I sat down to write a long post a few days ago, and then when Zach went to pay for the internet time they accidentally logged off my computer instead of his. Oh well. It basically went on and on about our day in Zapallar and what an incredibly beautiful place that sleepy little beach town is (I personally think the beach and ocean views there and in Viña are even better than in Santa Cruz and even Sta Barbara, something Zach considers sacriligeous). I´ll get to show yáll the millions of pictures I took and then you´ll be convinced. I think Zapallar may be one of my favorite places in the world. I think we´ll try to go back to the coast again before leaving Chile. By the way, I´m so totally jealous of Jenny who got to live in Viña/Valparaiso for 6 months for school... for some reason I didn´t quite realize how cool that was until I was walking down those same streets, by the ocean, relishing it all.
While in Viña we also got to see more family, my cousin Elisa and her 4 kids: Gonzalo (who´s my age), Alejandra (23), and the twins Juan Felipe and Manuel Jose (15). All the kids were so cool, and Zach was a HUGE hit with the twins, despite the slight English/Spanish barrier (they spoke english about as well as Zach speaks spanish...). Gonzalo is studying chemical engineering in school, so we told him he should get a job in California. ; ) I´m trying to collect email addresses so we can keep in touch with some of these people. It´s fun to remember what we were all like as kids, and now to see each other as adults, see who looks the same and who´s practically unrecognizeable...
So we got to Viña friday,went to Zapallar saturday... sunday we walked and shopped in downtown Viña, then headed back to Santiago in the late afternoon. This morning we went to the Cemeterio General with Daddy. It´s more of a park than a cemetery... or seems that way. All the graves are these huge, above-ground monuments, sort of like in New Orleans, and whole families are buried together. It was actually really beautiful and peaceful, the sort of place you could see going just to hang out or have a picnic, which seems so strange to my death-phobic "American" side. We saw some famous graves, such as Salvador Allende´s, and my great-great-great-uncle (was abuelita´s great-uncle) Jose Manuel Balmaceda, ex-president of Chile. He was well known for having tried to implement all sorts of reforms during his presidency which people got all pissed off about, started a civil war which he lost, then 5-10 yrs later everyone sorta realized he was right and implemented his reform ideas anyway, and today people come to his gravesite to write prayers to him, for everything from family illness to helping them get good grades in their current classes. We also saw Abuelita´s grave. It was a nice excercise in family history.
Tomorrow we leave for Argentina and will be there till saturday. When we picked up our tickets today they asked Zach about some little piece of paper that they gave him when we arrived in the country, that he apparently will need in order to leave it... a piece of paper that we have no idea where it might be. I´m assuming it will not be a big deal, but if it does become a problem then at least we figure it out now and still have a week before our flight back to Switzerland... I´m not really sure what to think, so for now I´m not worrying too much. Most of the time when we´ve travelled people see the US passport and simply wave us on. I´m hoping it´ll be like that.