Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Land of the Extremes

Porvenir is extreme, in every possible way. Here are some examples:
Starting with the obvious - the extreme and ever present WIND
The ridiculously extreme darkness in winter, followed by the ridiculously extreme lightness in summer (it is now light at 5:30 a.m. working its way down to about 4:45 a.m. come December 21).
The extreme isolation - it is an island and the only way off is on one of two ferries or a plane, none of which run at night so essentially you are trapped on the island every night!
The extremely brown vegetation - there are so few trees and plants here that any time I travel anywhere up north, I am fascinated by the green landscape now!
The extreme lack of food variety - you've read it here and here before, broccoli where are you?

Of course there are the positive extremes too:
The extremely cool penguins that stop by to say hi sometimes.
The other extremely interesting and different wildlife we see - flamingos, guanacos, foxes, dolphins...
The extremely tranquil lifestyle - no traffic jams (or traffic lights for that matter!) here.
The extremely healthy happy cows and sheep which lead to extremely delicious meat.
The extremely clean air we breathe (especially grateful for this after 4.5 years of filthy Santiago air).
The extremely beautiful view from our house, especially when the sun is setting.

But... I have to admit, I am getting extremely tired of the extremeness. This blog is meant to share fun and positive activities and learning experiences we have here and so I have decided to take a break from the blog until next year. We will be in Punta Arenas next week and then in the States for a month so I won't really be in Porvenir until mid January anyway. So... until then, happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Love Argentina

Argentina is great. Fernando and I had a little weekend get away to Rio Grande, Argentina two weekends ago and I would like to thank Rio Grande for being everything that Porvenir is not. Sometimes I need that. So thank you, Argentina:
For your amazingly delicious and creative food (veggie sandwich which included sliced pumpkin, yum and different!).
For your beautiful double paned, hermetically sealed windows (especially important in windy Tierra del Fuego although the Chileans didn't get that memo).
For your friendliness, which when coupled with your lovely accent, makes you seem even friendlier.
For your smooth, quiet, paved roads (as I have mentioned before almost all the roads on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego are gravel).
For your amazing and cheap shopping.

It's so frustrating to be only 3 hours away by car from this "oasis" and live on a daily basis without so many things that are so close by relatively speaking. But at least we have a nice weekend get away that we should probably be taking advantage of more often!

And don't get me wrong. I don't want to live in Argentina. Viva Chile! But they sure do have a lot of nice stuff over there....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's not a real penguin, mama?

Yesterday Fernando called me when he got to work to tell me there was a king penguin in the bay. So Olivia and I hopped in the car and set off to find it. When we first arrived and Olivia approached the penguin (who did not seem to care we were there), she thought it was a pretend penguin, I suppose because she has never seen one so up close before. Here is the video:

And here are the photos!

Pay attention to me, penguin!

Maybe I should shoot photos for National Geographic??

A view looking back at Porvenir so you can see how close to town this penguin actually was.

And proof I was there, trying to take a self portrait with a toddler and a penguin. Not an easy feat.

I have even more photos to share because later the same day ANOTHER king penguin showed up in the parking lot of the fishery (presumably looking for its mate we saw?) and Fernando got a lot of good shots.

Ok so the wind sucks but the penguins are pretty darn cool...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just a regular day in Porvenir....

throwing rocks in the water... or is it?

More photos to come of our second "royal visit" soon!