel. And NO, I did not feed that wonderful swordfish to a street dog-Steve and Joel got to eat it the next day.

Back to work

Since we are off of school all week here at PUCV, I´m working to catch up but plan on going to Santiago tomorrow for a couple of days with Sarah, my teacher/artist friend I met here. More on La Serena later, but I must get back to work!

Fire Update

As to the fire, ONEMI reported last night 12,500 are homeless, 2,900 homes destroyed, with 1,200 people in shelters. The police and navy are removing debris, the army is coordinating supplies and other logistics, and the air force is in charge of shelters (I think I have that right). I heard from one of my students, who had to evacuate, that she, her family and home are all safe, but that they went to Santiago to stay with a cousin. The woman who has the cafeteria contract at Joel´s school is ok, but her parents lost their house. 
!Fuerza Valpo!

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