Thursday, September 11, 2008

September, 11 has a different meaning down here

Ok, so over the last few weeks, I have been hearing from various teachers and students about today. So for those who dont know, today is a major day in Chilean history. Today in 1973, the old government ran by Salvador Allende was overthrown by General Pinochet (with US Money) Allende committed sucide in the palace while it was being bombed by the amy. While Pinochet was in power, today was a "national holiday", but after he left office (pending human rights violations), the title for today was removed.

But in the last several years, Santiago has seen a lot of violence in the downtown areas and in some of the poorer neighborhoods. In the past, protestors clash with police. So, its a big deal. Businesses close early, classes are cancelled, buses and trains change times that they run and people go home to their homes to escape the protests and possible violence. (For example today, 2:30 was latest that I could have Spanish class because the school was closing early). I was actually out later that I should have been, I had dinner with a friend til about 8:30. But walking home was weird, nobody was on the streets. (Sometimes, the power goes out too, because the power company waits til tomorrow to fix the problems). I have also heard to avoid the National Stadium area tonight (this is where countless people were held captive and killed after the coup in 73). The stadium is pretty close to me and I can heard the helicopers flying around it. Strange...But I am interested to read the newspapers tomorrow....

Here is a link to find out more: 73 coup

Week has been good, I have been in the football mood lately. World Cup Football action is happening here. Chile beat Columbia yesterday 4-0. I couldnt go to the game because I had class in the nighttime. But, its still a great experience to be in the city (I knew when Chile scored because I could hear the horns beeping outside). I watched Sundays match too (Chile played terrible and lost to Brazil 3-0). I hope to buy tickets for Chile vs. Argentina on Oct 15th. They are quite expensive, about $100. But, its not everyday that I can buy see a Cup Qualifier game and a team like Argentina in South America. So, I will put up the bucks!

I also got my carnet (ID card), which is a big step for me, its means that I am legal in the country and have a card to prove it! Its not the greatest picture though........

4 comments:

Michelle said...

the pictures makes you look like a greencoat.

The Chile Experiment said...

haha,

I think in this picture I lack authority though......

Eugene said...

Could've been worse. Could look like the pictures that appear on "To Catch A Predator"!

Pearl said...

To me, September 11th is my son's birthday. :-)

Nice picture. You look well enough to travel, which is the only thing I ask of an ID card. Well, that and not looking like my head's the size of a watermelon or something.

Pearl