La Reina - Santiago 30/7/14
La Reina - Santiago 30/7/14
Santiago - estacion central 2014
One semester of study over and done with at FEN - Universidad de Chile, Santiago. Time certainly flies. The semester has been full of fun, challenges, tragedy and new insights.
When I arrived to Santiago I was lucky enough to have my Chilean friends, Jorge and Pablo waiting for me at the airport. Straight to the mountains (The Andes) we went for my welcoming assado (BBQ). A great way to start my year abroad, although i was soon reminded how much meat and beer is consumed in this country, a bit of a shock to the system after living with a vegetarian beforehand. There was already a room waiting for me at Jorge’s house in the suburb of Santiago called La Reina, a super nice location with a view to the mountains and walls everywhere covered in street-art and graffiti.
After a week or so I attended Orientation Day and met the fellow International Students. It was quite confronting when I was put into a group of Chilean students and we played games such as, eating chocolate from girls mouths and dancing Reggaeton style in front of everyone. Certainly was a great way to break the ice. Seeing the campus for the first time was also very nice. The campus was small coming from University of Adelaide. This aspect was good, as it made for more of a community vibe. Many of the buildings are new and also there is a great soccer field and outdoor area.
The courses i took were all different making for great interest in each.
The course about social entrepreneurship was a great insight. The teachers were young and it took a very holistic approach, with sessions of meditation and assessment based around progress and effort. This course made us walk around the streets asking the public what problems exist, took us to many inspiring locations and made us pitch in front of professional entrepreneurs.
Urban economics was super interesting. Based mainly around theories and social factors instead of focusing on maths and curves. The lecturer for this course was very clever, working for UN organisations in South America.
Latin America in World’s Affairs was somewhat a course for international students. The content was very relevant but the majority of the class preferred to be on there phones and computers. This aspect was annoying and the lecturer didn’t seem to mind.
Outside of the Uni early on in the semester an earthquake struck Iquique and not long afterwards a huge fire struck Valparaiso, with thousands of houses lost. Times were tuff for Chile and it was fantastic to see the community action of all Chileans to help each other.
Later on in the semester was the World Cup. Chileans love football in general, let alone the World Cup. Watching the game between Chile and Spain was a great experience. The whole city turned into party-time. Classes were cancelled and Plaza Italia was total chaos. I had a good time dancing on the bus-stop.
The way football connects the people is amazing. There are many issues where the country is extremely pluralised. Football is a force that enables the people to forget about the differences and all cheer for the same thing, whether rich or poor.
The split between the rich and poor is on a grand scale. Many rich students and children never leave their clean, shiny neighbourhoods for their whole childhood, never exploring the city centre and experiencing what Santiago actually is. There is a huge sense of status anxiety among the privileged of Santiago. You can see how superior they think they are.
Also the huge split between left and right-wing politics is greatly present, and is highly connected with the above pluralisation of rich and poor. It seems to be ingrained in society after the dictatorship. Many people just follow and believe whatever their families positions were during the times of Pinochet and Allende. Both sides seem to be quite extreme with not so much of a middle ground. Huge issues regarding education and wealth distribution are present. Student protesting is always happening. This didn’t really effect me since I was in the business and economics faculty and perhaps they are the least active protesters. Although, at the university of my housemate, Camilla, classes were constantly cancelled due to protesting.
The activism in Santiago is on a complete different scale compared to Adelaide. The size of the cities is one reason, as is the size of the problems.
Another difference I noticed in Chile is punctuality. Chileans don’t mind being late, this is not only the students. This can get annoying.
Throughout the semester I made surf trips, painted murals, saw great live bands, ate plenty of food, such as pastel de choclo and met many beautiful people to hang and party with. I am certainly looking forward to the coming semester and doing it all again plus more.
I have just returned from a trip in Bolivia and my castellano is better than it’s ever been.
Fever, Gang and myself supplied some backgrounds for this hip hop vid.. check it out.. sheets real!
Ok time to spill some beans — wow que paso anoche, tonight i go to bolivia today i organize some sheet.. life in chile certainly knows how to keep you on your toess. study, painting, party, exploring y mas mas como eso. gringo culiao.. mi cerebro es como una papa jajaj so many great friends im very very lucky. but also i make very random moves sometimes, for example, super beautiful girl asks me to dance .. i dance and dance and then say ‘adios im going to find my friends’ no number or anything. and then go paint stuff in the street hmmm anyways …
Pablo day dreaming in Peñalolén - Santiago - 6/5/2014
Mendoza Local - 21/05/14 -
Drew this guy during my short stay in Mendoza renewing my Chilean visa. He was eating a typical dinner consisting of steak and some papas, sitting at the table across from me and had no idea i was drawing him. River Plate won the championship - so the street was full of noise/flags/fireworks and watnot.