Y’all remember field trips? I didn’t remember how great they were until I started having them again. USAC makes a great effort in showing us as much of Chile as they can by taking us on a couple of field trips. We’ve had four-day trips so far and they’re going to take the students on one last tour next week. I’m not going because I’m backpacking through Patagonia during that week, but that’s a topic for another time.
Anyway, this Friday we were taken on a trip one hour outside of Santiago. We went to Pomaire and Isla Negra.
Pomaire is a small town that is known for its ceramics and huge empanadas. It was a town that made me feel at home because of all of the pottery that was around, which reminded me of my grandma’s kitchen in Mexico.
My friends and I walked through the few streets of the rustic town as restaurant workers tried to convince us that their restaurant was the best. We looked over menus until we felt like we had found a place to eat. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to eat the 2.2 lbs empanadas and settled for normal sized ones, but they were still great. I can confidently say that this was one of my favorite meals during my time here.
Afterward, we went to an ice cream shop for dessert. While we tried a couple of ice cream flavors before choosing our preferred flavor, I noticed the difference in colors from these flavors to the ones in the United States. It was homemade, so the colors were natural rather than artificial. It threw me off because I chose a white colored ice cream, which was weird because white seems like it wouldn’t be the color of ice cream, but it was lime flavored and it tasted very good.
We also went to one of Pablo Neruda’s houses, which is located on Isla Negra. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos inside of the house, but this is me outside of it; you can barely see it, but I think it’s a good thing because I don’t want to spoil your own experience when you come to visit it. 😉
Pablo Neruda is one of my favorite writers. He’s actually part of the reason I decided to come to Chile. I like the feeling of experiencing places that people I admire have experienced. It makes me feel like we have something in common and also brings that person to life for me. I don’t exactly know how to explain it, but it’s the feeling you get when you’re standing in front of a painting of someone great, like Vincent Van Gogh or Frida Khalo, and your brain just can’t comprehend that that person, who is no longer alive, looked at the same thing as you are now looking at. I’m not sure if you understand what I’m saying, but it’s a rather magical (for the lack of a better word) moment and going to one of Pablo Neruda’s house was one of those moments for me.
Anyway, that was the highlight of my week, and I have USAC Chile to thank for it.
Jessica Ramos is a California State University, Sacramento student. She studied abroad in Santiago, Chile and is a recipient of the Fund for Education Abroad. This blog originally appeared on the FEA website.