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Day 4

Santiago, Chile


As I sit on the hotel couch updating this blog, I am enjoying a delightful dessert courtesy of Fragola, a Santiago gelato shop. Amaretto is the flavor of the night.

While deciding which flavor to order, I sampled many including nutella, coco and limon. My taste test strategy not only satisfied my taste buds, but also mirrored how we have spent our time in Chile. Everyday we sample a new taste of Chilean culture.

Today’s Flavor: Service Learning

After completing our service learning projects this semester, the Fellows have gained appreciation for giving back to the community. Our projects benefitted communities in North Texas. Today, we had the opportunity to impact another community removed from our own. TCU’s mission statement, “to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community,” encourages and supports our efforts. If community service in South America doesn’t constitute responsible citizenship within a global community, someone please tell me what does.

An hour bus ride took us to the Southeast corner of Santiago where we met Brooke from VE Global at Aldea Maria Reina, a residence for the protection of at-risk girls. The private orphanage has emerged as a pioneer and visionary in a system of family life and training in promoting self-esteem and self-development.

Most of the 65+ girls are either orphans or have been removed from their homes by the family court system. The girls, ages 12 to 18, live and attend school within the complex. Once we arrived, we split up into two groups, one indoor and one outdoor. The indoor group painted the interior of one of the residential houses. The outdoor group worked to restore a basketball court.

The day was filled with hysterical anecdotes. One girl had a fascination with my hair, petting my ponytail. Another girl asked Dr. Stephens to tell me “I look like snow.” A few other girls then proceeded to point at me while repeatedly saying “Blanca. Blanca. Blanca.” Yes, thank you. I am aware that I have fair skin and blonde hair.

Despite the differences in skin color, hair color, languages, and nationality, we savor the flavor of Chile.

Lauren


permalink written by  SantiagoFellows on May 13, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
from the travel blog: SantiagoFellows's Travel Blog
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I enjoyed your Santiago post. Sounds like you're doing great things there! My blog is looking for travel tips (like perhaps how to help the children there!), photos, etc, to share. If you have the time, check it out at dirty-hippies.blogspot.com, or email us at dirtyhippiesblog@gmail.com. We're also giving away a free night in Peru or Bolivia, if you're going there or know anyone else who would be interested. Continued fun on your journey!

Heather :)

permalink written by  Heather on May 14, 2010

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On May 9th the 2011 class of Neeley Fellows will leave Fort Worth for a week long trip to Santiago, Chile. This blog will document our trip and will be frequently updated by Bailey Lang, Lauren Farrelly, Carson Bassett, Faith Anne Pustueller, and Kate Putney.

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