a view

last night i went to the church to help make a quilt that was being made for the Bishop and his family who are moving away to the Philippines. it is a tradition they do for all families who move out of the ward. after they gave us directions on how to cross-stitch our name onto the square, we got ready to leave. Martha, another American in the ward, was kind enough to drive me to and from the church since we don't have a car. before leaving the church she offered to give another girl named Sonya a ride to her home. she is 18, trying to learn English, and lives in one of the homes on the hilltops that I showed you in this post. she was so sweet, and asked me different questions as we were driving to her home (Martha being the translator between the two of us- she has lived here for a year and had a tutor and can speak Spanish pretty well). as we were driving up the hill i whipped out my camera because i wanted to get a shot of the amazing view of the city. sonya watched me do this, and then proceeded to tell me that the view from her home was amazing and that i should take a picture when we get there. 

the area on the hill where she lives is much more "Chilean" than the area we live in.  while the neighborhood we live in is littered with fancy gated houses, tree lined streets, and massive malls around the corner, this neighborhood is lined with small homes built with scrap metal and plywood, stray dogs running the streets, and kids and neighbors outside just hanging out with each other, playing games and visiting. there is a wonderful community vibe about that area despite it being known for not being as safe. 

when we stopped to drop sonya off, i got out to take a picture from the street. sonya went on to tell me that she meant i should take the picture from inside her house and beckoned for us to follow her. she was so sweet and so kind. we went in her very humble home and walked to the back of it where there was a window. from there i got this most amazing view of Lo Barnechea captured below. 

If you see the freeway in the top left corner, and go right to that big white tall apartment building, then go over one more to that brick red apartment building... that is where we live!

The homes just below Sonya's home...

To get to the entrance of the homes, you walk down these stone steps from the street to get to these little alleyways that take you by the front doors. There are more steps that lead down to other alleyways and more homes. It is really neat. I tried to capture what it looks like above, but it turned out pretty blurry, and I felt kind of weird and inappropriate snapping pictures at everything, but you get the idea. 

as we drove down the hill to go home, we passed by some kids and adults playing calle on the courts. they are there every night, until very late. i love it. 

people just hanging out. they are on summer break here right now, but regardless, being up and out late at night (even for young children) is a common thing around here. lunch is the main meal and then long naps are taken in the afternoon, followed by dinner which is eaten around 9- 9:30pm. you can only imagine when actual bedtime would be. they think it's funny that we put our kids to bed at 7- 7:30. go figure. i was told by a fellow american it's a nice thing though because when we want to go out to dinner at restaurant on the weekend at 6:30, they are empty and you won't ever have a wait. too bad we hardly ever eat out!

martha told me on our ride home that i was really lucky to have Sonya invite me into her home like that. apparently they aren't quick to invite gringos into their homes, and she said it took a very long time for a Chilean to feel comfortable inviting her into their home when she moved here. it made me smile and feel grateful that i was able to have that experience. 

the people here are so beautiful. they are friendly, and humble, and grateful for what they have. they are quick to give even when they have very little. at least that has been my experience with them so far. seeing the way a lot of them live reminds me how spoiled rotten i am. i am given so much and have so much to be thankful for. 


ps. the stray dog thing is no laughing matter. when we dropped her off there was a dog attacking a smaller dog and sonya told us to be careful walking because the bigger dog was "dangerous" and had attacked people before. she told us to walk slow and kept looking back at it as it was FOLLOWING RIGHT BEHIND US. my heart was beating so fast, and i kept thinking 'he can smell my fear and is going to bite me' and if you know me well, you know that i already have a small fear of dogs (even tiny innocent ones) so this was a frightening experience for me. thankfully we got to her place in one piece and she even walked us back to the car with a huge wooden stick she grabbed from her house to ward off any possible dog threats. 
i climbed in that car so fast. 
{you can laugh at me now}


Crystal said...

I love this post. I am loving your life! So cool! What an adventure. Miss you

Angie said...

I love all the detail you include, it's fun to see how different life is in Chile. That's really cool you got to go in Sonya's house, and she must have felt so comfortable with you to invite you in. (I am not surprised, you are such a nice, warm person who makes others feel comfortable.) Thanks for taking so many pictures!

Mary Martha said...

You are making your way so easily. Love it! Great veiws. Love following your adventure. Love ya!

Happy Girl said...

dude someone totally has a swastika on their door