Thursday, December 18, 2008
On a random note, just a few minutes ago, Chile just had a small earthquake in Santiago. I was teaching a class on the 13th floor of a building, it wasnt that serious, the blinds hitting the windows was the extent of the shake. I dont know, it could be worst in a different part of Chile...
So tomorrow, it is my last day of class for about 5 weeks! Not bad for a part time job. So after I return to Chile in January, me and 4 other friends are going on a road trip to the south of Chile and Argentina! I am really excited, one of the main points of the trip is to camp and hike at Torres Del Paine in Patagonia....its pretty much at the end of the world, about 1500 miles south of me. We are still in the planning stages, but we might also swing up to Buenos Aires for a few days but that is undecided because of the amount of time that it takes to get there by bus (its about a 22 hour bus ride). I would rather go to BA another time, since its only about a 2 hour flight from Santiago, but we will see what the group wants to do.
We will be taking buses all the way down there, and stopping at different places in the South of Chile. We will try to camp as much as we can, and the rest we will probably stay at hostels, so hopefully it will be a cheaper trip. The problem about Torres Del Paine is that it is located in a place where there are no roads directly leading to it, so we will have to take a flight from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas. Here is an idea were were might be going:
Santiago is the first pin and Torres Del Paine is the second pin. Should be a grand adventure!
I can almost taste the Pizza Hut lunch buffet.......
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Here are some pics....
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Good week. So, since I moved into my place, there has always been a TV in the room, but I turned it on and it didnt work, and that was the end of it. But, 2 months later, I found out that all I needed to do was to plug the cable which was behind the bed for 40 channels of cable! Why didnt I think of that before! I am trying to watch TV very day and learn something..
Tuesday, I shot another protest, this one a lot smaller, but very interesting. It was about the potential building of Dams in the south of Chile. Here is the article for the paper with my photos:
|ANTI DAM PROTESTORS GATHER OUTSIDE ENDESA’S CHILE HUB|
|Written by Benjamin Witte|
|Wednesday, 19 November 2008|
Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside of Endesa’s Santiago headquarters Wednesday evening to protest the Spanish-Italian electricity company’s plans to build a huge hydroelectric complex in Chilean Patagonia.
Accompanied by a musicians and a troupe of colorful costumed dancers, the demonstrators crowded around the building’s entrance carrying signs that read “Protect Patagonia” and “Let’s Get Chile’s Water Back.”
“I think there are different ways to produce energy and in this case, although it would be relatively clean energy, I don’t think flooding Patagonia is the best option,” Fernando, a natural resources engineering student, told the Patagonia Times.
Endesa, working in collaboration with Chilean energy company Colbún, plans to build five massive dams in far southern Chile’s Region XI: three along the Pascua River and two along the Baker. Together the dams – which have an estimated price tag of US$3.2 billion – would add some 2,750 MW of electricity to Chile’s strained central grid. Chile’s current overall generating capacity is approximately 13,000 MW.
The project is currently being evaluated by Chilean environmental authorities, which must approve the plan before construction can begin.
Backers say it will go a long way toward meeting the country’s growing appetite for electricity, estimated to increase by some 6 percent annually. Patagonia’s glacier-fed rivers, furthermore, represent clean and efficient energy sources, Endesa and Colbún insist. And, because the water is located right here in Chile, it is not – unlike imported oil and natural gas – subject to uncertain price and supply variations.
The project’s many opponents, on the other hand, say the dams will devastate the Baker and Pascua Rivers and open up Chilean Patagonia – considered one of the world’s last pristine wilderness areas – to further industrial exploitation. Of equal concern, they say, are plans by Canadian-owned Transelec to build a 2,300 kilometer power line, potentially the world’s longest, to transport the electricity from Region XI to energy hungry central Chile. The estimated US$1.6 billion transmission line, critics warn, would mean clear cutting countless acres of wilderness land and promises to leave a lasting scar across southern Chile’s unique landscape.
“Even though there are other ways to produce energy, (Endesa and Colbún) choose what’s cheapest for them and most harmful for us,” said Angelo, a Greenpeace volunteer. “There’s wind and solar energy. Also tidal and geothermic energy. In they end those options require a bit more investment, but it has to be done. In Spain they’re already doing it, because the laws require it. Here, companies do what they want.”
Saturday, November 15, 2008
(A shot from the stage. They let photographers take turns up there)
(A little encounter between cops and a protester)
(These guys dont take no for a answer)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The weather is really starting to get nice and hot. Time is really flying and I always forget that its Novemember because of the weather here. Its probably between 70 and 80 degrees, but the nights cool down a lot.
My weekend was good, Friday we played Poker again, and I ended up going head to head for first place, but it got too late and we ended up splitting the pot (not bad about 20 bucks each). But it beats losing!
Saturday night it was my good friend Will`s going away party. He is moving to the far south of Chile. I am bummer because he is a good friend of mine. Its something you have to get used to in this line of work. People dont stay here forever, maybe 6 months, a year, etc. We had a BBQ on top of one of the cerros here. It ended up getting dark and we actually missed the last bus down the mountain! We ended up walking down the thing, it took us maybe a hour, but the view of the lights of the city was really cool.....
I have really been doing more photo work at the newspaper and Revolver (its the sister radio station). Last week, I did 2 photo reviews of restuarants in Santiago. Sometimes, we get free food and sometimes we dont. Another thing, I have been covering more is protests. There was a big protest today, and I got some great pictures of it. I will post them later (I have to edit them first!). People down here really know how to protest and everyday there is something else going on. In my opinion, its something that people from the US have forgotten to do....
Here are some photos that I have taken lately......
(Old Argentina Embassy)
So the story with this old Embassy is that some land developer owns the property and wants to tear it down to build Condos. The problem is that its considered a cultural landmark and he cant tear it down. So it just rots away.....
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday was great, a couple of us decided to get up early (I mean we had to meet at 10:45AM) and go tour a vineyard about 20KM or so away. To get there we took a train and then at the train stop took a taxi the rest of the way. The Vineyard was beatiful, it was voted the best vineyard in Chile for 2008, so that is why we decided to go there. We got there at about 12:30, had a excellent lunch, with some steaks and several bottles of wine and then at 3:30 went on the tour. It was reasonably priced, it was about 40 dollars per person. Here are some pics:
Friday night, I went to a halloween party which was thrown by one of my friends. But, a few of us had planned to go hiking in the mountains on Saturday, so we didnt stay out too late. Being hungover on a hike is the worst! We went to a area which was about a hour drive from the city called Yerba Loca, it was amazing! Originally, we were going to rent 2 cars, but my friends was able to borrow cars from people. The funny thing is that one of the cars was a Computer repair van! It was the worst thing to take up a mountain. Right after, we parked the car at the trailhead, a bunch of steam started coming out of the hood! At that point, we couldnt do much, so we just left a note and headed up the mountain.....(We fixed it for the ride home)
(our trail for about 20 percent of the time)
(seeking shelter from the storm)
(A good profile for Field and Stream or something...)
(The van that broke down)
(My friends Will and Karlee)
The park kinda reminded me of Colorado landscapes. Our original goal was to make it to the Glacier at the top of the mountain, but it turns out that is a 14 hour hike, a little much to do in one day. The trail was really messy and muddy as well, becuase of Spring runoff. A lot of times our trail was a stream! At first, the weather was beatiful, but about a hour before we were going to turn back, we hit a huge rain/hail storm and had to chill underneath a rock for a bit, until that slowed down..A awesome hike.......
Monday, October 27, 2008
Weekend was good. Saturday we went on a hike in some of the hills around the city, in order to get there we had to walk through some really bad slums, not something I wouldnt recommend it for the out of town traveller. But, its a side of the city, which everybody needs to see. I will try to post some pics later.....
The home life is still interesting. The mother literally sleeps all day. Literally. But it sucks for the kid, because he is bored and wants to play and do things. Or he comes to me saying he is hungry...Its strange, I think the mother is depressed, but who knows...
Last weekend, me and another friend went to a part of town called b.o.b.o, it is a huge flee market, where people sell anything. Its quite the sight to see, tons of venders set out with blankets on the street with random junk for sale. Somebody was even selling the old floppy disks from the 80s. Why would anybody need those? People were also sellling puppies out of a box on the street, and I wonder why their are sooo many dogs on the street?
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
But the best reason why is that it is a lifetime experience is because Chile actually beat Argentina! This has never happened in history! Never! So, you can imagine the enviroment when the final whistle was blown or when the only goal was scored. I cant even describe how cool it was. After the game, we got some dinner at a bar a little bit away from the stadium, and even hours after the game was over, people were still driving through the streets, beeping their horns and holding flags outside their cars....Amazing!
Movies and pics to come later.....
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Weather is still getting warmer outside which is nice. Hopefully, the weather is nice for tomorrow, because me and a few coworkers have tickets to see the Chile vs Argentina football match which is a qualifier for the world cup. I am really excited to go. I just have to make sure that I wear the right colors to the game and dont get beat up by a bunch of punks! People take is seriously here, a friend of a friend got their window busted in their car because they had a Eqcuador flag in their car (Chile lost to them on Sunday...)
One more random tidbit, so tonight I was playing some video games with the kid and we were playing this game called Panda, but it was exactly like Mario (even had all the same secret levels and everything!) Crazyness................
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The cool thing about this week is I actually got a job as a photographer at a newspaper! Ok, its not all that is seems, but it still is pretty neat. My friend, who works at the newspaper and the radiostation which is owned by the newspaper, hooked me up with the gig. Its a online newspaper and its called The Santiago Times (www.santiagotimes.cl) and its the only English newspaper in Chile. Its not paid (bummer), but I will probably spend a few hours a week there, doing a few things. The idea is we get advanced notice about the stories which will be posted later and try to get photos to go along with the story. We will do this in two ways, one, go taking photos or use stock photos. Using stock photos is boring, but because we cant get live photos for all stories, we have to use stock ones. But, I will also get press passes to go to concerts in Chile and shoot! So this side gig might be a lot of work, but I think that it will be worth it........