Things were looking good on December 31st and E and I had a great New Years planned. We were going to go to Vina to watch the fireworks and enjoy the night with friends. However, things did not go according to plan. The day started out great. As I mentioned in my last post, I finally had the chance to meet Kyle after months of emailing back and forth. Let me just say, she is every bit as awesome and adorable as she comes across in her blog! Kyle also brought along her friend, who also happens to be a fellow blogger and is just as awesome. I, in addition, brought my sister in law, who is now also a client of Kyles, and we all had a great time sipping coffee at one of the many gringa waterholes...aka...Starbucks.
It was so great to meet other gringas who have established themselves in Chile and are not planning to leave anytime soon. The gringas I have briefly met in the past have all left within months which always resulted in me never meeting any long lasting friends. It also didn´t help that it was so hard to make Chilean friends at first. After coffee, we went for lunch where I was introduced to yet another awesome gringa. It was so inspiring to meet these women who are totally established in Chile, leading successful careers, which don´t involve teaching English, and are so happy and confident in their lives. They were all so lovely and fun to talk with and I really enjoyed myself. I hope to meet them and many more people like them in my Chilean future.
So anyway, back to New Years...Like I said, the day started out totally great, we would never have guessed what was coming! In summary, New Years Eve looked like this...E and I curled up in pain all evening in our hostel room making dashes for the bathroom every 5 minutes. Sorry for the lovely mental picture. We either got food poisoning or some kind of stomach bug and the worst of it hit exactly on New Years night. By the time we got to Vina, we were feeling a little crappy so we took a siesta. By the time we woke up we were feeling worse and stayed in bed until 11pm hoping to be able to make it to see the fireworks at least.
It was hard to tear ourselves out of bed and walk the 3 blocks to the beach to see the fireworks and half way there, we considered turning back. However, I was determined to not let this stomach issue ruin every part of New Years night so we perceviered and made it to the beach just in time for the show to begin. We sat together hunched over on some piece of cement watching the amazing display above us and for a while, all our troubles floated away. It was a remarkable show. In the news the next day we found out that Vina had one of the top 3 New Years firework displays in the world! Pretty good Vina! Apparently next year, which is the end to the 200th anniversary of Chile, Vina wants to have the number 1 firework display in the world. So, for those of you looking for an awesome New Years, head to Vina next year! It´s going to be pretty amazing!
So, after watching the fireworks, we immediately headed back to the hostel and slept. The next day wasn´t looking much better so, sadly, we decided to head back to Santiago instead of wasting money paying for a hostel when we were only going to sit inside all day. It was such a shame because it was so beautiful in Vina and we were so looking forward to walking around Valparaiso, going to eat fresh fish, and enjoying the beach. Oh well, things don´t always work out the way you plan them. Yesterday when we got back from Vina we spent all day lying in bed watching movies. I have to say, we did quite enjoy ourselves cuddling in bed all day in our PJs and chilling out. We have the house to ourselves since E´s family is at their beach place so we get to just relax without having to worry about lunchtime or doing dishes or cleaning up after ourselves...something that we normally have to do since we´re living with the parents!
Today things are beginning to look up and we´re both feeling a lot better, E especially. So we have decided to take advantage of the day and go out and do stuff. After lunch we´re planning on going to Starbucks to hang out, look at wedding invites online, and do some paperwork for E´s new job. Then we´re thinking about going to the church and reception site of our wedding to just look around and plan a few things. Later tonight, we´re going to go see a movie and then go out for sushi if our stomachs allow it! We figure sushi is probably the easiest meal for our stomachs to handle right now since it´s just rice and fish. Hopefully our stomachs agree! So in the end, things aren´t so bad. At least we don´t have some horrible flu that has us stuck in bed all week on this last week of mine here! Man, I leave in exactly a week today...where did the time go!?
Though the New Year didn´t start out as we expected, I know this year is going to be a good one. It´s the year I finally graduate from my undergrad, it´s the year E and I get married, the year we buy our first car and apartment, and the year I finally come to Chile for good! I´m really looking forward to what this year brings and can´t wait to get started! I don´t usually do resolutions but if I did, they would be as follows:
1.) Try to be more positive about Chile and immerse myself more in Chilean life. I´ve already started this blog way more positive than I was when I actually live here. Part of it is because I´ve been away for so long and I also feel really guilty about my last time living here where I was way too miserable and negative and complained way too much about life here. If I´m going to live here and be happy and sane, I´m going to have to accept certain things and not let so many things get to me. So this year as I begin my life in Chile, I´m going to make more of an effort to integrate myself fully into Chilean life and not bitch as much. Don´t get me wrong, there will be bitching, just not as much as last time...at least that´s my plan! I also want to find my own friends and find my own way here. Most of the people I know have been E´s friends, but I need to branch out and find my own. Part of this was because I never lived here long enough to actually establish myself and grow roots. Come June, I´ll finally have the opporntunity to do that. Hopefully I´ll find a stable and well paying job and that my Spanish will improve as well. I also want to do more activities while I´m here next year like do yoga, join a dance class, and join a running club...which brings me to resolution number 2.
2.) I have been running seriously for about five years now and have come to love it dearly. However, I seem to have hit a wall and have never taken myself to the next level. In all these years, I have only run up to about 21 Km and usually only run from 10 - 15 Km on a normal work out. I´ve done a lot of 5Km and 10Km races, but never a half marathon. My future goal is to do a full out marathon, but I have always been putting training off until the next year...and the next year...and so on. I think now is the time to put my foot down and start working towards a marathon. Talking to Kyle the other day about her goal to run a marathon next year really gave me the kick in the ass I needed to get this show on the road and plan to run a damn marathon already! Kyle was injured in a car accident last year and is planning to run a marathon this year so if she can recover from an accidnet AND train for a marathon, I most certainly can train for one too. However, I am not quite as brave and I think I need to take things a bit slower. Therefore, my running goal for this year is to run a half marathon, something I´ve never done before, but to start training for a marathon. I can do it! Now I just have to put up with running in the land of excessive smog and piropos.
3.) Experiment more with food. I love food. I love to cook. The problem is, I never find time to dabble in the art of cooking, and when we´re busy, I usually find myslef resorting to simple and easy recipes. This year I plan to make time for cooking more interesting and exotic recipes. For example, I love Thai and Indian food. I also love Sushi and Chinese food. I love so many international recipes but I have never tried them at home. So my goal is to cook at least one unique recipe per week. I think this is doable and it will increase my recipe database so that for the future, I´ll be able to cook a wider range of meals more quickly and easily.
4.) Not go bridzilla. Our wedding is still far away and so we haven´t done much yet except for book the major venues, but I know as the wedding gets closer, I will get more stressed out, especially in the last couple months and at the wedding itself. I am really going to try not to take it out on E and not to take over the show.
5.) Not fall into the Chilean norms. I love being unique and doing my own thing. The problem is that I also try to please everyone. In Chile, there are norms for everything and everyone fiercly abides by them. Therefore, sometimes I feel pressure to fit in and do as the Chileans do. For example, though I absolutely adore my wedding dress, I am now officially freaked out that everyone will hate it. I´m also worried people won´t like other things about the wedding because they are considered different from a traditional Chilean wedding. I know this is going to be hard, but I´m really going to try to not stress about what everybody else thinks I should do and focus on what I want to do. I am from Canada, I have different tastes and often my ideas differ from those of the Chileans I know and love. This is not likely to change and therefore, I am going to try to come to peace with this fact and accept that clashes might result because it in the future. This is my life, and I´m going to live it the way I want and love.
6.) Make more time for the important people in my life. During the semester, I am a complete basketcase and tend to shut myself off from the world in attempt to study my ass off and ace all my classes. I know I don´t make enough time for the people I love during these times. This semester is my last year in Canada and because of this, it is more important than ever to spend time with my loved ones, no matter how busy I am. I´m determined to make my last few months in Canada as memorable as possible and spend as much time with my family and friends as I can.
7.) Make more time for the artist in me. I used to paint and draw and sketch using a variety of mediums and pigment types but in the last couple years, I have seriously drifted off from this beloved hobby of mine. As usual, the main culprit for this is school. I keep telling myself that once school is over, I´ll finally have time for the things I love in life. However, this really isn´t a good motto to live by because you never know when you´re life is going to end and how much time you have left. It is therefore important to always make time for doing the things you love, no matter how busy. I know it´s going to be a big challenge, especially in this last semester, but I really want to pick this long lost past time of mine again. Though I might not get around to it before June, once I´m finally in Chile, I definitely plan to paint and draw again!
So, for now those are my top 7 goals for 2010! Lets get ´em done! Good luck to all the rest of you as you strive to accomplish your resolutions and I hope you´re start to the New Year was better than mine! Bring on 2010!