Wednesday, May 19, 2010


We had to get up real early on Monday to finally go visit the Santiago Stock Exchange, which is my group's company for our project.. Yes, we still have to do homework on this trip! Sure doesn't seem like it. Our guide, Francisca, was a little nervous to speak with us because they had only told her that the presentation would be in English about 2 hours before we got there, and she said she hadn't practiced her English in about 2 years. She did a good job, though!

You could definitely tell that it was more of a business presentation than an engineering presentation like the others that we saw. It was kind of sad when we went to see the floor of the stock exchange because it's almost never used anymore. There were 2 or 3 guys on computers on the floor, but Francisca told us that since the exchange made a completely electronic transaction system, brokers don't need to actually go to the stock exchange anymore because it's all online.

After our final company visit, we had all day to explore Santiago! Our first stop was La Moneda, which is like the Chilean equivalent to the White House.

There was a nice policeman outside that let people take pictures with him and his doggy :)

That's our buddy, Javier, in that picture, too. He'll be in Pittsburgh in a little over a year!
We then walked to the Plaza de Armas, which was originally supposed to be the "center" of the city, but since Santiago has been built up so much, it's not really the center anymore. There were a bunch of vendors set up with paintings, some guy trying to be funny with a big group around him, and as we kept walking, a guy with a camera crew. Javier told us that he's on a TV show that makes fun of Chilean politics and things like that. I almost got to be on his show, but then he said that he needed Chilean girls. Oooh well.

We went for a big group lunch at a restaurant within the Mercado Central, which was just a huge indoor fish (& other things) market. I feel like I ate pretty much anything that has ever been taken out of the ocean to be made into a meal. We had appetizers of parmesan razor clams, oysters, jumbo shrimp, scallops, and on and on. THEN we got our actual meal which was 4 different types of fish. It was so good.. I couldn't even stand it.

After lunch, we went up a HUGE incline to Cerro San Cristobal, which allows you to see all of Santiago!

It's a very religious place, so there were people's ashes kept there, a gigantic statue of La Virgen, and even a small church.

We shopped around a little bit once we went back down the incline. Someone found a Yogen Früz, so I had to try lucuma, which is a Chilean fruit that they make into an ice cream flavor a lot here. It kind of tasted like a fruity vanilla flavor.
We were lucky enough to get to watch Mamma Mia on the bus ride home. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep for all but the very beginning and the ending.
Got a shrimp & cheese empanada for dinner.. fun fact is that we ate at a Chinese restaurant. There is no shortage of empanadas in Chile!
I thought I was going to have time to write another post about going to la Isla Negra yesterday, but we have a group lunch in about half an hour, so that might get delayed. Enjoy all the pictures! Chao!

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