Keeping calm after the quake

Moving on after my first earthquake experience, despite major aftershocks

Am I safe?


Am I scared?


Am I staying in Chile?


These are some of the most frequent questions that my family, friends, and reporters from home have asked me. The other day, there was an aftershock of 7.2, which to most people might sound like a civilization-ending, full-blown earthquake (like in Haiti). But, here, it was really nothing more than an inconvenience.  I don’t know the exact numbers but I believe we are approaching about 300 aftershocks at the time that I am writing this.  This is very normal and we expect to have more. Last night, March 14th, nearly the whole country was without power for a while because of transformer issues on some of the main transmission lines.  The government says there is no direct connection to this and the earthquakes, but anyone with half a brain might realize there might be some connection between the two.  In all honesty, the best way that I can describe these events is to say that they are inconvenient.  Cell phones become sketchy and classes may or may not be cancelled, and our parents back home get to have another heart attack.  All in all it’s been a very interesting start to the abroad experience.

On to more pressing issues.  We went to the beach this past weekend!  We stopped in Viña del Mar and Valparaiso.  The water was frigid and so no one went swimming but the temperature of the water had no impact on the beauty of the Pacific.  In fact, some people on the trip had never seen the Pacific Ocean so it was kind of a cool experience.  

A Chilean beach

On our way back home we stopped at the house of the famous poet Pablo Neruda.  Quick side note: we learned he was a communist with 6 houses, not exactly the poster boy for redistribution of wealth. 

Things are going well here and if any of you guys reading this and have friends here on the trip, have no worries, everything is fine and we are having a great time.

Read about Sam's experience during the earthquake.

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