View from the top of Cerro San Cristobal. Mmm smog mmm
I had a beautiful weekend.
On Saturday night we went to an asado hosted by our Swedish friend Calle (sp?) at his house. He has four roommates; three are Chilean and one is German. Their house is huge and eclectic. You could call it a hobbit house almost. They've decorated it with beautiful art thrown up on the walls, funky furniture, two cats, one spoiled dog named Juana and a precious backyard where we ate dinner by candlelight.
When Emily and I got there everyone was in the kitchen (naturally) drinking wine, making salads, cutting the carne and chitchatting in a mixture of spanish, english, swedish and spanglish. They told us not to bring anything but I wanted to contribute so I brought chips & salsa, coca cola and pisco...The pisco was a hit towards the end of the night after all the wine was gone :). Calle was the meat-master of the night, and did a splendid job of cooking the meat to medium-rare perfection.
Dinner consisted of three different salads, meat, and popcorn! I've noticed that at every asado I've been to there is usually a tomato/onion salad, a salad with just lettuce and maybe celery, and a potato salad...At this asado we had a bowl of cooked onions with some kind of tasty dressing, a potato/beet/carrot salad that was absolutely mind blowing, and a celery/carrot salad with an oil/vinegar dressing. It goes without saying that the meat was juicy and delicious. The popcorn was a perfect addition to the dinner, such a good idea!
When the salads and other entree items were finished everyone sat down at the table to eat. The weather was beautiful, a little brisk, but mostly perfect. I've decided that there is something enchanting about eating delicious food with almost/strangers by candle light. Very romantic.
At one point during the dinner I looked around and saw Emily talking to a swedish guy about the shape of Swedish toilets, two chileans arguing about music in spanglish, Helena making fun of rich people in Spanish with a Swedish accent...and I thought to myself, "This is where I am right now...I'm in a foreign country, surrounded by amazing people, eating unbelievable food in a magical atmosphere...Life is too sweet." I hope everyone feels like that sometimes. Que rico!
So, to top it all off, after dinner one of the girls pushed the table out of the way and said, "Now is time for the dancing." All 8 of us got up, they turned on a beautiful song, and we just started dancing.
Life is too sweet sometimes...
When I come back home to the states I want to have a house where we make a real dinner and eat it together around a big table with Grizzly Bear playing in the background like real people.
I think that will be really nice.
I tried here to explain that night, but really, the words don't do it justice.
So, that was Saturday...
I went to church with Pilar and Hugo.
I'm not a religious person at all. I don't think I believe in their definition of God, and I think the Bible is a little bit rediculous. However, in Chile church is a super important element in their culture, and it's really interesting to listen to the sermon in spanish, listen to the music, watch/listen to the people pray. Anyway, I grew up going to church with mom and dad, but since moving to Reno I think I can count the number of times I've been to church on two hands...I go to church with Pilar and Hugo more to experience this aspect of their culture than for the religious element. However, today I had an extremely spiritual experience.
They usually start the service with some really great music. They have a band made up of young kids probably 18-22 years old. Everyone is singing, and since they have a projector for the words, I can sing along too...For some reason the songs sound so much more beautiful when they're sung in spanish.
So, it's common during this music portion to go over to someone and pray for them...I think they do this in the States too if I remember correctly...You hold someone's hands or touch their head and say a prayer for them. So, without knowing what's going on because I was focused on translating the music in my head, Pilar and her friend came up to me and said "We're going to place hands on you and pray for you" (all in spanish) I was a little taken aback, but they came over to me, surrounded me in a big, warm hug and started praying for me outloud. I swear it was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. I could understand most of what Pilar was saying, and I got so overwhelmed by the honesty and compassion in her voice I started crying and couldn't stop...Then her friend did the same thing, she put her hand on my heart and said a prayer for me. I just don't have the words to describe it...I was overwhelmed. Their prayers wrapped around me like a blanket, and everything was safe and beautiful.
Afterward we hugged and sat back down. Pilar gave me one of those priceless "mom" looks that said, "It's okay that you're crying, I get it, don't worry about it." I looked around and nobody seemed to notice that a big ol' crying gringa was having a super emotional moment...Other people in the crowd were wiping their eyes too.
After church we went to an asado at Hugo's sister's house...Two asado's in one weekend, how spoiled am I!? Ate more delicious food. This time with a avacado/tomato salad, a lettuce salad, bread and meat...will this ever get old? Doubt it.
Then, Pilar had to run some errands downtown at Plaza de Armas so I went with her. We walked around and chatted about the beautiful weather. Took the metro home...and now I'm here.
That's all for now.