Mapi, Mingi and I caught a bus Friday night and stayed at Ellenhous (in Puerto Varas) that night.Â Itâ€™s quite the building â€“ originally it was two separate houses, and one of them (I think) put up soldiers for a while?Â I didnâ€™t quite catch.Â In any case, thereâ€™s an old forge inside the courtyard between the two original houses.Â They use it to cook food now *heh*.Â The two houses were joined together, making a labyrinth.Â No room is square or rectangular.Â Theyâ€™ve all got odd joints, sloping roofs, hidden cubbies, or at least a sky-light cut in half by a wall.Â Itâ€™s really fun!Â We spent some of the next morning just exploring.
We met Li Li (from Taiwan) because originally she was the only other person staying there.Â Sheâ€™s pretty interesting: she saved up money for two years and then quit her job and now sheâ€™s spending a year traveling!Â Iâ€™m amazed. Â Sheâ€™s also really nice.Â She gave us each a small packet of ginger tea (which is spicy).Â She joined the crew, as it were, for Saturdayâ€™s adventures.
Saturday we had quite a scare â€“ we were going to meet Sarah at the bus station, but she never showed.Â Mapi had introduced us to Sarah, another vetirinary student from the DC area, earlier that week.Â Sheâ€™s only here till this Thursday, but we invited her to come with us this weekend, because sheâ€™s fabulous. ^_^Â But she doesnâ€™t have a cell phone, the people at her house said sheâ€™d left on-time, and none of the bus companies we checked with had her listed as a passenger.Â There was pretty much nothing else we could do.Â As we were panicked and wondering what to do, she called us.Â Turns out the bus she took to â€œPuerto Varasâ€ really dumps you at a toll booth in the middle of no-where.Â She caught another (local) bus from there and ended up in Puerto Montt.Â
After catching a local bus to P. Montt, looking everywhere for Sarah, and losing each other in the bus station, all five of us headed over to a local restaurant for some food.Â Every time Iâ€™ve ordered half-chicken with french-fries here itâ€™s been fantastic, and this was no exception.Â Since Sarah speaks very little Spanish, and Li Li speaks English better as well, that was the language of choice for basically the entire weekend.
Part way through our meal an elderly gentleman came into the restaurant to ask for change or some left-over food.Â This isnâ€™t the first time itâ€™s happened, but itâ€™s the first time I had the where-withal to offer to buy him something.Â Â All five of us pitched in to buy him a half-chicken meal as well.Â
We were all done with lunch and waiting for the bill when the man started choking.Â Another diner did the Heimlich maneuver on him several times, first with the man seated (which scared me) and finally with him standing up.Â Everyone in the restaurant was looking on, and a couple other people came to hover round.Â After a few Heimlich maneuvers the man spit up some blood and, when asked to, started breathing again.Â Turns out a chicken bone got stuck in his throat.Â The Chilean EMS was called and he was taken outside to get some fresh air and water.Â I was scared and wondering what I could do or if I could help.Â One of us commented that it must be so disappointing for him â€“ finally to get a good meal and then to choke on it.Â Mapi rushed one of the waitresses to get a bag so he could take the rest of the chicken (almost all of it was left) with him.Â EMS was taking care of him when we left, and he was breathing on his own just fine.
Through the whole thing I was sitting there warring with myself.Â Part of me thought â€œYouâ€™ve taken first aid classes!Â You know how to do the Heimlich maneuver better than this guy!Â Why arenâ€™t you helping?Â Part of me was thinking â€œOh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh, I hope heâ€™s okâ€, and part was thinking (guiltily) â€œIâ€™m so glad theyâ€™re dealing with this and not meâ€.Â The part that says â€œthereâ€™s already too many people hovering around, Iâ€™d just get in the wayâ€ won out, but it was still quite a traumatizing experience.Â We were all quite shaken up by it.
We wandered around and went shopping after that, saw the cathedral.Â A wooden cathedral with a metal roof.Â Quite beautiful.Â It would be more beautiful if the rain werenâ€™t pouring down.Â And I mean pouring!Â Umbrellas were useless because of the wind, and because there was so much standing water on the roads and sidewalks â€“ despite the fact we were right next to the freeking ocean!Â It didnâ€™t matter that my coat was rain-proof – almost nothing was dry by the time we got back that day.Â It was fantastic!Â We laughed so much at the sheer craziness of the weather.Â We sang in the rain.Â We ran through the downpours, and we skipped down a yellow-tiled side-walk.Â ^_^
It seems like weâ€™re all writing about rain.Â *hehe*Â Maybe TCinGC should include something in the brochures about â€œexotic rains!â€ ^_^Â It doesnâ€™t always rain here, and itâ€™s quite beautiful, even when it does.Â The rain was just phenomenal.
The next day dawned bright and clear â€“ no rain.Â That was exactly what weâ€™d been hoping for â€“ a day we could go sight seeing and hiking in.Â It took me until breakfast to decide, sadly, that I just wasnâ€™t up for it.Â My shoes were soaking, I was coughing a lot, stuffed up, etc.Â Iâ€™d been somewhat sick since Thursday, and tromping around in the rain and cold hadnâ€™t helped.Â Itâ€™s probably a good thing I went home early, because that night I had a mild fever.Â Mingi and Mapi still got to go hiking in park Petrohue though, which is good.Â Li Li left to go to PucÃ³n, but we have her email address and weâ€™ll definitely keep in contact.Â Sarah also had to come back early (homework) so we had a nice long chat on the bus about books, tv shows, etc.Â Itâ€™s nice to have another (self-proclaimed) geek to talk to!Â ^_^
We meet such amazing people here!Â I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s just the conditions weâ€™re under, the adventures we get ourselves into, or just the type of people who like to travel, but weâ€™ve become such close friends so fast, itâ€™s pretty crazy.
Iâ€™ve got so little done at work today.Â I just couldnâ€™t concentrate.Â I think itâ€™s more Iâ€™m using my sickness as an excuse than anything.Â I mean, Iâ€™m still sniffling, but I can think just fine.Â
Right now Mingiâ€™s doing competitor analysis.Â Don Eugenio has her latest update of the business plan.Â Iâ€™ve been emailing out the survey to everyone.Â Today I dealt with all the emails that got bounced back as â€œbrokenâ€ or â€œmailbox fullâ€, etc.Â …Thatâ€™s really it.Â
Oh!Â Luis and Abel invited us to dinner or wine or something at Abelâ€™s house this weekend.Â ^_^Â Â
Tomorrow for 4th of July (I canâ€™t believe tomorrowâ€™s the 4th of July) Mingi and I are planning to bring a pie or something to work.Â We want to share our traditions with our co-workers who have done so much for us (not that the 4th of July really has that many traditions around it).Â Iâ€™d like to bring all sorts of red-white-and-blue stuff and throw a real party of some sort, but Mingi and I have been feeling the emptiness of our pockets more strongly recently, and itâ€™s not like that stuff is easy to come by here.Â If I can find some sparklers Iâ€™ll be ecstatic.Â Or a BBQ to use tomorrow.Â
Today I was coughing pretty badly.Â Thatâ€™s the only symptom left from my sickness.Â IvÃ³n came over and said Don Eugenio had asked her to take me to the employeeâ€™s doctorâ€™s office (on campus).Â I didnâ€™t want to go â€“ itâ€™s just a cold, what could the doctor do?Â The doctor was very nice, asked me a few questions, looked in my hears and listened to my lungs, and told me that I have Bronchitis.Â He gave me a list of 4 different medicines I have to take, and told me I have to stay home for three days.Â This is annoying.Â I feel like such a bum, and I also feel bad that I didnâ€™t go to the doctor earlier, rather than expose so many people.Â I really hope I didnâ€™t pass this on.Â Iâ€™m going home now, expect no updates for a while.Â Direct all questions and comments to Mingi.