Not Just Lunch

When is lunch not just lunch? When you're in Chile, of course. The custom here is to eat an enormous lunch. And if you've been invited to someone's home, it’s never just lunch. There is always sobremesa, after-meal table chat, which can last until once, evening...

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Goodbye, 2017

The new year is upon us, only a few hours away as I write this. I heard a story today that I want to share. The story is about a six-year old named Jenny. Jenny and her mother were at the store, waiting in the check out line, when Jenny spied a shiny pink box with a...

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Noche Buena

In Chile, Christmas Eve is known as Noche Buena. This is the night that Christmas is celebrated with family, usually with a big meal and gifts for the children brought during the night by St. Nick, who is known as Viejito Pascuero. In years past, I've had invitations...

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Visit with El Viejito

I have rarely spent Christmas in Chile. One of my neighbors has hung a Christmas wreath on the apartment door, but I can't get into the spirit in 90º+ heat. When I think about it, I grew up in and spent a lot of years living in places where it was warm at Christmas....

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The Birthday Present

The son of one of my caregivers had a birthday last week. Victor was turning eleven. I'd met him once when María brought him to visit. He was sweet and shy around me, an innocent ten-year old who was excited to meet a gringa. María had told me that his birthday was...

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Love Me Tender

This little book, that's been so close to my heart for over two years, is now LIVE on Amazon. If you're in the US and have Amazon Prime, your copy can arrive by next week. The facts: It's bilingual--English-Spanish. It's beautifully illustrated. It's perfect for...

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Am I Chilean Yet?

A couple of years ago, the Matador Network published an article called "20 Signs that You're Culturally Chilean." I wrote a blog post about it, claiming a few of the signs for myself. I found my old blog post and now I wonder if I've adopted any more Chilean...

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Alternative Facts

Recently, I joined a new Facebook group for female travelers over 40. I was surprised when I discovered another member from Chile. We started communicating and realized that we're in the same city. This never happens to me. Usually, I'm the Lone Ranger who's in Chile....

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Dulce o Travesura

The first year that I lived in Santiago, Chile, I was invited to a Halloween party. My Spanish was rudimentary then. I remember how awkward I felt, being the only non-native Spanish speaker in the room. Most of the evening, I didn't know what was going on. Halloween...

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Hello…and How Are You

"¿Cómo aprendiste tu inglés?" I turned to look at the small boy standing next to me on the Metro train. How did you learn English? He had obviously been listening to me and my friends speaking in English. "Just like you learned Spanish," I told him in Spanish. "I grew...

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