I woke up this morning to a message on Facebook asking me if I was okay. Having NO clue what my friend was talking about, I checked the news and learned about the 8.8 earthquake that hit Chile including Santiago in the middle of the night. Quickly read through news articles and became more and more concerned about friends I have in that area. Friends I worked with in the English Opens Doors program that live in Santiago, Chilean friends in the area, other friends from the U.S. that recently (within the last few weeks) moved back to Santiago. Thankfully, Facebook and 3G phones allow people to easily spread updates about themselves and I got word from my friends throughout the day that they are all safe and okay. The city is beat up as well as some of their apartments, but most importantly they are okay!! Besides being shaken, excuse the pun, by the earthquake and its aftershocks. Also because of the tsunami warnings, I was worried about a few other friends in coastal areas, but it turns out that everyone is fine there as well.
Crazy natural disasters… They sure make you think. Chile is going to need some massive recovery efforts… The damage wasn’t nearly as bad as Haiti despite being a stronger earthquake… I read this is because they are more prepared and the buildings better structured for the most part, but still thinking that this happened only a month after Haiti… so soon in the same area of the world. And the idea of a potential tsunami wiping out even more areas so soon. World vs. Man?? Besides some thinking they are signs from God… should we be thinking they are signs of some kind?
Also, this is strange to confess – while I am lucky that I was nowhere near the area where the earthquake hit, all I could think of today was how much I wanted to be there with my friends, to make sure they are okay and just be there spending time with them. Clearly I love to travel and I even appreciate it when I am going solo, but sometimes I miss the company of my friends. I suppose that is normal. I meet people all the time, but when it comes down to it… Do I want to be with friendly strangers, or my strange friends??? haha. Good timing to be going to Brazil next (leaving on a 30 hour, 3 bus trip tomorrow morning). There I will be staying with a friend I know from the U.S. for a week. Hopefully I will also be able to think about whether I want to change my plans at all and possibly rearrange the travel to end up going back through Santiago before heading to the states. We shall see.
Montevideo grew on me the 2nd day. Because I got to the parks and the waterfront. All I need are trees and large bodies of water and I’m content.
I spent 2 nights in Punta del Diablo, a little fisherman town turned beach and surf spot. Full of Argentine’s, Brasileros, and a decent amount of gringos from the USA. Funny thing was that the hostel I stayed in is owned by a UW alum, and a few of the people working and visiting here were also from Wisconsin. When in Uruguay… I did realize here that Uruguay seems to be more of a vacation spot… not really backpacking. But just my opinion which can very well be very wrong since I’ve only been able to spend a little under a week here. Sorry Uruguay, we never got to know each other very well… perhaps another day when I get a hostel job on the beach!! 🙂
And the best part – Pictures from Argentina and the Eco Yoga Park are posted under the links!