|Photoshop in stink-lines|
|First day of interviews|
|Andes! Cerro El Plomo (5425M) is leftmost|
Matt spent 2 days in the Precordillera peaks of Cerro Provincia, Cerro Tambor, and Cerro San Ramon. The Precordillera are the mountains that dominate the Santiago skyline (visible from our balcony); they are large (Cerro San Ramon is 3253M/10673Ft), beautiful, and close. The access to Cerro Provincia was only an 1.5 hour subway & bus trip (closer & cheaper than Harlem to Coney Island). There are a few things that are important to know about hiking in this area:
- The trails are very steep (few/no switchbacks)
- There is no/little easily accessible running water
- The way is not very well-marked
- You will see a gross, thick, brown smog-haze covering the city you're living in [Santiago]
|Bomber refugio on Cerro Provincia|
|No Electric Kool-Aid necessary|
|My route followed the ridgeline|
|Scrambling down wasn't fun!|
Matt soon hopes to make a journey to Cerro El Plomo for further adventurin' & stinkin', maybe with some company. It should take about 3-4 days and is about 17K feet; what could go wrong?
As Matt was living on the wild side, Sara has been working hard to secure job interviews and yes, jobs!! Here in Chile (as you have probably figured out by now), the seasons are opposite yours in the States. As it is Spring working it's way into Summer, so is the scheduled school year here. Students generally have a bunch of December, January and February off for summer vacation. Which doesn't make it easy to get a job. Sara's hope coming down here was to find a full-time position teaching little estudiantes to read, speak and understand Ingles. Unfortunately, no schools are really looking for a teacher to start in the last two months of the school year. Alas, she has persevered and gone on cinco (yeah, five!) interviews to date.
The first interview was for an elementary classroom teaching position at Santiago College, one of the most prestigious English private schools in the city. The interview went well, they asked her to sub the very next day, and she will return for a demonstration lesson and psych evaluation later on. She's pretty sure she'll do fine with the demo lesson, but is a little worried about the psych evaluation. She was a teacher in the Bronx for five years- that will loosen a few screws. This job would not start (if bagged) until March, so she has had to continue to search for employment. Check out the Santiago College website and see if you can find Harry Potter on the campus: www.scollege.cl
|"Will I find work?" -Sara of the past|
"You will!!" - Sara of the future
Other than grinding for work, Sara has been honing her Chilean cooking skills. As a welcome home (why do you stink so much?) surprise for Matt, Sara made the most well-known Chilean empanada, empanada de pino! Provided below is an abridged, "Sara" recipe for the Chilean treat. (*Note: Sara has had trouble finding measuring cups and spoons.):
Empanadas de Pino (a la Sara)
For the filling, you will need:
|Before the oven|
- Meat (ground beef was used)
- Diced Onion
- Garlic (not traditional, but good)
- Salt and Pepper (lots of salt here, not so much pepper)
- Chili powder
- 2 boiled eggs
- Black Olives (with or without the pit, depends on how dangerous you are)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the filling, cook up the onion and garlic in some oil in a pan. After the onion is translucent, add the meat (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup). Cook this up real nice while adding the spices (Sara just guessed according to taste on how much to add). After the meat is cooked, take off the heat and into a bowl.
- In another bowl you should have the chopped hard-boiled egg. In another bowl, some raisins. In the last, the olives.
- Now, for the crust of the empanadas, Sara cheated and bought the store-made ones. If you are inspired to make your own crusts, look up a recipe on the internet. Good luck!
- To fill the empanadas, take a round crust and wet the edges with some warm water. Add a little bit of meat filling, some chopped egg, some raisins and one olive. Don't over-stuff your empanadas or you won't be able to get them closed.
- Roll one side of your empanada crust so it shuts onto the other edge. Use a fork to seal the edges together.
- Take a bit of raw egg and brush it on top (or use your fingers, that's what she did). Use your fork to put a couple holes in the top of your empanada so it won't explode.
- Let the empanadas cook for about 35 minutes. They will be golden brown on the top when done. Let cool and enjoy with some red wine (preferably from Chile).
|'Mejillones y Almejas a la Escudo'|
with Escudo to drink!