When I finally thought that there would be no more surprises in Chile, I found myself beginning the week on the beach and watching an eclipse at 92% totality. Just imagine enjoying a day off work and playing beach soccer and then all of a sudden, the sky gets dark, but you can see a corona of light spanning radially around the beach.
Needless to say, I was at a loss for words because what a coincidence it was that I would be at the right place at the right time to witness a phenomenon that occurs only once every five years. Guess this means that I have to come back in 2024!!
The video above was taken in Viña del Mar the moment of the eclipse. It becomes visible through the sun-protective glass that there was 92% totality.
Later that week at work we began organizing some free workshops for the local community to come out and enjoy so that they can develop a better sense of unity within the neighborhood! This was important to the overall project of facilitating a waste management system in Cerro Las Delicias because, like every other successful company, it starts with the foundation. Some of these great workshop activities included: arts and crafts with recyclables, baking bread and breaking bread, creating earthworm compost bins, community mapping exercises, and permaculture!
The image above is a flyer designed by the workshop team that will be posted in every corner of Cerro Las Delicias to notify the community.
The workweek flew by and before I knew it, the weekend was here. However, it was not just any regular weekend, it was the last and best weekend of the trip! All of the students in the program were given a 4-day weekend and most of us decided to spend it in Buenos Aires, Argentina! The first night we arrived in Buenos Aires, we decided to all participate in something called “The Argentine Experience,” which was essentially a five-course meal leading up to a masterpiece of filet mignon steak! We also learned how to make our own empanadas as well as indulging in the common Argentinian practices of drinking mate and making alfajores!
The leftmost image above depicts Mate, which is a native Argentine tea that is a very popular drink amongst the locals. The middle image depicts alfajores, which is a dessert consisting of two cookies filled with dulce de leche in between them and coconut shavings sprinkled on top. The rightmost image depicts a medium rare steak that was served for dinner.
The remainder of the weekend consisted of more touristy events such as visiting the famous cemetery with hundreds of erected mausoleums, wandering through the largest artisanal street market in all of Latin American, learning the art of the tango from its birthplace, and visiting the hub of Argentinian tourism, La Boca. However, the biggest disappointment from the weekend comes from not being able to meet the pope or Lionel Messi even after visiting the world-renowned La Bombonera soccer stadium.
The leftmost image was taken of the La Recoleta cemetery. The middle image was taken in La Boca, the tourist hub of Buenos Aires. The rightmost image was taken in La Bombonera stadium, the world-famous soccer stadium for the fútbol club Boca Juniors.
After visiting Argentina for only a brief amount of time, I believe that I was able to capture a vivid essence of the culture being that I was able to force myself to use the public transportation and to navigate myself from place to place. This prompted me to not only live life from their perspective but also to communicate orally in Spanish so that I can learn and experience their lifestyle since I would have a host family to show me as I do in Chile. I see value in understanding the differences between these cultures and I believe that the best way to do so is to take leadership and work on my communication skills.