Ok, I know it's a little late in coming (a month late, to be exact!), but here's an little synopsis and some pics of the Independence Day celebrations from September.
First there was a shindig at church one Sunday. It involved food, traditional music, and the traditional dance, the Cueca. I had learned the basics of the dance, but when it came to actually doing, I chickened out!! Maybe next year. :o) We spent most of the day there, enjoying the shows, the food, and talking with each other.
That week was a full one at school (even though it only involved 2 1/2 days of classes!). We had room decorating on Monday to make the school look festive. Each class did it and it was a school wide competition. Then Tuesday they had a "Dress in Chile Colors" day, also involving a competition. They also rehearsed for the program they would be performing in the next day. Tuesday night we got our food ready for the next day. I'm "in charge" of the Junior class for right now, helping them raise money for the banquet next semester. We baked some Chilean food to sell. Then Wednesday was the program, a game time, and then lunch of all traditional Chilean foods....All yummy foods too!! Then school was out until Monday! After school that day, a few of us went to a Chilean fair that they have during September. There's a ton of food, craft stands, shows, music...all sorts of fun stuff!!
To see pictures of all these events (and a little more detail than what I just mentioned...even a couple of videos at the end), click HERE.
After that, I went on a trip for a couple of days with some friends of mine. We went about 5 hours north to a town called La Serena. We walked around, did some shopping at the artisan shops, walked along the beach, went to a HUGE fair, visited some Japanese gardens, and had a fun yet relaxing time. My favorite part, though, was the evening that us girls took a tour to the observatory. There are a few sections of Chile that are famous worldwide for their clear skies and star gazing potential. And there are several observatories scattered around this area. We went to one that was about an hour away from where we were staying and took a tour that was almost 2 hours long. It was SO AMAZING! I saw Saturn and the rings around it. I saw some shooting starts. I saw a star cluster. I saw several of the constellations. I saw the Milky Way and its two satellite galaxies. It was a gorgeous night and the sky was crowded with stars. It was so incredible, and I was glad for this, because this was the main reason I wanted to visit this town. And after so much waiting and effort, I was afraid of being disappointed. But I definitely wasn't!!
To see pics from the trip to La Serena (although none from the observatory, since it was nighttime), click HERE.
I hope you enjoy everything! I just took a trip back to Argentina to help a friend renew her passport. It was a pretty mellow weekend, and Amy and I were both sick with a cold (I even stayed home from school today), so I don't have too many pictures to show you. But maybe I can come up with some. I'll see what I can do. :o)