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A Rant, A Rave, and a Little Bit of Everyday Life

Experiences of a Newlywed Gringa Living in Chile

Our First Thanksgiving in Chile

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday since I was very little. For me, it isn’t about the historical reasons for celebrating or the “Black Friday” aspect. It has always been the one day out of the year that my entire family would get together and have a nice dinner together, undistracted. It was the one day that I could see all my aunts, uncles and cousins at once. Being a part of a small family, it was a gathering of about 12 people at the most, and I always thought that it was wonderful. The food, of course, was also always delicious. Everything we make for Thanksgiving is only served that one day of the year, so it is always special to be able to have those holiday favorites. Continue reading “Our First Thanksgiving in Chile”

Five of the Most Difficult Things About Being an Expat

 Over the past 11 months that I have been living abroad, I have encountered a lot of difficulties. Lately, I have been encountering a few more, as life doesn’t seem to get any easier. I thought I would share with you what I believe to be the five most difficult things about being an expat. Continue reading “Five of the Most Difficult Things About Being an Expat”

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So, You Want to Move to Chile…

Finally, I am a resident of Chile and able to work after a long 4 months. I tell you, it is a relief to finally be done with the process. I am a worrier, and I don’t think I have had a good night’s sleep since this all began. I have learned a great deal through this process, however, and I would like to share some insight having recently suffered this ordeal. Continue reading “So, You Want to Move to Chile…”

18th of September and Some Great News!

Out of the doldrums and grey skies that is winter here in Chile comes a flurry of activity, springtime, and sunshine.

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Part of the family out in the sunshine!

The 18th of September in Chile is set aside to celebrate the anniversary of the first meeting of the government in Chile. Many believe that it is Chile’s independence day, but that is not officially until February. The 19th is the day to celebrate the armed forces, much like Veterans Day is for the States. Together, the days are called the “Fiestas Patrias.”

For schools, most people get a week of vacation, kind of like spring break. Workers get the 18th and 19th off no matter what, though many get much more. This year, Felipe got out of work at noon on Tuesday and didn’t have to go back to work until today. Yeah, a six-day weekend. Pretty cool, right? The reason is because if they only gave the day or the two days off, employers know that on Friday no one will show up. Or, if they do show up, it will most likely be late and hungover. Better to just take a couple extra days off for everyone rather than making everyone show up and get nothing done.

So, what do people do with so many days off? Parties and barbecues, my friends. Nothing but parties and barbecues for a week. There are ramadas everywhere, which are similar to a county fair with various stands, games, and lots and lots of alcohol. There are also free concerts that occur, and huge parties thrown by clubs and bars. Fondas are also set up in various locations, which have a variety of Chilean food to serve. You don’t have to look far or hard for a good time.

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Did I mention fresh, homemade empanadas are abundant during this holiday? Yum!

Felipe and I, this year, spent the 18th in Olmhue, a little farming town about 30 mins outside of Viña del Mar. We went over there on the 18th and stayed through Saturday. It was a blast being able to spend time with the family and play with my niece and nephew. We flew kites, played games, and cooked together the entire week. The weather was fabulous as well, in the 70s and warm. I have been craving sunshine, and I got my fill this weekend.

I also had my fill of meat. We had a barbecue of some nature literally every day from Tuesday through Saturday. I was raised on a cattle ranch, and let me tell you…too much. This week is going to be a detox with fruit and veggies. It was all so delicious, but come Saturday, I was craving some variation.

This week made me miss my family, though. I miss seeing them and being able to hang out with them. Not to mention that we were having so much fun this last week that I wished that they were a part of it! While I love Felipe’s family, they can’t replace mine. If only it wasn’t $1,500 per ticket…I could use a dose of togetherness.

In other news: I am officially a resident of Chile! On September 12, I went and sat for a few hours in the Extranjería and now have a visa stamp in my passport! The only thing I have left to do is get my ID Card, aka Carnet. The difficulty there is that the Registro Civil is on strike and not giving out any documents that are not considered an “emergency.” But, hopefully they will get that resolved soon. Really soon.

Celebrating in our Quincho on the 17th
Celebrating in our Quincho on the 17th

Things are looking up! I have applied for one internship, and I am working on getting a variety of resumes ready for sending to  employers. The job search is on! I am really feeling happy about it all. It seems as though things are finally falling into place after a lot of waiting.

Here is to hoping everyone else is having a wonderful day whether it be Fall or Spring wherever you are!

Sometimes, You Just Have to Speak Up

What do you do if someone you love is doing something you know is wrong?

We can talk for ages about the wrongs of celebrities and people we don’t know. If we are an anonymous voice among the many, we feel free to say whatever we wish, be it helpful or hurtful. Yet, when it comes to our own loved ones, our friends and family, it becomes taboo to say anything at all.

We shut our mouths and withhold our opinions to “keep the peace.” We don’t want to cause a problem or make someone feel bad.

The fact is, that by not saying anything, you do everyone, including yourself, a disservice. You aren’t being honest with the people you care about most, and you aren’t being honest or true to yourself.

Nothing in this world has been changed by people that keep their mouths shut about things that they know and believe are wrong.

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Is everyone going to like what you have to say? No, of course not. People in general are stubborn. Therefore, when you be true to yourself and say what is on your mind, your goal should not be to change them, but to inform them. You cannot control what others do with their lives.

The most important thing is, if you have something negative to say about what a person has done, it does not mean that you don’t care or that you don’t love them. It means the exact opposite. 

“I Would Rather Be Hated Than Loved With Conditions”

This is a great article that popped up  on my newsfeed, written by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller. Fate strikes again, seeing as I have had this topic in my mind since late Sunday night, and he really hits the nail on the head.

Being truthful with people about what you believe, even if it is the exact opposite of what they believe means that you say your part, and if they keep on doing what they are doing, you love them anyway.

My favorite quote from this article is at the end:

“I will tell the truth to the best of my ability, I will not try to control, and there is nothing anybody can do to get me to stop loving them.”

This is exactly what has been going through my mind. Mr. Miller took the words right out of my mouth. I want to live my life in a way that is true to who I am and what I believe. If I feel a loved one has done or is doing wrong, I won’t keep my mouth shut. They can take what I say how they will, but whatever they decide to do will not have any effect on if I love them or not.

Let’s all stop this taboo. Let’s be honest with the people we love and not hide our feelings. Everyone deserves the truth from the people that they love most. No one is able to agree on everything, but many times there are things that need to be said that are hidden away. What you have to say could make them mad, yes, or it could be the stone that causes the ripple effect to help change things for the better. You will never know if you don’t speak up.

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