Thursday, July 31, 2008

keeps getting better & better

That's how I feel about Santiago de Chile, with each day that passes I fall more and more in love with the city, my city. The stroll through paradise that I took at this afternoon, for instance, I mean, com'on, be honest, does life get any better than this?
Yesterday morning I left the house fairly early to get my morning errands out of the way and came home around 12 to find "mi abuela y mi mama" busy in the kitchen. The entire house smelled amazing and I ran in to help with the unidentifiable concoction... Cazuela! It's a tradition Chilean chicken/beef  vegetable stew. Fortunately they altered the recipe to make it meat-less for my sake. But the veggies, oh my, it took so long to chop everything up: bell peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, green beans, carrots, corn, peas, potatoes. We mixed it then with rice, chopped parsley, basil, mint, juice of a lemon and a couple of more spices and a few hours later, tah-dah (or cha-cha as the Chileans say) our dinner was served. I'll get you the exact recipe ASAP!
Where was my lunch you ask? Well, I ended up having a meeting around 2 so I brought some leftover spinach and a large salad for the road. When I returned home once more, this time at 7:30 p.m. our hard work was waiting for me with a side of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Everything was so good and I was so hungry and so glad that I had been able to do everything I had to do, basically I was on cloud 9 :).
This wonderful state of being continued into today despite the fact that I had to wake up unreasonably early for another university's exchange student orientation (my program offers classes at both). After a long morning of presentations we were finally set free at noon. Four friends and I decided to walk up 2 blocks to this gorgeous park we had passed a couple of times but had not yet had the chance to see. It was huge! I couldn't even tell you how many stairs I climbed, but I enjoyed every step. This is the kind of cardio that I love and appreciate. 
To top it off last night's cazuela made a second appearance and, as is I expected, was better after having sat for a day. Oh and I followed my meal with a tart tangerine. Sitting in the sun, with friends, savoring good food, and gazing over our new city was such a nice treat and you would've never guessed it was winter here with how beautiful the weather was, we really lucked out. About an hour later we made our way out of our haven and back to the offices to meet with our advisors about classes. I am such a nerd but I love this part, you should've seen how excited I was! In case you're interested ;) I'll soon be taking: Chilean Spanish... Environmental Policy in a Developmental Context... Introduction to Human Figure Drawing... Chile, Chileans, and their Culture... and Indigenous Art History... sounds fun, huh?
Oh and I almost forgot, this day actually managed to get even better! I passed two special places on my way home. The first was this little shop which sold, you guessed it, organic & natural goods. I was so completely in my element for that half an hour I spent in there. I only bought a bag of ground flax seed but I'm sure that by the time December rolls around the staff will be able to greet me by name :). The second stop was Deportus, a fitness center that offers yoga and pilates night classes and is directly on my walk home from the metro station. Going back to sign up tomorrow! Finally, alas, after all this good fortune, and yet another busy day abroad, I am beat. Buenas noches todas!

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