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.