There’s been a lot going on the last couple of weeks, so here’s a recap of sorts.
The week of September 18th is a huge deal in Chile. For their independence day celebration (Fiestas Patrias is sort of a combo of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving all in one), they actually spend most of the month of September enjoying typical Chilean food, dance, and, of course, drinks. We have been told that the official drink of Chile is a tasty concoction called a terremoto, which is a word that means “large earthquake”. It’s a mixture of cheap white wine, grenadine, pineapple ice cream and sometimes pisco or other liquors. Sweet and refreshing, it’s a drink that gets its name from either the ability get you drunk as quickly as an earthquake hits or the fact that you feel like you were hit by an earthquake the morning after a couple of terremotos. We were served our first terremotos while enjoying a Fiestas Patria party at our friend’s farm house in a little down called Melipilla, and we had a simply fantastic time celebrating our first September 18th. My friend Emily from high school was visiting us in Santiago, so she and her awesome travel buddy were able to join us for the festitivies, which was a ball. Em represented Team U.S.A. brilliantly in the sack race/egg run/needle threading game we played with our host family at the farm, and we all tried not to overdo it as we were served chica, beer, wine, and terremotos. We picked onions in a field, ate empanadas fresh out of the cob oven, and were treated like dear old friends as we spent the entire gorgeous day enjoying tons of meat and other delectable typical foods. It was so delightful and I’ve already asked to be invited out to the house again for next year’s Diez y ocho celebration.
But the day BEFORE we went out to the farm, we experienced the OTHER kind of terremoto, which was not quite so fun. Initially, Jeff and I didn’t realize a big earthquake had hit because we were driving down a steep, crazy windy road after a quick visit with our friend Ian at one of the nearby ski resorts. Our borrowed auto is so sturdy that we just rolled right on through the 8.3 quake that shook Chile. But once we were back in our 14th floor apartment, we were able to feel the aftershocks as our building swayed and absorbed the shaking (they’re designed to do this and don’t fall down as a result of the movement…THANK YOU building code rockstars!). We’ve actually been woken up a bunch of nights in the past week because the aftershocks continue. While it’s disconcerting and anxiety provoking, we also know it’s just part of living here (Chile is the most quakey country on earth, but don’t google that because quakey is definitely not the official term for it!) and can now say we’ve survived a big old earthquake. The country withstood the quake remarkably well and the only noticeable impact on our end was that the ice cream shop on our block closed early for the night (of course we tried to get ice cream after surviving a big earth quake! What else would we do?!!:).
And last, but certainly not least, our world was rocked a year ago when Rayna arrived on September 15th, so we celebrated her with balloons, beach toys, cheesecake, flowers and two “1” candles (dinner time is a little chaotic in our tiny apartment, and the “1” I bought got buried on our counter so our dinner guest ran out in the middle of the dessert to buy another one). It was sweet and simple and we certainly missed getting to share it with loved ones, but we made the best of it and are stoked that we all survived (and even sometimes thrived!) during her first year hanging out on earth.
So that’s some of what has been going on, and we have been doing our best to embrace all the goodness and trust God to help us get through the hard and stressful bits. We continue to need lots of prayers for lots of things, but mostly we are trying to be thankful for this crazy adventure and I sure appreciate you caring enough to read about it! LOVE!!!