Friday, January 7, 2011

Field Work in Chile

Current Location: Chillan, Chile

Hello all! Chile has been absolutely FANTASTIC so far! I am completely in love with this country. However, I have been so busy since I got here that I haven't been able to experience it as much as I would like.

Tuesday was our first day in the field. It also was the day that it poured. When we arrived, everyone told us that it wouldn't rain, because it is summer and the dry season, so there is rarely rain. Well we got one of those rare days! Because of the rain, the bus was late to get us to go to the field site. By the time we got on the bus and going, we were over an hour later than we had planned. It turned out to be better because by the time we got to the site, it had mainly stopped raining, and wasn't too slippery. The site is in a place called Ninhua, a small town about an hour outside of Chillan. It used to be a vineyard and is really nice. It's a hilly countryside, with lots of cows and horses around. The first day, I tried to make friends with a horse... that was interesting. Pictures will soon follow!

I won't go into details on what all I'm doing in the field. We have a series of stations that we are working on - soil infiltration, irrigation and runoff, geophysics, and crack measurements in the ground. It's really interesting stuff, and I feel like I am learning a lot. The only down part is that we are busy form about 8 AM to 8 PM. That leads to looooooong and tiring days, especially since the day is spent doing physical things in the hot sun. It's been great so far.

Wednesday was an interesting day because it was the first day I tried to take the bus. Julie and I realized during the morning while getting ready that our host mom wasn't around. We had to get to the school somehow, so we took the bus. Well, the bus system in Chile is very different than the bus in America. First, there is no uptown or downtown buses - the buses always run the same path. Second, there can be a lot of time between buses - 15-20 minutes sometimes. So of course, we run into some problems and end up running a good amount of the way because our bus takes us no where near the university. And of course, the one day that we are running late, everyone else is on time and waiting on the bus for us. Ahhh, adventures in Chile.

I've gotten a bit burned so far, but it is in the process of turning into a tan. This weekend, we are going to a place in southern Chile called Pucon - it is a touristy area with a lot of outdoors activities - climbing a volcano, river rafting, and hot springs are some of the highlights. We will be spending 2 nights there to rest, relax and have fun. I've gotten lots of great pictures that I will try to upload soon! Love to all my friends - I miss you guys!

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