Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

One Completo, Two Completo

completo Everyone has been telling us, “Oh, you have to try the ‘completos’, they’re fabulous.” A completo is one item on Chile’s menu of fast, unhealthy food. The funny thing is that they don’t hide it either, like this particular restaurant was called ‘El Guaton’ which is the title for a fat person. So we made our way there and each ordered a completo completo. We forgot the camera, so this photo will have to do it justice, but as you can see it’s a foot long hot dog and bun topped off with huge amounts of sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocadoes and mayonnaise. All you taste is condiments. Ugh, we both felt ill after.

This week Rachel and I have moved out of our host family’s house and into a house with 3 other students. We were ready for the change, but sad to go at the same time. We really liked our host family, but our relationship with them was always hot and cold. At times it felt like they didn’t want anything to do with us and at other times we felt very included. I’m sure it was hectic for them P1020811 (1024x768)though since this is their holiday and had family coming and going. The new house has two wings. Rach and I live in one end and have separate rooms, living area (with yellow, fake leather furniture nonetheless!) and a bathroom. The other wing has three bedrooms, bath and a more comfortable living area with internet, TV and dining table. The two sections are joined together in the middle by a kitchen and open air patio. The accommodations are very basic and kind of remind me my friend’s houses in college, obviously not the best or cleanest, but get the job done. We knew one of the roommates, Nico, from class and the other two, Morgan and Mara, flew in last weekend from Colorado. We’re really representin’ down here!

Plus, the nice thing about being on our own is we can buy our own food. Rachel found out about a sweet, outdoor market held twice a week here. We went a couple days ago and were able to fill up a backpack chock full of goods for five bucks! Most things cost between $0.60 and $1.00 per Kilo (2.2 pounds), so we loaded up and got strawberries, bananas, avocadoes, tomatoes, grapes, lettuce and more. Wish it were this cheap in the States!

P1020674 (768x1024) We’ve been keeping busy with our jobs, especially Rach whose work load has increased this week. We also started new Spanish classes today. We hope to get out of town this weekend and do some camping. In the mean time we’ve continued to visit Valpo to climb up the Cerros and then wander down through the nooks and crannies of the dilapidated stairways lined with beautiful graffiti art. I’ve been trying to think of the best way to describe Valpo and haven’t been able to since it’s so unique, but I think this small excerpt from Chile’s famous poet Pablo Neruda does a nice job:


How absurd you are,

You haven’t combed your hair,

You’ve never had time to get dressed,

Life has always surprised you.

(Click here to read the full poem)

We’ve also met the other new students at the school and we’ve all been hanging out at nights. It’s pretty low key and we usually end up playing a game called Minority. Basically, someone says two things like “Wedding Crashers or Old School” and everyone votes for their favorite. The choice with the least votes means those people have to drink.

So which would you choose? Wedding Crashers or Old School?

Signing Off,


  • Missing you! su mama! Catalina!

  • AWESOME! I only got as far as Vina del Mar, but not Valparaiso. What are you guys doing there?

    • Hey Kristen, we’re kind of doing what we did in Guatemala. We signed up with a program down here which provides us with housing, Spanish classes and work assignments. We both miss our one-on-one lessons though like we had in Guate. Hope you’re still doing well in there! Happy super bowl day!

  • No question Andy… Old School. When will you guys be traveling through Panamá? Our landlord is building on an extra bedroom and kitchen, so there will be plenty of room for you guys to crash for as long as you want. You could speak Spanish all day… help us with our projects… etc… ¿qué piensas?

    • Yo pienso que tú tienes una buena idea. Me gustaría visitar a ustedes y hablar español todo el día. Nosotros vivimos con tres personas, todo son de los estados unidos, y normalmente hablamos inglés de uno a otro. ¡No es buena práctica! ¿Cómo está tu español?
      Yo he disfrutada leyendo tu blog y yo sé como tú sientes a veces sobre el idioma. Y también, Rachel enseña inglés aquí y ella me dijo es muy difícil para cambiar entre los dos lenguas de un momento a otro. ¿Te gusta enseñar inglés? Que te vaya bien.

  • We’ve been enjoying your blog, living vicariosly through your travels and experiences. We commend you for keeping up the blog, it’s a great way to let people back here in the States know what you’re up to. Sounds like you are experiencing everything Chile has to offer, what a great opportunity. Jeff & Sue