¡Ay no! Les duelen mis pies de caminando en El centro.

¡Ay no!  Les duelen mis pies de caminando en El centro.

El próximo vez cambiaré a zapato diferente.


As my family and friends back in the United States are hopeful and excited for the pending arrival of Spring, in both Ohio and Georgia, we here in Chile are preparing for the season to change from Summer to Fall in April.  Here you can see how the leaves on the trees are starting to change.  I am very excited about being able to capture the beautiful changes of color among the Chilean foliage.  I am reminded of how in the US this changing of seasons tends to reveal some of the most beautiful examples of God’s glory as reflected in nature.



Here are my pictures I captured yesterday on my bus ride to downtown Talca so that I could register as a resident with the Department of International Police (PDI).  I failed to do this last semester and it created a terrible mess for me when I tried to return home last December.  However, we are dotting all or i’s and crossing all our t’s this time around.  I got some nice pictures of Chilean graffiti on my trip yesterday.  My Spanish Professor back at UGA really likes these types of pictures so I hope he can enjoy some of the shots I was able to obtain.


My good friend Verónica accompanied me to the international police station to assist in the event that I needed any translation help.  Fortunately, I had no problems communicating and the officers were excellent and friendly.  That has generally been my experience here with the Chilean Police officers.  They are extremely nice and helpful.  They could be a model for many other countries in how to treat citizens and foreigners.  Above Verónica captures a lovely shot of the back of my head! lol



Ahhhhh he we go.  Much better Verónica.  Here I am tryin’ to be Hollywood on that very hot, very crowded micro (little public bus).


The officer allowed me to get my glamour shot picture in the PDI office.  Unfortunately, its a little blurry but I still look niccccccccccccccccccceeeeeeeeee. Work it mamacita! 🙂


It always amazes me to see how much damage the big Chilean earthquake of 2010 did to the city of Talca.  It is not uncommon to see structures that were devastated by the quake.  Nevertheless, there is much progress and reconstruction taking place in Talca, Maule and the people and city are recovering well with many new business and jobs coming to the area.



More examples of earthquake damage and the efforts to rebuild.


My friend Verónica told me that this building is a national monument called the Mercardo de Talca (The Talca Market).  It sustained significant damage during the earthquake and there was a terrible fire there recently this past January.  I am not sure about the status of it’s reconstruction but the hotlink I provide above (its in Spanish) talks about the history of this historic national monument in Talca.


This street band was playing near the Mercardo de Talca and they were quite good!!  I really enjoyed the flute playing and will post a video I took shortly after I edit it for me blog.



Well, Verónica and I arrived at the PDI office during their lunch break so we had to return at 3:30pm.  In the interim we decided to walk to the main Mall in downtown Talca to look around and have lunch.


Mi amiga Verónica. ¡Qué linda en ésta foto! 🙂


We were trying to show the mall employee how to use my Sony Bloggie Touch camera in order to take a photo of us and she first only got a picture of nearby balloons.  lol :p


Ah ya (Oh yeah) she got it right this time.  Thank you! 🙂


Although, I typically do not enjoy fast food I had to try this.  I must confess, it’s no Weaver D’s. 😦


Awesome pictures from the balcony of the Mall


 I really like these two pictures because you can see the very low altitude of the Andes Mountains in the background (The Dragon’s Back)



Verónica let me have one of her spring rolls.  Yeah, I should have gone that route.  Next time I will.


I had been talking to Veróica about wanting to finds some more really delicious Empanadas.  We had some really delicious ones when I arrived last semester during a Mass for Patriots Day on our campus Universidad Católica del Maule.  She noticed this Little store as we were returning to the PDI office so we went inside as they were advertising fresh Empanadas.


Just outside of the store, directly across the street, was a McDonalds restaurant.  They truly are an ubiquitously international company.



A local Japanese restaurant in downtown Talca.


More graffiti.


The Empanada I purchased yesterday, tow beef and one seafood.  We ate the beef ones last night and I’ll let you all know how the seafood one turns out.

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Ésto es el primero Zapallo del jardín de Carmen Gloria.  This is the first Zapallo that Carmen grew in her back yard garden.  It’s a type of squash that’s like a sweet potato in consistency.  It was in the delicious soup she made for everyone last weekend.  It’s orange inside like a pumpkin.


Today I continued my journey to register as a Chilean resident as the PDI told me I needed to first go to the department of civil services in the mall near my house to register and then return to their office.  It seems I needed to make application for a RUT number and I was happy to see the office wasn’t too crowded.


My new friend Yanira was so nice and helped me complete my processing.  We had a lovely conversation about my doctoral research and study during my tie in Chile.  I also told her of my plans to purchase a motorcycle and he explained to me how have the RUN would allow me to purchase and sell items while living in Chile.  She was very nice as are most of the people I meet in Chile especially when I speak in Spanish.  They seem to really respect the fact that I’ve learned to speak their language.  I also realized that I completed this process without the assistance of any of my Chilean friends to serve as my translators.  I’ve now gone to the next level in my acclimation to Chile.  She also shared with me how I might avoid having to go all the way to Santiago come time to renew my student visa as it expires in June.


Yanira told me I had a very pretty name (Lisa) and I am now assuming it was to brace me for this picture.  I was like WHAT???!!!  Did I just gain 20 lbs. overnight.  I quickly rushed to the bathroom after leaving the office to see if I looked like I had gained that much weight.  I was relieved to see that I had not, and just assumed that it was as “they say”… the camera always adds 10 lbs.  When I retuned to my office at UCMaule I was laughing with the office manager Graciela about my picture.  She assured me I was correct in my perceptions and pulled out a copy of her RUN application photos.  She is very slim woman, but the photo made her look wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy heavier.  We both chuckled and I thanked her for giving me the peace of mind I needed to continue my day. Ha ha! 🙂

Plátano (Barraganete) and other South American Fruit

Plátano(Barraganete) and other South American Fruit

Saw these in the store today and was thinking, ¨Wow! Is that a giant banana?¨ Thus began my journey to lern about the plátano versus banana.

How It´s Made Video (Plátano Chips)

I saw the above fruit in the grocery story today and noticed that it was very different from the bananas I was used to seeing.  First off, it was larger than a banana and seemed to have a very dense and harder outer skin such that it did not seem it could be easily peeled by hand.  Upon my return home, I do my normal Google search and find out that the Plátano (Barraganete) is in the same family as the banana but is not meant to be eaten raw.  I also learned that the word Plátano has its origins in the African language and it had evolved from Greek, through Spanish to be called a banana.  Plátano or Plaintains are more common to Latin American and Carribean cultures and are typically never eaten uncooked.  Below is a video I found aobut how the fruit is made as a tasty chip.

My favorite Campesino had Cherries today!!

It so cool how here in Talca, Maule Chile, the farmers can sell their products out on the street. One man sells his items right by the Superbodega which would likely never happen in North America.  My favorite Campensino who always seems to have great fruits and vegetables at a very low price, today had strawberries and cherries. I thought about how much my mommy loves cherries (one of her favorite fruits) so I purchased some this eveing.  I later called her to let her know I purchased them on her behalf and would be posting the picture of them on my blog for her viewing.  🙂

There is a  Verduria (a small vegetable store) and Futeria (little fruit store) right in my neighborhood and a number of other small stores like a paneria (bread story).  They all remind me of the little stores that peppered my childhood neighborhood growing up in Akron, Ohio.  I get saddened by the thought that so many American children living in urban areas today do not have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables that littles stores like these provide.  I remember how we used to play all day long outside as children and never be hungry because neighbors had either apple, plum, raspberry,or pear trees and grape vines we all ate from as we got hungry during the day.  Sigh… I told my daddy that sometimes being here in Chile is like going back in time, but in a very good way.  My childhood was a very happy time that I cherish more each day. 🙂  I am so grateful for my experiences here in Chile as well as life.  Feeling very blessed and thankful which is apropos since it is the U.S. holiday of  Thanksgiving today.


Guayaba Juice

(Spanish for Guava )


I also saw this guayaba juice in the story today and I have never tried a guave fruit before.  It is my understanding that Guava is an excellent source for Vitamins A and B, providing more Vitamin C than an orange.  It also offers a relatively high Calcium content which is a mineral source not typically found in fruits.  I will report back to latter and let you know how it tastes.  If you do not see an update about it here… that will be because it was as bad and a similar unpleasant surprise as the ¨Tutti Frutti¨ juice I purchased upon my first arrival to Chile.  Here´s hoping for the best! lol


The Guayaba juice tasted good and far better than my Tutti Frutti fail 3 months ago.  Also, in considering it´s nutritional value I think it would be wise to keep it in the ¨libation rotation.¨  🙂