Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
And anyone who needs some motivation to get out and exercise, try to appreciate the fact that you do not have to battle the winds of Porvenir like I do (although actually HAVING to use all that dri-fit, gortex technical gear to take on the elements is gratifying - it's not just to look cool!).
Thursday, November 26, 2009
- my family and friends (far and near, mostly far!), especially my family who puts up with my living farther and farther away and who makes the long trip to see me wherever I am, now literally to the end of the earth.
- my health
- modern technology, which allows me to stay connected to the world even from here (thank you Vonage for the Columbus phone number hook up in Porvenir and free long distance to 70 countries!)
- our new life in Porvenir which has given us amazing and different opportunities for which we will be thankful for years to come
- my husband, who had the idea of coming to live here and who probably does not even like it as much as I do now :)
- the woman in Porvenir I found who is going to cook me a stuffed turkey on Saturday (I had never even seen turkey in Porvenir until I stumbled across her little grocery store last week which had one whole frozen turkey in the freezer which I took as a sign. But then realized I didn't want to cook the thing myself so she said that she could cook it for me!)
- and most importantly my little baby girl, Olivia. She is healthy and happy. She is growing and learning new things every single day. Oh and she is freakin' adorable also...
I came across this picture of Olivia the other day. She was 3 1/2 weeks old. I can't believe how tiny she was! She is still a tiny little person now and I try to appreciate her tininess everyday, knowing that she will never be as small as she is right now.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!! Will post pics of my Chilean Thanksgiving turkey later this weekend!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
We spotted three foxes throughout the trip. Three seems like a lot considering I had never seen one on any previous trips.
And the money shot of the guanacos - actually looking at the camera rather than running away!
Olivia (pre-nausea) enjoying her new favorite activity - playing with rocks.
As always, plenty of sheep. What I love about this picture are the sleeping sheep. Who knew a sheep could make itself look like a rock? A defense mechanism?!!
An interesting stop we made was at a very small cemetery at an "estancia" where a few English settlers had lived. We saw the grave of Alexander Cameron (i.e. town of Cameron's namesake). The two graves pictured below described the fate of the poor souls. One man was killed by the "Indians" and the other accidentally drowned in the bay. The tombstones are in English. It was quite interesting to be in the middle of nowhere and come across English.
We also learned more about sheep. Sometimes the mama sheep dies and to ensure that the baby sheep survives they try to introduce it to another mother. Below is a mama sheep with her biological and adopted babies.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
So I finally found the woman who works with sheep skins and went out to her "estancia" (farm) to check out her "curtiembre" (translates to tannery in my best estimate). It was so interesting to meet her and learn about her life on a sheep farm and her artisan tannery process. Below are some photos of my field trip.
She also dyes some of the wool (pink would not be my first choice) and occasionally has natural black wool. Below are some cushion covers (I bought the black and white ones!).
Here's what the view was like on the road to the estancia. Baby sheep are born this time of year. As my car would pass, the lambs would look for their mothers, run towards them and then scurry away together. It was quite sweet to see them pair up with their moms.
And here is the sheep skin in its new home on my couch.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
One fun thing about living in Porvenir are the tourists you run into. Can you imagine the type of foreigner who makes it all the way to the end of the earth and even makes a stop in little Porvenir? Because Porvenir is so small and because Fernando and I are probably the only two residents here who speak fluent English and French, it's quite fun to strike up conversations with the tourists. And now that "peak" tourism season is starting, there are more and more foreigners passing through. And these are not your ordinary tourists. For example, in the past two weeks, these are the tourists we have talked to and in some cases hung out with:
FRANCE: A couple from La Rochelle traveling in an RV for one year with their three daughters aged 15, 12 and 2 years old. They started at the southern end of America and will end up in Halifax, Canada. (The two older girls work a couple of hours everyday through the internet to keep up with their studies.)
NEW ZEALAND: A group of 8 Kiwis on motorcycle completing their "bucket list" trip from Santiago to Ushuaia. (According to them, the Santiago-Ushuaia route is a MUST DO for any hard core motorcyclist.)
GERMANY: A young couple traveling with their 3 year old and 1 year old daughters for two months all over Chile.
ENGLAND: And perhaps most extreme, a British couple who started 4 months ago in Cuzco, Peru and will end in Ushuaia in two weeks more, traveling by BICYCLE. That's right, the kind with pedals and no motor...
Can you imagine how interesting it is to talk to these people? And can you imagine how shocking it is for them to come across us here in Porvenir?? It's really fun and I am looking forward to meeting more and more tourists as the season wears on.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Of course we took advantage of the weather and spent a lot of time outside with Olivia. Here are some pics which document the weekend.
Olivia enjoying the grass and dandelions on the waterfront (love this picture, snotty nose, chocolate mouth and all).
Friday, November 13, 2009
I just got back from Punta Arenas, crossing the strait ("estrecho" in Spanish) in the ferry as I have done many times before. Everytime I get on the ferry I think, "what a hassle, what a long trip, what a waste of time and money, having to stay in a hotel 2 nights due to ferry schedule, etc..." But when I get to Punta Arenas it's always fun (even though it always involves ALOT of running around, taking care of errands, stocking up on everything we can't get in Porvenir). This time I had sushi which I actually hadn't had since 2007 (due to pregnancy, nursing and then running out of time in Santiago before the move). Yum yum yum! The main purpose of my trip was for an intensive one day one-on-one art class (living in Porvenir you learn quickly to BEG for special treatment in Punta Arenas since it's such a process getting over there). "An art class?," you ask. I am still perfecting my art but will post at some point later about that.
Monday, November 9, 2009
There's a little room to grow but will the snowsuit fit next winter? Maybe it doesn't matter because she will get to wear it all summer too!
Friday, November 6, 2009
A gaucho is a cowboy who lives in Southern Chile or Argentina who is typically nomadic, traveling around to the estancias (farms) to basically work as a shepherd taking care of the sheep. On one of our road trips through Tierra del Fuego we came across this gaucho who was traveling with his entourage of 3 horses and 5 dogs, pretty much in the the middle of nowhere, on his way to Porvenir (but with a good 15 miles to go still).
When we asked him if we could take his picture, Fernando got this great photo posted below which I absolutely love. Despite his hard lifestyle and current situation (in the middle of nowhere, living off the land, looking for work), which can be seen in his worn look, he has a gentle smile on his face. And he was more than happy to have his picture taken!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I have been craving chocolate chip cookies lately. I am pretty sure it's because Olivia loves leafing through my Oprah Magazines which are full of mouth watering photos of yummy foods, one in particular of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, which I have now seen over and over again as we flip through the magazine. In general my food cravings for American food (or rather the food I can get in the US that I can't get here) have diminished over time. I am going on 8 years living outside of the US (that's right EIGHT!) so I guess my system has adjusted to not having a lot of foods I used to crave.
But today, oh boy, did I need a chocolate chip cookie and fast. Chocolate chips and brown sugar are not to be found here but luckily I had some stored away.
Seriously, it was HEAVEN. After eating what seemed like half the batch as raw dough I thought I wouldn't have room for the actual baked cookies but turns out I was wrong. HEAVEN.
I told Fernando that from now on it's very simple. It doesn't matter where we live, he just needs to consider this easy equation:
Having the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies on hand = Happy Joanna.
It's really that simple.
Off to dinner now (i.e. plate of cookies).
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
AFTER - taken from the same angle:
AFTER - taken from the other side looking back:
We are very happy with how it turned out especially considering that neither one of us is very interior design inclined and it's not like there's anyone around here to hire for professional design help! And yes, that is my trophy on top of the book case and yes, that is Oprah Magazine on the coffee table - all the way at the end of the earth. It's a very cozy living room (hideous heater and all!) with a high ceiling. We just need to hang more things on the wall, any suggestions?
Monday, November 2, 2009