Friday, December 13, 2013

Twenty Hours and Ten Things...

Well... my bus to the Santiago airport leaves in 20 hours. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited! It's been a very long time since I have been home, and a long time since I have hugged my parents. I spent last night reading over my past blogs and I kind of can't believe all I have gotten to do and see and experience here. It feels like I have been here much longer than 4 months, and Chile is very much a part of me now. So I cannot exactly tell you what it will be like returning to the States. I think the culture of Chile has influenced me more than I know, and I will start to realize that when I get back home. Everyone says that just like the culture shock you experience while abroad, you also experience a culture shock coming back. I find that hard to believe, but I suppose I will find out. I know that I am going to spend the rest of my life reaping the benefits of having studied abroad... I just don't know what that will look like. I am pretty sure I will continue writing in this blog for while about life after Chile.

Anyway, there are some things I am looking forward to when I get back home! So I made a list... again.

  2. I cannot wait to get to drive!! Driving is not something you really think about missing, but I do!  It will be nice to not have to wait for a bus to go somewhere or to walk for 30 minutes across town. Don't get me wrong, walking is good, but when you're late... you get to run. Not so fun.
  3. Fort Collins! I have been home-sick yes... but I have been extremely Fort Collins-sick. I miss the community, the town, and CSU. 
  4. Coffee shops and coffee dates. Not many people just go to coffee shops to sit and talk for a bit here. That's what bars are for I guess.
  5. Winter-wear. Winter is my favorite season along with fall, so I am excited to get into my boots, jackets, and scarves. 
  6. Mass in english! I may respond in spanish on accident though.
  7. My other clothes. I am really sick of the clothes I brought here, and I feel like I have worn them down so much.
  8. Swing dancing!
  9. I'm excited to have casual conversation that doesn't make my head hurt. It's pretty exhausting always having to have SUPER attention when you want to talk to someone, and not miss what they're saying. Of course I will miss those people here that I chat with in spanish. I just won't miss how hard it was to get to this point.
  10. Skiing and snowboarding! 
Guess that's it. Last blog to be written in Chile. But more come after in Colorado! Ciao!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Valparaíso mi amor...

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get to go on a tour of Valparaíso. However, this wasn't a normal tour, it was of the street art in Valpo. Graffiti is a culture in Valpo and high respected, instead of what we think in the US. The street artists are very famous, and even have their own teams of artists who help them work and plan their pieces. Painting on any surface in Valpo is completely legal, and the people who own the wall or surface often ask the artists to use their wall so that ugly tags don't appear. Artists even have their own territories in Valpo, and you cannot get caught painting in their area. I don't know what will happen, but I'm sure it's much more than a little conversation...

I found the tour extremely fascinating and I had no idea that this world of graffiti existed! I just thought the people who did this were bored low-lifes (sorry that's harsh, but kind of true). They are actually incredible artists and known world-wide.

What better way to start your day in Valpo than at one of the best Ice Creameries in the world!

This is one of my favorite artists, and he goes by "Inti". His themes are about the indigenous and this particular piece is about a battered woman, who though hurt, stands strong.

Below is President Salvador Allende, one of the most controversial figures in Chile's history.

Like I said, any surface can be painted on in Valpo.

This artist took two weeks to paint this piece, and he did it all with his fingers!

Valpo in the night.

If you look closely you can see words and writing intricately built into the art. 

This piece below was my favorite! These fish are called "Chilote" and they are from southern Chile. Southern Chile is known for being very religious, hence their pierced feet and the typical wooden church on the right. They're known for being very pious and making sacrifices often, but above you can see that it says "Baile Chilote". Baile means 'the dance', and whenever there is dance in street art that signifies joy. So even though the south of Chile is very Catholic and live a life of offering to God, they are also joyful about it. I love this piece! And I love southern Chile! I hope to one day be able to be joyful while offering sacrifices to my Lord. 

Well should we go down this random slide on our tour? Yes!

This artist uses animals to describe human personalities. 

At first I though the "A.C.A.B." was a signature, so someone asked who that artist was, but it actually just means "All cops are bastards"... Ok gotcha. Just an angry artist. 

Ha and below it says "Fuma kaka", which means "smoke poop" (or shit). So I take back what I said. Just a REALLY angry artist. 

If you notice, there's a mistake on the art below. The character has two right hands...

So another great opportunity we had on the tour was that we got to paint our own wall as a group! Two artists from Valpo met us here and had a mural planned out for us to help them with! Below is our wall before we had done anything.

The artists are outlining our piece. It's crazy that they pick up a can of spray paint and already have everything visualized in their head. It's like using a pen or pencil to them.

We were split into groups, and each group was assigned a letter. Ours was the "F". 
Can't you tell that we are all so natural at this? I mean what's more sophisticated than polka dots? Dripping polka dots at that.

Then he started drawing this character just out of nowhere! I don't get how it's so fluid and easy for them to do that!

If you notice above how the tires are real, and where they are placed! There's also a real cable coming off the top where it should be on a cable car. These are trolley-like buses that still exist in Valpo as you can see below!

The tour was such a great last activity to do in Chile! I really love Valpo, and I went there today for the last time... oh so sad. Kaylin and I just went to a cute little coffee shop and enjoyed our last Valpo trip. I have started packing to go home, and it's becoming a little more real. Send prayers for safe travel... Ciao!