Today. Today was great. Today I went to Pueblito de Los Dominicos which is an artisan market on the grounds of one of the oldest churches in Santiago. It was spectacular and I did not take photos. I had the camera with me and I kept thinking I wanted to take some pictures but it was just so good to be out and about and experience it that I did not do so. I just kind of wanted to absorb it without a lens in front of my face.
Pueblito is set up like a little community with all the artists in their own secure stalls. If you are in Santiago and you would like to procure a bird of any kind I can tell you this is the place to go. The first few stalls were all about birds of every kind - many of which I had never seen. As I moved on there was ceramic ware, textiles, copper ware, lapis lazuli, acrylic artists . . . all set up in a little town-like setting and it was just a joy to walk through it slowly and enjoy the sights.
In my 3+ months in Santiago I have seen maybe 3 cats. Today at Los Dominicos there were cats all over the place and they are so used to being loved on that I was able to get a load of cat lovin' done!
Today I bought myself a gorgeous lapis lazuli necklace. Lapis Lazuli is found in two places in the world - Chile and Afghanistan. It is the native stone of this country and I have been determined to make a purchase since I arrived in January. You can get ll jewelry all over but the prices are more in line with the US unless you know where to go. I do know there are places where it is a bit less expensive but today I broke down and purchased a necklace for myself (also two pair of earrings). I never ever ever buy things like this. I wear clothing until it is in rags. But today I bought a beautiful necklace for me. Right now I am wearing my grey Target sweatpants and my 20 year old WVU grey sweatshit and my necklace and I am a fashionista!
Also I purchased a mate gourd and bombilla and a bag of yerba mate. Yerba mate is a tea made from a type of holly and besides the health benefits it is a social thing. Google yerba mate for more info. The traditional mate cup is a gourd and it must be cured and mine is curing right now! The bombilla is a metal straw/strainer through which you drink the mate. It is a social thing where a group of people pass the mate cup around and they all drink from it. There are a lot of youtube videos which explain the intricate process of brewing yerba mate and I would encourage you to look them up.
When I got home from Los Dominicos I got an SMS text from the love of my life Eduardo. Tomorrow he will come with his wife and daughters to pick me up at about 10:30 and they will take me to a place called Lliu-Lliu, about a 2 hour drive from Santiago. This is where his in-laws live and they are having a barbeque and y'all - I GET TO GO!!! I get to finally meet his family and finally I will leave Santiago and see a bit more of Chile!!! I have all the electronics charging now and I promise to capture this day as best I can so I can share it with you.
You just simply can not imagine what I see every day. I think I am the most fortunate person in the world. Right now it is 11 pm and I am in my little apartment on the 11th floor of my building and the world holds so much I can't even stand it. Life is just something else.
Saturday, April 12, 2008