I just got to Maine a week ago, after spending 5 months in Chile! The trip itself was fabulous and I'm thrilled because now I can speak in Spanish (although my accent still sounds like I'm a white girl from the US... woops). In January, I hiked in Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia with some Bates friends, worked on an organic farm for a month in Chillan (near Santiago) and then spent the rest of my time learning about the Chilean public health system in Arica, Temuco and in a Mapuche community (the largest indigenous group in Chile). I spent a month living with a traditional Mapuche healer named Fransisca and she taught me to use herbs, plants and trees to heal almost all health issues that arise in the body. It was incredible to live so close to the land: we collected all our water from the well, washed all our clothes by hand, mostly ate food from the garden and tended cows, chickens, horses, and pigs! It was super sad to leave such a beautiful country, filled with amazing people who taught me so much but it has been wonderful to see family, friends and to finally eat whole grain bread and peanut butter again!
Now that Will, Ellie and I had a chance to catch up for a bit (so fun!), I'll now be here in Lewiston for the summer to help work on all things AESOP! If you are in the area, swing by! And of course if you have any problems with your AESOP application or any concerns about college life, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Below are some photos from my trip!***
In Patagonia, Chile
On ze farm in Chillan!
Fransisca, the Mapuche medicine woman, when we were collecting plants for a patient.
Pica Pica: good to soothe a cold with honey and eucalyptus leaves
It was so cold one morning we had to drink our yerba mate in the shed... gotta love those self pics!
Sunset in Carahue