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Neeley Fellows Trip to Chile

a travel blog by tjshepherd


I am traveling with the Neeley Fellows program to Santiago Chile for our International Management class. Not only will be able to get the cultural experience of a lifetime, but we will also be able to learn alot about how to work effectively accross cultures. It should be quite the adventure so stay tuned!

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Fixin' to get to DFW

Fort Worth, United States


It's 4:05 PM and I'm leaving for DFW in a little under two hours... Getting pumped to go to Santiago, Chile! This will be my first time in South America and it should be a good trip. Only a 9 hour flight to get over there, hopefully I can pass out on the plane.

-Ryan Hoff

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 9, 2010 from Fort Worth, United States
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Preparations and packing

Dallas, United States


I am leaving for the airport here in about 2 hours as well and I am getting really excited. My parents are dropping me off and I need to stop and get some cash for the entry fee to Chile and to exchange at DFW for some pesos. I hope that I get through security quickly and have no problems. This will be my first time out of the United States so it is particularly special for me. Also, you should note that I was able to fit everything I am bringing into a bag that can be carried on and a small backpack. No checked baggage charges for me.

--Max

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 9, 2010 from Dallas, United States
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We're here

Santiago, Chile


We have just arrived at the Plaza El Bosque Suites in Santiago. So far the experience has been pretty interesting. After a long 9 hour flight with little sleep, we are ready to get the trip started with a City game in Santiago. We are about to go see as many of the sights we can see with the limited time we have. TJ, Ryan, Max, and Andres will win the contest and get the prize. We have the only native speaker of anyone here, game over.

-Ryan and Max


permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 10, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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Freddy Loco

Santiago, Chile


Today we went to the plaza in front of the Cathedral of Chile. We found a street comedian who was obscene and graphic to say the least. After collecting 8000 pesos he gave us some jokes; we gave him some laughs. It was pretty good, but certainly an R rated production.

Andres

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 10, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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Dia Numero dos

Santiago, Chile


I have just completed day two on the trip and have been having a blast so far. I have traveled around the entire city, used the subway, climbed to the top of San Cristobal (because we couldn't find the trolley), eaten some amazing food, been to the markets, and much more. The language barrier is not as tall as I expected and everyone here is very accomodating. The people seem to be very nice and not hateful towards Americans and they aure do love our women. My Spanish has been improving everyday and I can communicate very well with my broken Spanish and their broken English. Tomorrow we have meetings all day. I am about oto head to the welcome dinner with the Austral Group.

I have not experienced as much culture shock as I would have expected although I am not used to some things and have to catch myself before drinking tap water or eating some foods. The food has been extremely good although very different from America and sometimes I do not even know what I am eating. I am off to dinner, so more will come later.

--Max

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 11, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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When the Weather Outside is Chile

Santiago, Chile


We just got back from our night out here at Santiago and have officially wrapped up our second day of the trip. It goes without saying that it has been quite the phenomenal experience. Dinner tonight was provided by the Austral group, the people who are guiding us in our journey. It was phenomenal to say the least, I was able to indulge in a Chicken filled crepe, a lasgna, and some apple pie.

Today was so wonderful. We were able to venture to the top of The San Cristobal hill, the highest peak in Santiago. We actually hiked the hill instead of taking the Gondola, so when we reached the top it was quite the feeling of accomplishment. We meant to take the Gondola, but the language barrier proved to much to handle because "ascensor vertical" apparently translated to really steep dirt trail.

Regardless being at the top of the hill was in the top five coolest experiences in my life. There is a giant statue of the Virgin Mary cresting the top of the hill, literally 3 times higher than the tallest skyscraper in the city. It was amazing. It was much more spiritually overwhelming than I had anticipated. I feel like I will never be closer to god than when I was on top of the hill. It was awesome.

As is to be expected the nightlife here has been great thus far, and it is a great deal of fun being in a beautiful foreign place with 20 of my best friends. Check out the pictures!

-Teej

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 11, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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Empanadas Pino

Santiago, Chile


We walked to the hill of San Cristobal, where a statue of the virgin Mary is. The view was fantastic... inspiration was certainly there. But most important of all, I got to try Empanadas de Pino. It tasted like a Chilean version of Philly-Cheese-steak Sandwich: greasy, lots of onions, poor quality.

Honestly, I didn't love it. I try it though, so now I can check it off my list.

Andres

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 11, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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Day 3 almost in the books

Santiago, Chile


Today is day 3 of our trip and we have just finished
our last speaker event of the afternoon. We had a busy schedule today starting with a speaker at Terra, a multinational internet news outlet. It was a relatively early morning, leaving the hotel at 9AM, but the early events were quite interesting. The second stop was at Entel, a large Chilean telecom company. During the visit we got a background of the industry followed by an in-depth look at Entel as an organization. The visit was capped off by a climb up the Entel tower. The tower was pretty incredible, especially looking straight down through small holes in the floor all the way to the ground (from about 24 floors up). Almost everyone braved the small tight spiral staircase to get to the very top of the tower. The top of the tower was a pretty spectacular spot to look out over Santiago. There wasn't much break between our first several meetings and our afternoon meetings. We had a quick lunch and walked a few blocks from our hotel for two more speakers. The first speaker was the CEO of a Chilean innovation company. He had a pretty interesting take on Chilean culture and the work-style of ex-patriots in Latin America. The second speaker was a member of the group we are going to work with tomorrow for our service-learning project. That should be an exciting event.

On a side note, the picture at the top is actually from San Cristoball Hill (yesterday), but it needed to be included somewhere in the meat of a blog entry. The view from the top of the hill was amazing and hopefully I will be back up there before the week is out. Time to take a short nap and find a late dinner somewhere in the city. Looking forward to a day of good works tomorrow. Until then,

-Ryan Hoff

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 12, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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SEAFOOD, SEAFOOD, NOW!

Santiago, Chile


Its 7 p.m. and I am in my hotel room. To my left is Payton sleeping with the computer on his lap, to my right a wall, in front of me a desk, a light, baggage, a backpack, a... wait.... what's that??

Its my stomach growling. It is not just any sound, it's a scream for seafood.

Before I came here I asked around to learn what to eat. Seafood was always the answer. I am determined to eat it tonight.

We'll go to Bellavista to grab some food and maybe listen to some live music. Should be a good night: seafood, friends, and some pizcolas... what more could I ask for?

Andres

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 12, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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Pizcolas, Basketball, and Seafood

Santiago, Chile


Yes, I am writing about seafood again. Yesterday that was my plan: to do something Chilean and experience something different other than the places around the hotel. But due to fear of not being safety enough, companionship was hard to find. As a result we did not go to Bellavista to eat seafood yesterday. That didn't put me in my best mood, however a couple of pizcolas changed that very quickly.

Today we spent most day cleaning a basketball court so Chilean girls could use them and play. It was not the most entertaining thing to do, but the laughs I got by talking and watching the girls interact with everyone else was great. The girls where much more extroverted than anticipated and were very determine to convince David to kiss Kate... of course that didn't happen. But I showed them how to try.

Tonight I am going to Bellavista, Max and Payton said they would come. That's all the people I need. So, I am crossing my fingers that tonight, my dinner will be very memorable.

Bon appetit!

-Andres-

permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 13, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
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