jueves, 25 de noviembre de 2010


(A ship, sailing for a new adventure...)
My learning experience on UChile was very nice, since it was a chance to keep speaking in English, and the first formal English class since I left the military academy two years ago. I believe that it served to me for not became rusted honestly.

I enjoyed the dinamics of the class, because it's never bored! Saying the truth, have a native english speaker as a teacher it isn't very easy, and it's a very good oportunity to improve the speaking level, four years ago I had classes with an austrian teacher, and she was very funny teaching english with her german accent. Now learning with a british, even better.

The most interesting for me more than the class itself, it was (as I said) the chance to speak with a british native. I spoke with north americans, canadians, germans, dutch, japanises, chineses, koreans, and lots of other persons, always on english, but I thing it's the first time speaking with a british, and it was a very good experience. About the class itself, I think the most interest thing was the movie "this is England", but I still think that it should was with english subs, or without subs at all.

Really trying to remember, I don't remember a very boring moment on the semester, I really like to speak and practice english whatever I can, it's easy and funny for me, and I'm consious that it was a very important key to open doors on the future (even now...) and still lot's of our classmates don't realice that.

The most difficult part always are the listenings, sometimes because there's a lot of loud on the place, others it's difficult to understand the record, even if is on spanish, and others... well, sometimes I had problems understanding everyone in front of me.

It's a very useful tool for all of us, and really could be better if one could take more courses, more advanced, not just the essencials. We have to reach the level when we're speaking not mentaly translating the information, but start thinking on english, and talking and listening almost naturaly.

jueves, 18 de noviembre de 2010

One of my classmate's blog

Hi everyone, I will write about Rodolfo's blog.


I like this blog mostly because we have a lot of common interest and topics, so it's always a interesting reading for me. On the technical aspect, the colours combination is nice and made the blog easier to read. The pictures are often nice too (specialy the one of the Falklands islands).

Obviously, he have all the content request by the evil captain Higginson, and sometimes extra pictures. His english writting isn't so basic, so read it became more interesting.

The post that I enjoyed most was the one about Arturo Alessandri Palma, president of Chile twice. He have a lot of good information (Rodolfo and I enjoyed history) and this point it's interesting, because I'm a follower of Carlos Ibañez del Campo (nicknamed "The Horse"),the defense minister of Alessandri, the one that lead the "sable's sound" on the congress tribune, forcing the senators to sign a group of laws for the worker class. He was the one that overthrow Alessandri's place (without force, just forcing him quit). And reestablished the public order on the countrie. He founded the Carabineers corps, our armed police force until today. He was the antagonist of Alessandri on almost every aspect, but it's very interest share opinions with respect and without fighting.

To improve his blog, he could probably try to write more, a bit more every week, not for duty, but for personal interest.


Another blog that I enjoyed to read it's Camila's blog, because like with Rodolfo, we have common topics and interest, not on the field of history, but on the profesional one, and about outdoor activities. I like it because I believe we've more than one point on common on that areas, and sometimes she remind me myself (for example, her post about the perfect job)

She has a lot of pictures too, beautiful pictures and it's always a pleasure to take a look of her blog.

The post that I enjoyed most like I said, was the one about the perfect job, and she wrote about forest rangers. Before my military carreer, and before geography, I was studing forest engineering, and I love forest! (the southerns evergreen raining forest on particular).

What could she does to improve it? I believe she's just fine =)

Captain Higginson is begining a listening, so I must close the blog now.

see you!

miércoles, 10 de noviembre de 2010

A favourite game when I was a child?
My favourite games were always videogames, until today. My father give me a videogame console when I was four, and I never stoped until now. It was a NES game system, also known as "Nintendo", and was one of the first on his class.

but that wasn't a game, it's a game plataform. I´m not sure about the very favourite one. Mario Bros was the first one that capture my atention.

But I'll talk about "Duck Hunt", a very famous and funny game of that age. Duck Hunt, as the name says, is about hunting ducks. On the screen apeared two ducks flying on random direction, and you had to aim and shoot against the ducks with a toy gun; then, your asistant dog went and came back with the hunted ducks, or laught at you if you miss all the shoots. I remember that sometimes I wanted to shoot the dog when laught at me, but you couldn´t. It's a nintendo game after all.

I played this game almost everyday since when I was four, until the gun had problems, That was near when I was six. I played this game with my father and a uncle. Until today I believe that my father made that gift, but only because he wanted to play, but obviously he couldn't buy the console for himself (my mother would never allow that) but if is a gift for his little first son, looks fine.

And I like it because it was very interactive, and caught my atention, because I didn't understand how the console knew where I was aiming. And I must say... I had a skill with the gun since then, I don´t know why, but I felt confortable and confident with that weapon (just a toy, but I was four-five)

(my girlfriend will laught about this)
another game that I liked a lot (and like and play until now!) i´t's Tetris.

and it's very easy to play, a never ending group of geometrical pieces will be falling from the top of the screen at diferent speeds depending of the level, and you have to make them reach the ground making columns with the other piezes. Sounds easy until the speed became to increase and you don't have the time enought to put them on the perfect position. Played almost everyday too when I was a child, two or three times at least per day, and now I try to play it almost once per day.

I played this game with my father too. He was (is) very good with this, and have a very fast mind, with maths and organizing things to fit (he's a engineer). At that age I believe that play at that speed (no more than one second or two) per pieze was imposible, and my father was a super tetris player, but now I´m almost that good, but my father is better even today (he plays too) and every challenge that we made, he won every one. Maybe someday...

I like it because make me think, a lot and fast, very fast. And... because I love the music of the game! (russian music). I believe that is very useful for young kids, to improve logical skills, a very good help when one grows.

viernes, 5 de noviembre de 2010

Bernardo O´Higgins

I believe that Bernardo O´Higgins is maybe the best chilean on history. It`s just a matter of opinion, ofcourse it`s a question difficult and very easy to be used on discutions.

Bernardo O´Higgins was an army general, commander in chief of the first chilean army, supreme director and the signner of the independence declaration and the first national constitution.

It`s a important person because he`s willpower, leadership and inteligence lead Chile to a true independence of the spanish crown, and began the road of our beloved countrie.

Ofcourse he wasn´t the only one responsible of that. The Carrera brothers and Manuel Rodriguez were also heroes very important to that, they and the thousands of person how fought the spaniards, and died giving us our countrie, our Chile.

Questions? I don´t know for sure. I surely would try to talk about the campaing to the south, on our first battles and how he became promoted from seargeant to general and commander in chief. About his feelings, fears and hopes on the battle of Rancagua. About the glad and joy of the battle of Chacabuco (payback time! remember Rancagua!!!!). The dissaster of Cancha Rayada when he became seriously wounded, and what was on his mind when wounded, he took the 100 cadets of the military academy, and go to Maipú when the rest of the liberty army were fighting the last mayor battle of the independence when finaly O´higgins hug his friend San Martín and said "Glory to the libertator of Chile!"

O´Higgins brings very different opinions, from Hero, to dictator or assasin. He was a hard men, with his believes and ideas, like the Carrera brothers, and every single person. Different ways searching the same goal, the liberty of a countrie, and the greatness of Chile.

jueves, 28 de octubre de 2010

A good job to choose

If I could choose a job... well, I suppose all of us ever made ourself that question, but sometimes the answers are never found.

I have worked on a few things years ago. First as a construction worker when I was 15, a good experience but obviously I was too young. when I was at the highschool, I often went to my godmother store and helped her attending the store and sometimes as a chasher or delivery boy. On the university I worked on security on parties inside the university, not very safe I must say... with 18 I began my first job with contract, on Telepizza. I suppose to be on the preparation table, but I finished working there, on the telephone, as a casher, waiter, deliverer and preparing the routes of the motorcycle´s deliverers. I quit this job only because I went to the army. I really enjoyed all this jobs, and I gladly would come back if I could (without quitting my carreer ofcorse).

But a favourite one?

Maybe some kind of explorer, like the age of discovery on America. Searching other civilizations, paths to other unknown places, making maps of my discoveries and trying to understand the world ahead me.

But today is very difficult, because almost entire world is mapped, and above the surface there´s really few things undiscovered. On the deeps of the ocean otherwise, it´s different, but I don´t get along with the oceanic fauna, so I´ll left this entire world to other persons.

Explore, discover, maybe I´m a dreammer, but I believe there´s a lot of things that we still unknown, and today is easier than any other era to reach and learn. What´s below a glacier (or the entire artic!); how a mountain chain born; where we can put our settlements trying to avoid natural hazards, but ensuring the access to natural resourses, water, food, and enought ground to grow at the same time, found a mineral vein useful for our country; how the rain falls on the basins and where that water go, what things can happen with that water, what benefits can we obtain, and which risk we have; the evolution of a centenarium forest, and learn from them about the place where we live; search for old rock layers below the places and learn how the place was made, and what things can happen (tsunamies, earthquakes, floods, droughts, alluviums, etc.). WAIT! THAT´S EXACTLY WHAT I´M STUDING!

Yes, Geography. Obviously geography isn´t only that, and it´s not only our field or speciallity. Geology, Topography, Engineering, even the people relationed with the space and the satellites, with computers, biology, zoology, Climatology, and a lot of other persons relationed with the geociences. On my point of view, certain geographers can be the explorers of the modern world, maybe not in caravels, maybe not going through a wild jungle full of snakes and natives, but using modern tecnology and knowledge to discover the things that the old explorer even couldn´t imagine. And not only explore and discover, althoght make that new knowledge useful for our people.

Geographer, a modern explorer, I like it.

Why would I enjoy of that? everything I believe, maybe not my thin salary, but it´s a detail. As a specialiced cientist (on glaciology, hidrology, vulcanology, etc.) on a research center, or on a University, I would enjoy the discoveries, everyone, specially if is useful for the city or region. If is on an University, teaching and training new "modern explorers" would be cool, I always enjoyed teach others. If is on other place, a governamental office for example, serching special places to put settlements, making risk maps, or any other thing relationed with the area, I would be happy. Satisfying? ofcourse! making new knowledge and being the first on found something is always a pleasure.

I know a lot of persons working on the area, even outside the university. Violeta´s father (my friend of Valdivia) works on aereal photography. I know a few persons working on research on this areas at the river´s region, and if god want, I will be there on a few more years.

lunes, 25 de octubre de 2010

Back to Valdivia part 3

(because logistical problems, I didn´t have internet conection last week, so I couldn`t post, but I made my homework on paper, so I will transfer my writings now)

October 21st

Last day on the congress for me, because tomorrow it`s the field seasson, and I don`t have enought cash to go.

But saying the true, it was the better day until now of this week. First in the morning my favourite topic was GIS (Geographic Information Systems), but as we geography students know, GIS aren`t a topic for itself, are a tool made to make easier other areas, like hidrology, glaciology, biogeography, and others. So this morning the topics were "Detection and analisys of ground`s uses changes on the center zone, north side of the province of Captain Prat between 1984 and 2003", In the investigation, they concluded a reduction of wetlands and pasturelands, and a grown of the forest use. Honestly I`m not very interested on the conclutions, but the methods used are interesting, using images from TM and ETM+ satellitar sensors and the radiometric, atmospheric and topographic corrections.

Other topic was "Development of a ground`s use change surveillance system for continental Chile" and this one was mainly about the surveillance of the native forest via satellite, and the study of aereal photogrametric pictures of the territory, scales 1:25000 and 1:50000. And the need of make a database with all this info, at country level.

Another was "Inventory of urban woods on Valdivia city". Nothing new, even us on second year can do it. Take the UTM coordenates with a GPS from every wood on the inventory, or if we have a high quallity satellital picture (with a 50cm resolution per pixel for example) we can georeference the image and search the wood on the picture. After that we can calculate the dimentions of the tree, and put the info on the database.

enought of gis for one morning...

at lunchtime, I tried to find a friend, studing chemistry and pharmacy, but she was on a test, so went to the fastfood post, and ate a hotdog.

at the afternoon, I went to megaseisms room. The expositors were my former teachers of forest engineering, but the ones of the geociencies institute. Lots of interesting information, for example the changes on the river`s flow at the moment of the february`s earthquake, and the next months. My former climatology teacher exposed that almost all the basins increase the waterflows between 50% and 70% even 100% on one case. Why? are a lot of posible reasons, maybe the collapse of underground acuifers...

another was about the earthquake of 1960, the reconstruction, the mistakes of the construction, and what would happen if Valdivia suffer a similar tsunami again.

One of the experts of the 1960`s earthquake (my former teacher of geology) spoke about the physical and geodesic process of that earthquake, compared with the process of february... and doesn´t look like good news...

and with all the respect that the other expositors own, I was very tired at that point, and was unable to have more atention. So I left the congress, to went back to my city once again.

I walked arround the river, and sitted on the bridge, watching the day die, and how the lights began to decorate the calle-calle river, until suddenly I notice the most beautiful jewel on the water: a big and shiny white pearl. So I went back to the house, singing a song about the moon bathing at the calle-calle river...

viernes, 22 de octubre de 2010

One to one

Meet one famous or historical person. Difficult to choose only one.

I believe that I would like to meet to Bernard Phillipi, a Prussian (german) naturalist, explorer, cientific, and the responsible of the german colonitation of southern Chile. He saw a very big oportunity for our two countries in this big raining forest, full of animals, bugs and water, almost unexplored by the spaniards, and without conection with the rest of our contrie thanks to the "araucania`s pacification" (the war against the mapuches) even considering that he was a naturalist, he made the role of a geographer, and is the father of all settlements arround Llanquihue lake and the current XIVth Rivers region and part of the Xth lakes region. Not only with that, he was comisioned by the chilean governament to stablish a settlement on the magellan strait (the drake pass) and he made that task with perfection, arriving just one day before a French war frigate with the same mission, winning the control of the strait, and the south of this continent to Chile, making posible the colonitation of Punta Arenas, Coyaique, Puerto Natales, and all the southern cities. He was made governator of Punta Arenas, and was killed years after on a native ambush. His adventures are a example of force of will, and vision of optimism.

He became friend with sir John Williams Wilson, captain of the colonitation ship and father of Juan Williams Rebolledo, Grand Admiral of the chilean navy on the war against Perú and Bolivia on late XIX Century.

What I would like to talk with him? I don´t know one thing exactly, about his adventures, his histories, his discoveries, and the problem with the french crown for the control of the strait. More than talk with him, I would like to imagine myself on the discovery (and not without troubles!) of the llanquihue lake, and adventure of about two months worthy of a movie.

Interesting, because is a important part of out history, and specially of the regions that I love and the start point of the german colaboration in many aspects with our contrie.

Regards from Valdivia. ;) (Today I will go to Rudolph Phillipi museum, his brother and the main colonitation agent of the city of Valdivia)

miércoles, 20 de octubre de 2010

Back to Valdivia (for a while) part two

Well, second day here. Today it was a strange day.
The conference was interesting today, but no more than yesterday, a mixure of topics no so clear, I don´t know, but I feel the congres strange. First in the morning "Geodinamical activity on Atacama desert", being honest, I were very sleepy, so I didn´t understand very much.
"Using GIS and 3D models methods on urban planification, rumanian case", Here I were more awaked, so I learned a few tricks and tips to consider on my next works, but essencialy I understood that it´s no so different if you compare this case with the teorical cases teached on our university, I was happy when I realize that I could understand. "determination of unstable sediments on coastal systems" was about fix a method miscalculation usually made on the information reading on coastal systems conserning non-solid parts of a basin.

a little coffebreak, talking with some teachers and watching the rain out of the building. the first year students are no very confortable with the local weather, but if one watch the people here, one can realize that all the people is very adapted with the weather, rain, cold, wind. Nothing of other world.

I found a former forest engineering partner walking arround, and we stayed talking for a lot of time, about the life, about the city, about forest related things, and mainly about satelital imagery data, and the use of GIS on forest engineering. They learned a lot about GIS, but it`s our speciality still.

Lunchtime, and I feeled a bit lazy, so I didn`t go to downtown and stayed on the university, walking on the forest. Near 2PM I bought a hotdog and 2 cheese`s sandwish, and walked again to the conferense.

Marcela Salgado, one of the assistant teachers that we have on economical geography and social geography was talking about the children point of view of the spacial representation of the rural/urban limit of Santiago, and was very interesting, mainly the use of colours to separate the city with the outsides. "Geodiversity on the LLanos de Challe national park" was the second of the afternoon, honestly I didn´t understand very much, maybe I needed the biogeography first... "sharing experiences: enviromental management system" nothing new on mu opinion, a lot of very nice things that everyone knows that most be do it, but no one will do. "geographic distribution analysis of the swamp forest on araucania region" was the last one for me this day, interesting but very large to be explained here, but was related with the human intervention and very bad management of the swamp areas.

I began to walk to the botanic garden of the university, and without warning I found my sister! (my real sister, bloodsister) and talked a bit about the weather and the conference. She invited me to lunch with her tomorrow, so obviously I accepted (I´m very short of cash). After that we went (with the first year students) to the botanic garden, and they became impress, they didn`t understand how that big forest was part of the university. They don´t believe me that in fact the university have another forest area bigger that the garden, and very close to the campus, on the Teja Island too, so tomorrow we`ll go there, to the arboretum.

Late after that trip, I went to downtown and found my godmother and her daughters, Karin (the older syster) was very happy with a package of japan that arrived today, she was waiting for it nearly a month. Stefany (the youngest) was searching for a plastic sword for a costume party this friday. All the stores were closed, so they went to their house. Then I went to the mall and walk arround this nostalgic place for me. It was the place where I began my former relationship, so I became a bit sad, until I went to Telepizza, my former workplace and found my old employer there. After a talk, he gave me a free pizza, and offer me a summerwork on next January and february, I`ll think about it. The pizza was delitious: extra cheese, bacon and pepperoni, we exchange mails with the restaurant administrator, and finaly I went to the supermarket, to buy food and other things for the house where I guested. Now a cup of tea and a few cookies, and my day will be finished.

I hope it`s everything ok on Santiago, and all ok with you all.

David Henrìquez
a bit cold, but happy to be on MY city again.

martes, 19 de octubre de 2010

Back to Valdivia (for a while) part one

Valdivia again... nine months has passed since my last time here, considering my love for this city, and my personal history here, it was a long time...

But no without "funny" tales.

From the beggining... Yesterday I missed my bus. For the first time I went to the terminal with extra time, but the metro has some kind of problem, so we stayed without move maybe ten minutes, and after that, we went very slowly between stations. So I arrived to the terminal and the bus wasn`t there XD.

So I took another bus, going to Osorno, so early this morning I stoped at paillaco´s crossroad on the highway, and took another bus going to Valdivia. (The benefits of the knowledge about the region)

I Arrived to Valdivia, and the first place where I went was my godmother`s fishing store, and then to the university. On the way I found some lost students and assistant teachers of us, and I helped them to find the building. Registration was normal, except for the fact that the person on charge of that was with me on the last conference that I participed (The "Latin American Remote Sensing Week, LARS" at Hyat hotel, few weeks ago).

Lunchtime, and I went to a chinese restorant with my godmother and her daughters (I told you about they last semester, on a post about Valdivia) and went back running to the university.

The first round of the conference, in the Phisical Geography at least was about ecology. Biodiversity (biogeography and political points of view); efects of pine plantations; vegetation mosaic on Valparaiso and urban planification; and restauration of native forest afected by forest fire twenty five years ago. Interesting round on my opinion, considering my personal preferences inside geography.

Second round after a coffe break, renew of the teaching methods on geography schools
was the first, efects of the cold wave of 2010`s winter as the second. After that I must confess that I left the building and went to the forest engineering school. I wanted to be on my old school one more time, and see if I could find an old face. Only few steps close and I found a former classmate. We talked for thirty minutes more or less, and told me what happened with the others. He talked about a meeting on the next days, for the old days, so I´ll be waiting the confirmation. I walked inside the building and found a former teacher, he recon me at the first view, with name and everything, he was hurry, so we`ll talk again on the next days.

And finishing the day, with a bit of raining (I missed this kind of rain!) I came to the house of my friend Alejandra, I wrote about her too. She gave me a very warm welcome, and her little daughter too. I really love this family, like it was mine. A tea near the fireplace, a cat walking arround my legs, the sound of the raining outside, the smell of the wet trees, and the wood on the fire... the magic of the south. =)

jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Learning english

I like to learn english, it´s usually easy for me, because I´ve been learning since I was a child, but sometimes it became a bit difficult, but never too much if one have a good base. I like it because I can use it on very diferent aspecters of my life, like the profesional (reading information not-avaible in spanish, going to seminars (international ones, as a assistant part of the staff in my case, because I can speak english), understanding songs (long live to the 80´s!) watching movies in their original language (because translations usually aren´t very good, saying the less) and my favourite one: because almost all the videogames that I like are in english (ok, they are translated too, but I hate the european spanish accent, always prefer the original casting).

Useful? Very much, anyone saying other thing really don´t know on what age is he living. English now is a door to information, contacts, jobs, goods, and a lot of other things. If you know english, those doors are open, if you don´t, those doors are lock, and very hard locked. If english is useful now as a student, it´s even more useful when I´ll be professional, because most of the information avaible for us is in english (and german), the softwares used for us are in english, if I want to work on a multi-disciplinar team, probably I´ll have to work with english speaking profesionals, and if I want to study a speciality postgrade on other country, obvioustly is a necesary item on the curriculum.

Today, speak english isn´t a luxury, it´s a need. Someone that only speak spanish (specialy a profesional) don´t have the half of the oportunities of a english speaker profesional of the same carreer even. English is a door open not only with native english speakers, but with the rest of the world, because english have become the “common language” almost every part of the world. In my case I´ve spoken with germans, japanise, french, russians, italians, austrians, chinese, swiss, korean, indian and a lot of people of other countries, not speaking on their languages (ok, just with the japanise, and just a LITTLE bit) but in english always.

lunes, 31 de mayo de 2010

A holiday...

A holiday… a bit dificult to me. I don´t have very special memories of one holiday on particular. I used to go to camping with the scout group or with friends, anywhere.

The one diferent to that was the last summer. I didn´t wanted to go to Valdivia, I did´t have a real reason, my wallet was empty too. But my best friend (Karin) made me went anyway, because her birthday; against that I didn´t have excuse.
So I arrived to Valdivia and went to Karin´s house. We saw movies and ate lots of junk (but delicious) food. The next day we went to the cinema to watch “Sherlock Holmes” and eat Pizza (on my former job place: the Telepizza).

The next days, I stayed on the house of a very good friend (like my sister) sharing my freetime with her and her daughter. They really are like a family to me.
But my wallet was stolen, with my bus ticket inside. So I stayed there for two aditional weeks, because my father was on his holiday to, travel arround Chile by car, and he could pick me up on Valdivia, but two weeks after the day that I lost my ticket.

A week later, I went to the beach with Karin and her sister Stefanie. We ate empanadas and we had an adventure on one of the rockfields used to cross between two beaches. When we tried to came back, the sea was higher. So the rockfield wasn´t a very good option. No one of us knew the way crossing the hills, so we had to explore. Karin and Stefanie had very white skin, and honestly, they aren´t very good with sports. So it was a very tought way up (with lots of misscalculations, jejeje) Finaly we reach the bus stop (nearly one hour after the beggining of our walking) and arrive to Valdivia son after that, with my two friends very very tired.

It was a good holiday, I spent my time with the people that I love, had something to talk about, only the bad luck of the stolen wallet, but nothing so terrible.

jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010

My favourite Privateer: Sir Francis Drake of England

Well, honoring the name of my blog, today I´m going to speak about a privateer, but first I must explain what a privateer is.

A privateer is a kind of pirate with a golden age in the age of the sail, or the age of discovery: When the european potences conquest and stablished colonies on all America and The Caribbean.

At difference of the pirates, the privateers were sailors loyal to a crown or countrie, they ransacked and sunk ships like other pirates, but only the ships or towns of their crown´s enemies. They were "PRIVATE" vessels or men that engage enemy ships without any order or relation with the governament, so an attack of a privateer wasn´t considered an act of war. That of corse is not true, but that was the idea. If they became trapped by the enemy, they must answer to the law like ordinary criminals and pirates (execution). But in the cities and harbors of their nationality, they were recibed like any other royal navy vessel.

And, one of the best privateers ever, if not the best (and personaly, my favourite one with Lord Thomas Cochrane), was Sir Francis Drake, of England.

Francis Drake was a privateer of the XVI century, loyal to the Queen Elizabeth I of England. But like any other privateer, he sailed on his own ships.

The British´s enemies at that time were the spaniards, recently conquerors of almost all America, and trully the first world´s potence. The spaniards began to extract silver and gold from the american continent, and they transported the gold by sea on the atlantic ocean. That silver and gold were the bounty by the privateers like Drake.

But he wasn´t only a ransacker, he was more ambitious than that, he was for over all other things, a sailor, and a explorer (in certain aspects, a fellow geographer). And he has the goal of being the first englishman that sail all around the world, an adventure began by Ferdinand Magellan ten years before him, but didn´t completed by an Englishman.

So, he sailed from the England port of Plymounth with five ships and 166 crewman. At the beggining he tried the same route used by Magellan to cross South America in the south of Argentina and Chile, but four ships were left on the way: two were abandon on Rio de la Plata because a failed mutiny, one became sunk on the Strait of Magellan Pass, and the other became seriously damaged and lose contact with Drake´s flagship, so returned to England.

Drake, now only with his Flagship( the "Golden Hind") traveled across the south coast of America and assaulted spaniard ships and ports everywhere (including Valparaiso and Coquimbo)he reached Canada and meet north american indians, and before three years of travel, he return to England. Fourty crewman died on the journey, but he earn the reputation of great sailor that he wanted.

The Queen commanded he again to engage spaniard ships in american territory in 1595, and that was his last battle. He wasn´t defeated by a spanish enemy, but a strong feaver took his life on 1596.

Not only for his greed of glory was remembered Sir Francis Drake. Thanks to his travels, the tobbaco and the pottato became known on Europe. The proud of the English crown and maybe one of the best navigators and naval tactician of his age, he was the inspiration of many others that took the way of the privateering many years later (one very important to Chile by the way...) and a demostration of willpower and determination of a man with a gigant goal in mind, a noble ambition, that doesn´t became defeated by any human opponent, or dificulty (like the Strait of Magellan Pass and the loss of 4/5 of his fleet).

lunes, 17 de mayo de 2010

A Photograph

Good afternoon everyone!
Today we´re gonna talk about one photograph, and I choose this one:

you must be laughting! me too XD

This picture is from only one year ago, the very same day that my classmates were destroying themselves on the cartagua battlefield. I used the same week to travel to Valdivia, because was my birthday, and I wanted to be with my friends that day.

Why I choose this one? why I like it?, because is funny. I have lots of photos in more serious situations, others more fantastics, but I really enjoy this one because it´s a happy one, and that isn´t very normal in my.

This picture was taken on the Austral University, outside one of the buildings, near Forest Enginnering School (my former career if you remember). In that place I was with three friends: Karin (the my goodmother´s daughter, I mentioned her sometimes here) and two classmates of her: Jennifer (who took the photo) and Camila (the one that´s been bit). Camila wanted to go, but I didn´t like the idea, so I "forced" her to stay more time, after all, It was my birthday.

That day it was a very special one, I didn´t only become 22, It was the return (a short one sadly) to my beloved city. That same day I went to the cinema with Camila (yes... she liked me, thats a longer story either) and watched "bedtime stories", a very funny movie about stories that became reality. That day I thought lots of things about how to watch my own life, and be able to see the magic in the things that sorrounds me.

Few days after that photo, I came back to Santiago, just in time for a Remote Sensing class in our old B17 classroom. Some of you saw me with my big bag that day. That was why.

Resuming: I love that picture because it makes me laught, and reminds me a nice time with my friend, and with a special person that was more than that for a few time (but is still a good friend)

lunes, 10 de mayo de 2010

A Country I Would Like to Visit: Japan

Hi there!

Today we´re going to talk about a country, in my case it will be Japan.

Why Japan? because a lot of reasons:
Like China or Korea, Japan is a country with a milenarium culture, a culture rich in lots of aspects, like the languaje, the gastronomy, the archtecture, the music, the painting, the traditional theatre, a very devoted religion (with beautiful temples), a very interesting mithology, and one of the most proud and rich military tradition and theory: The Bushido and the Samurais (but today I´m not going to talk about they, because I already did it in another post)

-They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor. Introductory narration of "The Last Samurai"

The japanise languaje (Nihongo) is one of the most dificult for us on the west side of the world, because we used the roman characters, and the Japanise people use a variation of the original Chinese Kanji. Aditional to that, they create two different alfabet, the "Hiragana" and "Katagana", one used to name japanese words, and the other to name foreing words.

In the food, they are expert in the preparation of different dishes with fish, and specialy rice. Crabs and octopuces are part of their gastronomy too.

The traditional archtecture is world recogniced. Like the Chinese and Korean buildings, they used lots of wood (bamboo) and paper (made of rice) in their constructions. It´s no so difficult to find overwhelming feudal castles or temples. The extensive use of the wood is maybe the signature of their constructions.

The arts, like the music, paintings and theatre are unique. The extensive use of a local Flute (called Fue), Drums, harps, and a banjo with three strings, called "shamisen". In the painting they represented the mithology and current culture of every moment of their history. In the Theatre they have the "Kabuki Mascs Theatre" known by their big mask and the human shaped animal or spirits represented.

In their mythology, they embrace the shinto and Buddhist tradition. They have a uncountable number of spirits (called "Kami")Another interest aspect is the myth origin of the imperial family, assigned with godhood. The japanise emperor is called "Tenno", and means "heavenly emperor".

There I would go to the Buddhist monasteries and temples. Even today monks meditate and pray everyday, with a particular way known as "matra"
The old Castles of the shogunato era (the feudal age of Japan, that last until 1867, when the imperial rule is reestablished, with the defeat of the Tokugawa rule) The shoguns were warlords, rules of great extentions of territory, like the feudal lords in Europe. The special castle that I want to see is the Kumamoto Castle, that was the one under siege on the Satsuma Samurai´s rebellion, and the one that saw the last battle, of the real last samurais, agains the new imperial army.

The Fuji Volcano is another special place that I want to see. Called "Fuji-sama" (or "Great Fuji")is a very beautiful place not only for japan, for the world too I believe.

I´m sure that if train a bit of kendo there, I´ll be destroyed with very few hits, I only fought two japanise "kenshis" (fencers) not counting my master, and they were very high skilled and very fast swordmans. They defeated me very quick. But I believe that I could learn a lot there, in the origin root of this art. Would be a very interesting experience.

The differences with Chile are obvious, the buildings are very different, but the biggest differece is the people: very disciplinated, obedient, and devoted to their pursuits. Usually very reservated, and closed with their feelings. No one says what thinks, and often they answer without saying a oppinion.

lunes, 26 de abril de 2010


One activity that I like to do in my free time, it´s the free practice of "Kendo": the japanise martial art of the Katana (The japanese longsword).

The kendo (translated as "the way of the sword") is the modern version of the old "Kenjustsu" ("The tecnique of the sword"), studied today as a modern competition sport, equivalent to european fencing. The roots of this sport are very old, and was the main skill of those who now are legend to our days: The Samurai.

The basic combat´s skill curriculum of a samurai was the Ju-Jitsu (close quarter combat, it´s the father of the Judo), Kyudo (the way of the longbow), Horseback riding, Kenjutsu, and sometimes Iaijutsu (The use of the drawing as an attack).
Obviously, I don´t practice all those things in my leasure time, I only train in Kendo and iaido, but I also know a bit of Judo and Aikido (descendants of the Ju-jitsu), and just a bit of horseback riding (with only one hand, the idea is being able to use a sword while charging). Bowmanship it´s still something that I never make (still...)

At my appartment, I try to train three times per week at least, but I hang my sword and play everyday if I can. It´s not very easy, the lights, wallpaint, and my grandmother shake in fear when I draw my katana. In Valdivia was easier, I only went to the backyard or a near forest and practique my slices and cuts, and no one became bother.

I started with the Kendo nearly 6 years ago, when I followed my best friend (the daughter of my godmother) to training. I loved the japanise history and the martial arts even before that, but only at that moment my oportunity was real. For two entire years I trained (2004-2005) on the Dojo (the training place) (called "the dojo of the raining sword") first under my local master, and the second year under the teachings of a japanise master, a sixty years old man, with fifty five tears of experience on the samurai fencing. We made a very close master-student relation.
That year was full of challenges: a very hard training (four days per week, with nearly four hours per sesson), my studies of forest enginering and my job on the Pizza´s restaurant. But in the Kendo´s field we had two national championships, and I was with the region´s selection for both of them. After a whole day of intence fighting and endless duels, we finished with the fourth national place on the "masters" category, no so bad if you remember that I was only with one lone year of training, and my rivals with four or five. That was my last tournament too, because after that year I went to the army, and leave the sword to take the rifle.

I enjoy this art not only for the fighting, but for the precision, patience and concentration that requieres. The Katana is the most lethal martial weapon, but at the same time, requieres lots of physical, mental and spiritual training. Unlike other two handed weapons, the power of the katana don`t reside on the physical strenght; it´s the sharped edge, the quick mind and the force of will of the swordman. In a Katana`s duel you can´t think, I you take a second trying to think a strategy and don´t pay full atention to your opponent, you´re already dead. It´s adrenaline, a test against yourself, against your patience, and a large spiritual road to made your sword not a weapon, but a part of yourself.

If everything goes well, I will restart my formal training in the providencia´s dojo (the arch-enemy of my former dojo). My woodsword, Ironsword and the armor that once were of my best friend are ready and hunger of engage on combat, now playing a inofensive sport (because the armor), but remembering that the same tecniques, names and spirit of the old samurai´s wars are now with us, telling the story of more than one thousand years of honor, courage, dedication, and epic tales.

lunes, 19 de abril de 2010

Favourite Movie

Well, this time we most talk about one of our favourite movies. It isn´t easy to choose one, because I like lots of movies, like "Saving Private Ryan", "Back to the Future", all the Star Wars saga, all the Indiana Jones saga and others like "Top Gun" or "The Last Samurai".

But today we most choose only one, so I must talk about "Pirates of the Caribbean: The curse of the Black Pearl"

This story is about a bizarre pirate captain who has lost his ship on a mutiny when he tried too find a treasure island, a treasure with an aztec curse. The crew found the treasure without the captain, but became doomed. Now the ship (called "Black Pearl")is like a phantom ship, assaulting and sinking every single ship on her way, searching how to become free of the curse.

The Black Pearl, in the assault of Port Royal

Captain Barbossa, Undead captain of the Black Pearl

The beggining of the story it´s on the British colony of Port Royal, when Jack Sparrow arrive at the time that his boat sunks. Searching a ship to comandeer he became envolved in problems with the governor´s daughter and with her friend, a blacksmith and fencer. The girld became kiddnaped when the Black Pearl assault the port, and Sparrow beggins an adventure with the blacksmith (William Turner) to recover his old Ship and the girl. They Hijack the HMS "Interceptor" (the fastest frigate on the caribbean) and sail to the buccaneer port island of Tortuga, recluited a mad crew and began the pursuit, escaping at the same time of the British Royal Navy (With the Man´o War flagship "HMS Dauntless"), searching for the girl too, and trying to recover (or sunk) the stolen HMS Interceptor.

I won´t tell you all the story, because... YOU MUST WATCH IT!

The First time that I watched this movie was about five years ago, in my best friend´s house (on Valdivia), I was a fan of the pirates tales before that, and at the beggining I didn´t expect much of a pirate´s film made by Disney. but soon I became trapped by the scrip, the scenes (they have very realistic details), the naval battles, and more than everything else: the funny touch... Jack Sparrow is a joke by himself, like an everdrunken greedy and liar captain. Captain Barbossa is the bad guy, but a wise, and very cleaver (but greedy and cold hearted) gentleman. Will Turner is like the tipical "want to be hero", but always made mistakes and miscalculations, brave but not so wise.

Resuming, It´s a very untipical movie, because it isn´t like all the disney movies (for kids...) and not like the tipical historical or adventure movies. Action, romance, drama, terror and funny aren´t normal all in one movie, but in this one, the mixure was great.

The Other two movies (The Dead Man´s Chest, like the song on "The Treasure Island") and "At the World End" are very very great movies too, But in my opinion, this one, the first, it isn´t a good movie, it´s a terrific one

lunes, 12 de abril de 2010

The longest two minutes for a night

Well, today we have to write about the earthquake of February 27th.

To almost all of us, it was our first earthquake, so the impressions are confusing, even now. Maybe the memories are mixed with the fear, anxiety, and a complex amalgam of feelings.

In my case, I was at my father´s appartment on Maipu, it´s a very high building, and we were on the sixteenth floor. Like all the other days on vacation, I was awake, playing pc games until six o´clock more or less. All the place quiet, my father snoring in the next room, and an entire world to discover with my partners on internet. When suddenly one of then said "it´s shaking" and just after that, my building began to shake too. One of the players, from England, become worried for us, but I told him that here is normal, and that I thought that it was a heavy one, because I was on a tall building. But the shake doesn´t stop, and the noise was increasing. I heared my father getting out of the bed, so I went out of my room to talk with him, he said "it´s a long one,isn´t it?" and just when he said that, the noise became very strong, we heared an explosion and the electricity was cut off. The building took an abrupt movement, so extreme that I fell to the floor and my father to his bed. Then the hell was unleashed...

All the forniture began to broke, all the cups, bottles, glass, television, electrodomestics were falling arround me,and I couldn´t rise myself from the floor. Crawling I could reach my room again, and made the only thing posible in that situation: wait.

When the Earthquake was over, we ran to the kitchen and cut of the gas, we unplugged all the electronic artefacts too, my father put his clothes, and we went out of the apartment. Quickly we became noticed that lots of persons in the other apartments were trapped, because the doorlocks were colapsed. So we used a fire extinguisher and lots of kicks to broke the doors and release our neighbours. That was almost all the night.

Like all the people that live in appartments, I honestly feared that the building could collapse, maybe the walls, maybe the floor, maybe all. Thanks to God, nothing happens there, we were lucky. With my father (an Enginner) we calculate the movement of the building about three meters per side, so, in the high, was terrible.

Soon we noticed that was no news of the southern cities, and we became worried, because my brother and sister were in Valdivia, my beloved people too; but luckily nothing happens there. We did´t imagine the magnitude of the disaster until few days after, when we saw the destruction in Concepcion, Talcahuano, Constitucion and all the others towns.

I believe that as a country, we reacted with the best of us, but with the worst too. I really think that the governament has to send the armed forces to take control of the zone inmediately after the earthquake, not only to establish order, but to help to rescue and aid the wounded. At least three garrisons were ready few minutes after the earthquake, but the order arrive long hours after.

But soon, the help arrived from all corners of our country, and all around the world. I think the react could was better, but it wasn´t all bad too.

domingo, 11 de abril de 2010

The Hour after a concert... The Gathering for Chile.

Well, this is not part of the english class, but I want to write it anyway.

I`m just arriving to my house after a very great concert at the Caupolican Theather, a concert of a dutch metal band called "The Gathering".

This dutch band is very famous in the 90`s new kind of metal: heavy guitar, bass and drumms, but more symphonic, with more instruments (like the organ) and with a woman in the vocals; groups like Nightwish and Lacuna Coil.

And speaking about the recent concert, it wasn`t a ordinary concert, the came to Chile for a very special situation. Like all the World, they hear about the earthquake of February 27th when they were in a concert on Greece, and the girlfriend of one bandmember is chilean, so they became worried immediately. As a band they are very close too Chile not only for Gema (the chilean girl), but for the people, the landscape and the experience from the concerts here. So they wrote this, few days after the earthquake on their website:

"Dear people,

We just arrived home from Greece, where we heard the terrible news.
Our hearts go out to all the people in Chile who is affected by the horrible circumstances. It is no secret that Chile is our second home and we have a strong history together. We are thinking of you and we do hope the country will rise again as soon as possible. All the best to all of you!

Hans, René, Frank, Marjolein & Silje. "

Soon they became to think the better way to aid the earthquake`s victims, and they wrote this:

"...Straight away we talked about possibilities of how we could give out something positive to the people of Chile in these hard times

Playing music is what we do best (or at least we believe so;-) ) and this is something sincere and personal coming from our hearts. We discussed different possibilities to help and we all agreed playing a special concert there could not only raise money, but could also to give our beloved friends over there the strength and hope to rebuild their homes..."

And that concert was this recently past Sunday, few hours ago, a very special and emotive concert, where the band shows a very high music skill, and a very special connection with public.

So... for nearly two hours, the Caupolican Theather was full of fans, aid (the ticket cost $7000 and a non-perishable food), good music and the happiness for us (as fans) of have this great band playing for us from their souls. Maybe was not so big as other concerts with legendary rock bands, but for the people that we like this kind of music, it was very very great. During the show, the members give lots of things as gifts, and raffle the concert`s guitar too. All for gather money for the Red Cross. Resuming: a unique journey.

Finishing, I`ll put here one song played today. It isn`t a heavy one (because not all the songs in this style are made of heavy guitars, this is a example of that) but I like it very much, the song and the Lyric.

See you today at class.

The West Pole (The Gathering)

As the late evening sun
Slides her way through copper clouds
Golden leaves from autumn
Play over a dusty breeze
I slide my way through the empty park
Weary eyes

Your memory fades
Like dust wake the shades
The still night comes breaking in
Dry raindrops on summer wind

As the late evening sun
Shines her way through aging sky
Closing in on autumn

As I watch the miracle
Of seasons changing
I saw the leaves die

Your memory fades
Like dust wake the shades
The still night comes breaking in
Dry raindrops on summer wind

But I can still see you and I can still hear you
You're spinning around in my head

I can still hear you and I can still see you

Tide is down
I thought I heard the perfect note
I thought I heard you call my name

Your memory fades
Like dust wake the shades
The still night comes breaking in
Dry raindrops on summer wind


lunes, 5 de abril de 2010

Second entry: My favourite place in Chile

The place in Chile that I like most, it's the city of Valdivia, It's located in the coast of the River's region, near 850km to the south of Santiasco.

Valdivia is a very beautiful city, where the wildness landscapes, the sport, the history and the good food (and beer!) are in one only place.

Valdivia was my home city too, at least until the beginning of the year 2007, when I moved too Santiago at the beginning of my military career as an Army cadet. Since that moment Valdivia has become a place of peace, rest, beauty and memories for me. My family has come to Santiago too, at late 2007, so now only my old friends and beloved people are there.

I first went to Valdivia when I was eleven more or less, my father was there because his job on a fishing fleet, and very soon he fell in love with the place. I went to Valdivia near three times per year, and like my father, I became impress with the marvelous landscape, and the historical places of this raining city.

Now I travel alone to my city, but there are some people that even with a long distance between us are very close to me, persons like my godmother and her daugthers that are like my second family, a very close friend of the highschool and her daughter, and a very very tall and inteligent girld called Violeta. They are my soul when I'm in Santiago, and are the best company when I'm there.

Normaly, I spend my time with those people, but I always try to go to the places that impress me the first time, places like the evergreen raining forests (and the valdivian jungle) the colony's museum, the german brewery, and specialy to me: the old spaniard forts on the bay in the coast.

Those forts were considerated the most heavily fortificated position in the whole new world in the age of conquerors. They were guarding the bay, protecting the city against pirate's raids (this place was one of the places that Sir Francis Drake, English privateer and Hero, evaded with more caution when he came to Chile in order of attack spaniards cities) and against the insurgent mapuche's marauders. Just when Chile became a independet country, and when all the others Spanish troops were defeated, the last bastion of the Spanish crown fell by the hand of a brilliant English Privateer and tactician: Lord Thomas Cochrane. Every summer the corral's fort made a representation of the epic battle twice per day, and not a single year I come back to santiago without having walked between the old walls, armory and cannon's battery, that told me the strong of the past as a lesson of humility, and wisdom against an overwhelming oponent or problem.

lunes, 29 de marzo de 2010

First Entry

March 29

Hi there each and every one of the crew!
This is our first entry, it is the beggining of a new travel too, a travel of one semester of classes and learning on this language. So be prepared, the journey ahead it isn´t a short one,it is a journey with storms, cannonshots, sharks, and the worst of all: teachers...

so, take your sword handy, watch your back, your dictionary always in your bag, and prepare yourself, because the captain Higginson could be in any corner, or classroom...