OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 4

OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 4

Featured image: Visiting the Lagunas altiplanicas in the Atacama desert At the start of my time abroad, my host mom encouraged me to savor every moment, since it would fly by before I knew it. Despite Adriana’s 18 years of experience as a host mom, I don’t think I completely believed her, but as I write this final post from my bedroom in New York City I can see she had a point. My last month abroad was known as…

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OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 3

OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 3

Featured image: Sunset over Escuela Ñirrimapu in Padre Las Casas, Chile Throughout the past month I’ve thought to myself countless times, “Where am I… and how did I get here!?” I often think this when I fall asleep during bus rides and wake up in another dimension, but also at random moments when I pause to reflect on the unique experiences I’m having. This was especially true during the first week of April when we traveled to Temuco, located south…

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OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 2

OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 2

Featured image: A mural at Escuela La Victoria that reads “Public, Free, and Quality Education“ After 36 days in Chile, I can proudly report that I’ve only led my friends astray on the metro five times! We have one more week in Santiago before traveling, so here’s hoping I don’t make it six. Now that I have a routine and can (usually) find my way around, the days and weeks are flying by. For the month of March, my schedule…

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OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 1

OLIVIA KEANE | SANTIAGO, CHILE | POST 1

Featured image: The Santiago skyline from the top of Cerro Santa Lucía Hello from América del Sur! Trading wintry New York for sunny Santiago has been strange, but in the best way. Many of my friends were abroad for almost two months by the time I left for Chile, so it wasn’t until my flight landed that the trip finally felt real. Adjusting to life in an unfamiliar city is challenging, especially since I’m clearly “extranjera” (foreign) with my map…

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Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 3

Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 3

A few weeks ago I lived with a Mapuche family in the small community of Chapod. The Mapuche are an indigenous community that reside in the Southern regions of Chile and Argentina. Anthropologists frequently study them because their culture is rapidly disappearing at the hands of global, Western imperialism. I only experienced the Mapuche culture for a single week, but what I saw and shared was beautiful, and worth saving. The Mapuche view the world through a circular framework. A…

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Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 2

Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 2

Maldichos y Memorias I have learned something new every day in Chile. I suppose that this is true at home, and at Vassar as well, but I feel like my learning here has been more pronounced, and more deliberate. And while, of course, I have done a lot of learning in class, most of my learning has happened outside of the classroom. Sometimes these life lessons are just silly. For instance, apparently a lot of mistakes Gringos make in Spanish…

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Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 1

Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 1

I ended my first day in Santiago washing strawberry cake off of dishes at a sink built for a woman a foot smaller than me. I kept thinking someone should take a picture of me, oddly tall, occupying too much space in the tiny, rectangular kitchen, while a petite, 75-year-old Chilean woman buzzed around me insisting I drink more tea, and finish her cake. “Eres bastante flaca, Chiquita.” “You are too skinny, little one.” I declined politely for the fourth…

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