Something different everyday!

Well, I’ve finished my first full week of news, and I have a few highlights to share.  Monday I was at the airport for a conference with a former President, and is now running for President again.  The primary elections are this weekend, which I will be shadowing another reporter again on Sunday for election coverage.  I’m not sure where I’ll be in the city of Concepcion, but I’m sure it will be interesting no matter where I am!  Tuesday was a bit more low key, with a meeting at the mayor’s office about security for this weekend.  However, I was told by one of the news directors that I will be doing a story by myself this coming Monday!! I’ll be talking to other international students and their experiences here.  I have one interview set up, but I need to hear back from one more student.  After work, a few of us went out to eat in the port town of Lena.  It was dark, but I was able to see the waves of the Pacific Ocean for the very first time! 

Wednesday was interesting, with a story about a new highway that is being built and will be connecting cities to each other.  Wednesday was also the day of Anita’s birthday, so we went out to eat at a restaurant at the Plaza Peru, which is located right off of campus. On our way there, we walked through an area that had been the site of a strike earlier in the day, and my eyes started to sting.  Turns out there was some tear gas used as well, and that had been hours before!  But after we got to the restaurant, I decided that since I was feeling kind of homesick that day, I ordered a cheeseburger.  Let’s just say the beef here has a very different flavor than that of American beef.  It was okay in taste, but I’m sure that the breed of cattle here is different, so the meat will then taste differently.  It was dry, and didn’t have much flavor.  I tried adding some ketchup, but it didn’t add as much flavor as I had hoped it would.

Thursday was somewhat low key- one story opened up my eyes to reality in the world, but the other one wasn’t as interesting.  Part of the reason that there are strikes is the education that is offered in Chile.  Education isn’t free here, and at times the quality of education isn’t the best.  At a local school, there were desks and chairs thrown outside in the corners of the courtyard and in the middle of the entryway, along with entrances to stairwells. Everything was piled on top of each other- sometimes up to four desks high.  When we got there, the janitors and custodians were working on dragging everything back in the classrooms. I told Marcelo, the reporter I was following, that I had never seen anything like this before, and how crazy it all seemed.  It opened my eyes as to how different each country in the world is from another.

Friday was the last day for another intern, so we had a little party to send him off.  I’m going to miss Marcelo, he was able to translate for me and tell me what were Chilenismos and what weren’t.  (FYI, a Chilenismo is a word or phrase that is only used in the country of Chile; it’s part of their dialect.)  After that I went out with my friend Ale for some Chinese food.  Chinese food tastes the same here as it does in the U.S., thankfully!   

And here it is, Saturday.  Time for my one day weekend to start, and hopefully tomorrow there will be something awesome to report back to everyone.  Hope the heat isn’t too bad for everyone back home! Stay cool, and send some heat down here!          


Days Before Chilean Primary Elections!

Well, today was a little more eventful than most. I found myself at the airport where I flew in, but it was to be part of a huge press conference with a Presidential Candidate, who also happened to be the President 3 years ago and is running for a second-but not consecutive-time in the primary elections that will be held this weekend. Alejandra and I were part of the crowd that moved along with her, and then we scrambled into our truck along with our photographer and driver so we could get a good spot at the conference she would give after meeting with the mayor. I took video, but again I’m having difficulties, so hopefully the photos will be good enough for now! The first picture is of Michelle Bachelet, the candidate. The second is of the mayor of Concepcion.



First Week, Done!

Hi! I know it’s been a few days, but I figured I would wait until the week was done with before I posted again. I’ve officially shadowed people for 3 days now, and I keep on learning every day- whether it’s news stuff, the language, or culture differences. I wanted to go out and take pictures on Friday after I was done, but it was pitch black and pouring out by then. I’m hoping to have some time tomorrow to stay on campus afterwards to take pictures of the campus and a video as well.

Second day on the job, I followed Alejandra around with her stories. She had two news packages to do, both on cultural aspects of the country. One was a book review, and another was about a local soccer team. There is a culture segment every Thursday with this station, and she is assigned to that particular beat. After work, a group of us went out to eat for supper. Pizza sure is different here than in the U.S!

Pizza doesn’t have sauce on it, there’s diced up tomatoes sprinkled on top of the cheese. The crust is super thin, and then oregano or some other type of spice is sprinkled on top of the cheese and tomatoes. After that is when all the toppings are arranged.

I also saw the national dance, the Chilean Cueca, being performed out on a local plaza. It was the start of the Festival of San Juan. Lots of food given to everyone, and music blaring from speakers in front of the pavilion.

Friday was a fun day- got to follow Anita again, and since she speaks some English, it was somewhat easier to communicate! We went to the Catholic University, where there is a new technology program that is allowing students to use their cell phones to help create 3-D programs. Something like that anyway. I’m having some issues when we’re out on the job understanding everything that’s being said. The next story was about the local fisherman not being given money that was promised to them by the government because no fish are being caught in the port area. Thankfully Anita was able to translate for me, because in a group of 30-40 men in a government meeting, I couldn’t understand a thing that was said, except for when one of the men swore and he asked for our forgiveness, since we were the only two ladies in the room.

That’s one thing I’ve noticed here, the men are very intent on making sure that women are taken care of. They offer their chairs, or go and find one for us if we don’t have one, pull chairs out for us when we go out to eat, and don’t like swearing in front of us (and will immediately apologize when they do, or ask for forgiveness). It’s almost like traveling back in time.

Time to go- I’ll have some pictures up soon, I promise! As soon as I have free time and daylight, it’ll be the first thing I do!

First Day- Done!

Hey all! Just got done with my first day at the station- went really well, considering that the language barrier can cause a few issues here and there.

First off, got up early so that I could walk about a mile to the 8:30 meeting. There I found out that I would be following a reporter (her name is Anita) for the day. While we were waiting for the times for her interviews to come around, we read the local newspapers to see what all would be newsworthy for the day. Thankfully, Anita speaks English really well so she could interpret things for me throughout the day.

Met a bunch of the other workers there while making coffee in the small break room they have. All the guys were there at the table, and one of them offered me sugar for my coffee while I was waiting for the water to heat up. He picked up the jar, but the lid wasn’t connected very well, so the jar fell to the ground in a million pieces. The other guys said that I must have made him nervous, and that’s why he dropped the jar. It was the running joke of the morning. After that, a bunch of us just talked for awhile and they were asking a bunch of questions about life in the U.S. and what my interests were, what my family was like, etc.

Anyways, the day went smoothly. I followed Anita on two different stories, and we got everything done on time, so no missing of deadlines for us! And for all my fellow newsies and production friends reading this, you might be interested to know that they do in fact use P2 cards, not tape, and that we edit using Edius. I believe the camera type is the HVX-150, if I understood and remember correctly. Walked home afterwards a little after 4, so it was a full day. I’ll be at the station every day during the week for a full workday, so this girl is going to get some serious training!

I took some pictures and a video on my phone today, but I’m having technical issues and can’t get them on here for some reason, so I will hopefully have some time to take some more tomorrow and get another video done!

Ciao for now! (For those of you that don’t know, adios is more of a permanent “good-bye”, and ciao is used when you’ll for sure be seeing someone again).

A Whole New World

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is having a great summer- someone please soak up some sun rays for me, since it’s winter here and today it’s pouring rain outside.  Oh wait- never mind, I don’t tan as it is. Haha! Anyway, I plan on writing a post a few times a week, depending on how much time I end up having and what I do throughout the week.

My flight down here was great- slept almost the entire way down except for my layover in Santiago before I got to Concepcion.  Total travel time (including the car ride down to Chicago) was about 21 hours.  I thought the flying part of 18 hours was bad until I was talking to a guy my age from Switzerland on the plane to Concepcion, and he had been flying for 30 hours. We were kind of a team for a bit, since the flight was maybe 30 minutes long and I couldn’t understand anything that flight attendants, pilots, and anything said over the intercom that was in Spanish and he could. He couldn’t read, write, or speak the language well, so we just kind of teamed up and helped each other.  Turns out that he has done lots of traveling, and comes here once a year for business stuff.  He also couldn’t believe that I had never been out of the U.S. before this trip, and hadn’t seen the Pacific Ocean or mountains before either, for that matter.  He honestly thought I was joking.  Too bad I couldn’t have taken a picture of his face, or it would probably be posted right now.  

My family here consists of Fabiola, who is the mother, and three sisters, and a nanny.  Yesterday, the nanny, along with Fabiola’s nephew and brother, met me at the airport.    

So far, all I can say is that it is DEFINITELY different here.  I don’t know about you guys, but I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling, so seeing the society here is more of a reality check than anything.  I’ll take some pictures eventually and post them, because I firmly believe that the pictures will do more justice than me trying to explain in words.   

Most of us take for granted that we have central heating, and all the technology that we personally own.  None of the kids in my family here have their own television sets, and the house does not have central heating.  My source of heat is an electric mattress that stays on all night. 

Oh, and by the way, some of us may be bad drivers, but here, it’ll be a miracle if I don’t get involved in some car or bus accident. It’s crazy.  I might have to take a video when I get a bus pass so I can share it with everyone. 

I plan on touring the University sometime either Monday or Tuesday, so then I can officially start my internship.  For those of you that don’t know, the woman of the house that I’m staying at is a journalist at the same station, so this will help when I need help understanding something (which will probably be often, since I can’t keep up with the normal rate of conversation here at all).  I went from having an “A” in my Spanish class from this past spring to feeling like I don’t understand the language at all.  I went to get a phone yesterday, and there’s no way I could have done it without the help of one of the family’s relatives. 

Ciao for now! Hopefully something exciting will happen soon.  Can’t wait to share this experience with everyone.  I’ll try and update my page as often as possible.