5 (more) Names You´ll Recognize if you Live in Chile

Due to the popularity of the initial 5 Names article, I decided to follow up with a few more recent entries which you are bound to recognize if you spend some time in Chile.  The following are snapshots of cultural icons that have made an important impact upon the country and its national identity.   

Gabriela Mistral  (1889-1957)

Gabriela Mistral was born Lucila de María Godoy Alcayaga in 1889 in Vicuña, a small settlement in the Elqui Valley, and was the daughter of a teacher and dressmaker. She became passionate about encouraging the educational development of children and so became a teacher, becoming first a teaching assistant at the age of 15. Her early poems were born after starting at the Escuela Normal de Preceptoras de La Serena, where she became heavily discouraged by the rigidity of the conservative system.  In 1910 she headed to Santiago to teach at the Escuela de Barranca before passing special exams that led her to traveling different schools across Chile, including to Temuco, where she met Pablo Neruda (and who famously introduced her to Russian literature). Between August 1904 and September 1910, the local press of the La Serena area began publishing her poetry; in 1909 Mistral´s romance with Romerlio Ureta ended when he committed suicide and this affected her so much that she began to write about life and death in a way unique to previous Latin American entries.  Her poems honoring the dead, Sonetos de la muerte (1914), made her particularly famous in Latin America, but it was in 1922 that the collection Desolación [Despair] was published, to great international accolade. Mistral played an important role on the international stage, and was involved in the League of Nations, received multiple honorary degrees, was in cultural societies of various countries (such as the United States), and she taught Spanish Literature at numerous universities outside of Chile.  Mistral was the first Latin American recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1945.

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

Pablo Neruda was born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Parral, in the region of Maule. His father worked for the railway and his mother was a teacher, although she died not long after Neruda was born. He was raised in the southern city of Temuco, and as a youth he met Gabriela Mistral, who was at the time the principal of a secondary school for girls.  In 1920 he began writing for ¨Selva Austral¨, a literary journal, under the pen name Pablo Neruda, a name he chose to honor the Czech poet, Jan Neruda (1834-1891). In 1924 he published his most lauded work, Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada.  In addition to writing, Neruda studied French and Pedagogy at the Universidad de Chile, and between 1927-1935 he traveled to various countries overseeing honorary consulships for the Chilean government. During this time he published a surreal collection of poems, Residencia en la tierra (1933), which elevated him internationally.  In 1950, while he was living in Mexico, he published Canto General, which spoke about the entirety of South America and its people. In 1943 Neruda came back to Chile to live, and in 1945 he joined the Communist Party; in 1947 his protests placed him in sufficient danger that he had to go into hiding until 1949, when he left Chile. His work titled Las Uvas y el Viento (1954) is considered to be a diary of his political activities during his exile.

In 1950, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, awarded ¨for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams”.

Violeta Parra (1917-1967)

Violeta Parra is someone that I studied during my university years and someone that I personally admire the work of.  Born in San Carlos near Chillan, Parra began singing with her sister at the age of 17, before being sent to school in Santiago. She married in 1938 and the influence of her husband, Luis Cereceda, led her to becoming involved in the socialist movement of the time. In 1949, she married Luis Arce and toured Argentina with her family playing music in circuses. In 1952 Parra began to compose her own songs based upon traditional folk music, and later started to teach music at various universities around Chile. Her music began to be published which made her very popular, and she met Pablo Neruda, who in 1970 dedicated the poem¨Elegia para Cantar¨ to her. Parra´s popularity grew and she was invited to Poland to participate in an international festival, prompting her to move to Paris to perform in nightclubs. Over the years, Parra lived, traveled and worked in various places, and in 1962 she started a relationship with a flautist from Belgium called Gilbert Favre. In 1965 she returned to live in Chile, set up her own peña (community center for the arts and political activism) in La Reina and suffered through the demise of her relationship with Favre, who moved to Bolivia, prompting the song Run Run Se Fue Pal Norte.

Her most famous song, Gracias a la Vida, was written after her relationship with Favre ended. It was released on her final album, Las Últimas Composiciones (1966), and is considered by many to be a suicide note.  Violeta Parra shot herself in the head in 1967, leaving behind an extensive legacy of not only artwork but art work too, as you can see in the Museo Violeta Parra.

Victor Jara (1932-1973)

Victor Jara was born in Lonquen to a poor family and worked from a young age. He was raised by his mother, who was a self-taught singer, guitar and piano player, after his father left to find work and never returned.  She died when Jara was 15 at which time he began to study accounting and later to become a priest before leaving to enter the military.  After a few years, he began to study theatre which led him to meet Violeta Parra, who inspired him to explore Chilean folk music with the group Cuncumen.  His first album was released in 1966, Canto a lo humano, and by 1970 he was working full-time as a musician.

After visiting Cuba and the Soviet Union in the 1960´s, Jara joined the Communist Party of Chile and began using his music to address the political situation of the time.  He backed Salvador Allende, organized cultural events in support of the Socialist government, and later became a teacher at what is now called the Universidad de Santiago.

On September 11 1973, Allende died during the coup d´etat led by Augusto Pinochet, and Jara sought refuge in the university. The next day he was taken prisoner alongside thousands of other people who were believed to be involved with the left, and held in National Stadium.  Victor Jara was tortured, had his hands broken and told to play the guitar and then shot in the head, his body struck by over 40 bullets.  His body was placed at the entrance to the stadium beside others who had been murdered; civil servants found him and alerted his wife Joan who held a brief secret burial before fleeing the country.  His murderers were eventually charged, some 42 years later.

Jorge Gonzalez (1964 – )

Jorge Gonzalez was the lead vocalist, bassist and song writer of the Chilean band, Los Prisoneros.  The band formed in 1979 in the Santiago suburb of San Miguel, and today are considered as one of Chile´s most influential musical exports in Latin America. The band formed while still in high school and were signed to EMI Records in 1985, and mixed a variety of styles to form New Chilean Pop, a marked difference from the earlier folk-inspired music that was popular. Their songs were controversial to say the least, and criticized everything from societal attitudes (as you can see in the link below) to politics.

The band has broken up and reformed various times; in 1989 band member Claudia Narea found love letters from Gonzalez (who was married) to his wife, and not long after Gonzalez attempted to commit suicide. The band (going through multiple member changes) definitively broke up in 2006, and Gonzalez has rejected and received various offers at a solo career, and formed the now-disbanded Los Updates with his wife in 2006.

More Information

Visit the Museo Violeta Parra to see a collection of her works, including the original manuscript of Gracias a la Vida.

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Violeta Para´s former guitar and manuscript

Visit the Museo de la Memoria to learn more about Chile´s dictatorship.

Visit the Museo a Cielo Abierto, which Jorge Gonzalez was involved in and which includes a mural of Los Prisoneros.

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If you liked this, have a look at:

20 Things You Didn´t Know About Chile

Chile in Photos

An Introduction to Musica Latina

Paranormal Chile Top 7

10 Common Misconceptions About Chile

The People of Tierra del Fuego

 

Autumn Giveaway!!

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Mummy Diaries: Control

I´m not completely sure when it happened, but happen it did.

It wasn´t when I gave birth, and it wasn´t during my breastfeeding trials either.

I think I can identify one moment in particular that has caused me to admit that I, Helen Cordery, a woman with 29 years on this planet, am no longer functioning as myself. I am Mother.  And I can crookedly trace that moment back to September 14 2016.

The date when my 2 year old became a 3 year old.

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Photo: Sibylla Michelle Photography

(To those of you reading this without children, or still at that stage where your offspring are all squishy, cuddly and (dare I say it) unable to form complete sentences, you may be a little confused or even think I´m dramatizing an evet as wonderful as toddlerhood. But there are others out there who are living this reality with me, and who have lived it many, many times … and to those ladies, I salute you with respect).

September 14 2016 appeared, for all intents and purposes, as an ordinary, innocent date. The sun shone and cracked through air still bearing the touches of Autumn´s chill, panaderia staff rose early and churned out the day´s supply of bread, dogs went for their usual wander around the neighborhood leaving their gifts for those unlucky souls trudging their way to work, and at least half of the residents of Chile looked outside their window at the mountains and let out a little sigh.

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Well, my son rose on that particular day and thought ´the time has come´.

It was not to be a day just of Thomas the Tank balloons, colorful cupcakes, forgotten wrapping paper and healthy-snacks-to-prove-a-point, for this was the singular moment in my son´s life when he realized who he was.

And that he was no longer my baby.

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Perhaps my greatest challenge these past 29 years has been acknowledging and dealing with the fact that my son is his own person. He is not someone I can just dress in any old clothes, or tell to eat his dinner, tidy his mess, or be nice.  I can not just hug or kiss him with abandon, like I would when he was smaller, when I´d squeeze him so fiercely because he did something so cute that I just couldn´t contain myself.

The day E turned 3 (or there abouts) was the moment when he grasped fully what ´No´ meant, and that he had every right to say it.

And say it he does.

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In fact, it feels like all I ever hear these days is a big, fat, loud ´NO!´ and this word … this word makes me want to throw every single item we own and hold dear out the window until there is nothing left but a plate that is finally empty, because it´s 1.35pm and jardin started 5 minutes ago.

This word grates on my last nerve and consumes every inch of my brain because it seems like now there are no longer enough hours in the day; time is ticking on and you, beautiful, infuriating child, are not helping us to progress through it.

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And this is what I mean about now being all Mother.

Each day starts and ends almost exactly the same and I, as the Mother, am the sole person responsible for keeping it that way (you don´t want to know what happens when the routine breaks – think tears, lots of tears, them and me).

I am driven by this purpose, and although it may seem like all I am doing is keeping a baby, toddler and 2 adults on schedule, what I am really doing is fighting a war.

I battle the clock, where each tick leads me further and further away from where I need to be. I battle my partner, who often appears to be completely oblivious to the chaos unfolding around his feet (usually E and M fighting). I battle the endless dishes, the washing that never seems to dry because we have now entered the six months of the year when Santiago is not a desert and more like one overflowing drain (go to Huechuraba in the rain and you will know what I mean).  I battle work deadlines, the stress that winter brings to my children´s immune systems, endless assignments that are far too advanced for my poor son to comprehend at his jardin and now I battle the constant sound of ´no´ ringing in my ears.

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When I was pregnant, my mum bought me a Baby Record Book. We both thought this would be a lovely memento to have of my first child´s early years. I sat with this Record Book resting on my ginormous stomach, chewing the end of my pen, while pondering about those big, important questions that you only think about when you´re pregnant with number 1. The book told me to write down Our hopes for you in the future. ¨Be strong, know who you are, act your age & don´t grow up too fast¨ was some of what I wrote down, when E gave me a chance (he was always kicking away). And that is exactly what I got.

I have a son that is like me in so many ways – who speaks his mind, is strong and likes to laugh – which is exasperating at times, but are qualities that have always been so important to me. It is difficult sometimes  regularly but as a parent your role is to guide your child not force them, to lead by example and not by pressure, and to show them love when it all gets too much and they fall apart. I wrote in my Record Book,´I hope you always have a parent who shows you love and is present´and this is the greatest lesson I have learnt across my adult years on this earth: you will lose control at times and so will I, a bit, but I will always strive to be someone that is with you and for you, in that moment.

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I am not a perfect mother – far from it. And my son is not perfect either – far from it (though maybe to me). They say control is an illusion but I think it means balance, as we live each day moving between the ´yes´ and the ´no´, the right and the wrong, the good and the not so good, looking for – aiming for – that moment when it all balances out, the world is smiling and you look into those tiny, round eyes and see nothing but happiness.

What the Words Mean

Panaderia – place where they make bread (most corner stores serve fresh bread morning and night)

Jardin – kindergarten/nursery

5 BestOff-The-Grid Getaways


Did you like this blog? You might like to read:

Mummy Diaries: Love 

Mummy Diaries: Day in the Life Of

Mummy Diaries: Respect

Mummy Diaries: The Truth

Meet Emily & Her Shine A Life

I am really happy to share this Spotlight On interview with Emily because, not only is she one of the first friends I made in Chile, but she is also someone who I really admire.  I admire Emily because she knows her dreams and has worked hard to make them become a reality, the result of which is her visually stunning blog, Shine A Life.  Shine A Life chronicles her travels around the globe as a single mother with her gorgeous tot, Sienna, who is a bit younger than E. Along the way, Emily shares (in 3 languages) travel tips, beautiful photos and – in true Emily style – fashion!  I highly recommend giving her blog a look, not least for the stunning images and inspirational content (featured image by local photographer Tamsin!).

Ten Questions with Emily

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1. What brought you to Chile?
A Chilean man, of course . It’s funny because once I became an expat mum out in Chile I realized how many (particularly blonde!!) women come to Chile to be with their partners! I met (my now ex) Cristián in Marseilles, France in 2011 where we were both students, and came to Chile for the first time in January 2012 for a three-week visit. That was an amazing trip, in the heat of the summer, and I think I became forever enamored with Chile. Later that year I came back for a 2 month visit but skipped my return flight and stayed for a year until I fell pregnant and moved back to England. I then moved back to Chile with my daughter Sienna when she was 8 months old so that we could all make a life together out there.
2. How does Chilean Spanish compare with the Spanish of Spain? How are the cultures different? 
I find the two very different and Chilean Spanish is much easier to understand! I love how it is so musical and the intonation just sounds so lovely! I do try to adapt when speaking to different people because there are a lot of words in Chilean which are completely unique to Chile! Both cultures are very true to their own traditions but they are also very different. Chile felt very much like the « new world » when I first arrived there from Valencia, Spain where I was doing a university exchange.
3. What did you find most difficult adjusting to here? 
I definitely found it difficult to tell if people were genuine or not. I was saddened by the classism and had never seen such poverty before (like some of the makeshift housing). When I returned after the birth of my daughter, I found it difficult to stand up for my own values and techniques as a mother which were very different to the traditional Chilean way. I also found the level of contamination pretty shocking and the surrounding mountains towering above the city made me feel a bit blocked in sometimes (I am a lover of the coast).
4. Where is your favorite place in Chile? In Santiago? Any food recommendations? 
My visit to San Pedro de Atacama and the surrounding area was one of the best trips I have ever been on. I loved the atmosphere up there! It was a very mystical experience – from the shooting stars to the magnetic energy that literally pulsates through your body if you lie down on the ground, and the deafening silence of the desert.
There are so many great spots in Santiago but my favorites have to be Patronato, Bellas Artes, Quinta Normal and Barrio Italia. My favorite eatery is Quimbaya, a hidden gem I found whilst applying for my Sienna’s Chilean passport. Everything is homemade (even their ice-cream), and their menú is under $5.000. I love their banana passionfruit (« curuba ») juice and their lemon pie is out of this world! Their coffee, imported from Colombia, is also divine.
5. Where is your favorite place to go with children? 
I love how there are parks and plazas everywhere which often have playgrounds for little ones, and I think hanging out under a palm tree to stay out of the sun is a pretty awesome pastime!
6. What is it like travelling in Chile with a child? Are there any difficulties?
I didn’t travel a great deal with my daughter within Chile itself apart from getting on and off public transport in Santiago. I’d say it is just better to baby wear if you can because not all of the metro stations have disabled access so you may struggle with a stroller. To leave Chile alone with my daughter, following the breakdown of my relationship with her dad, I needed a notarized letter of consent (as do all parents wanting to leave Chile without the other parent). It was definitely a worry at the time that my daughter’s father would refuse to give us that letter.
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7. Do you have any advice for people making the move to Chile? 
As with moving to any country I would recommend trying to make friends with other expats as it is great to have a support network that can completely empathize with you and the situation you’re in. By the same token, it is important to meet people from the place you’re in so that you can feel a sense of integration. Learn the language if you can, embrace the culture but don’t be afraid to stick up for your own values.
Chile is a truly amazing country, with breathtaking landscapes, lovely people and a great cuisine – it is so important to focus on the abundance of things it has to offer. If you are moving to Santiago I would recommend getting out of the city as much as possible. It can sometimes feel like Santiago is a world in itself and it’s easy to get caught up in that, but Chile is so much more than just its capital city.
8. What is next for you on your journey?
This week we are relocating to Lisbon, Portugal! After just over two years of hard work, saving and adjusting to single motherhood we have finally gotten to the point where we can leave England again. I never really wanted to return having spent so much time away enjoying warmer climates but I didn’t really have the choice. I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to be here longterm but I didn’t know how long it would take me. I am working hard on monetizing my blog but in the meantime I plan to sign up to some modeling agencies and teach English. I am also really looking forward to us learning Portuguese and all of the other challenges that we will meet along the way. I think it will be a great bonding experience for my daughter and I, and I am so happy to have this extra time with her out of the daily grind we have had over the past couple of years of full-time work and childcare.
9. Tell us about your blog. 
My blog is about single-mum-travel with a little one – Portugal will be the ninth country that Sienna and I have travelled to together and we’ve been on over 30 flights so I’ve picked up a tip or two! Shine A Life is meant to be a celebration of the miraculous moments that are forever happening all around, and I have a passion for style, design, food and foreign languages so I like to touch on those subjects too. My aim is to promote independent brands that you wouldn’t usually come across as well as places of interest and inside information from the locals of the world.
10. Favorite places in the world you have visited.
Besides San Pedro de Atacama, another amazing trip I did was around the vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina. It is a stunning area and I loved the vibes – Argentines also seem really friendly! I visited Málaga, Spain for the first time last year and I thought it was a really great city and will definitely return!

 

Keep updated on Emily´s travels and follow the links here:

Facebook + Instagram @shinealife

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If you liked this, then you might like to:

Meet Tamsin, and her stunning photography portfolio;

Meet Siski, and her beautiful watercolors and souvenirs;

Meet Hoda Madi and her incredible abstract artwork;

Meet Sarai and discover about her life in Puente Alto, as well as her small business selling handmade goods;

Meet Sujitra, who prepares the most delicious homemade Indian food;

Meet Sally Rose, author and longtime volunteer in low-income schools.

Supporting Small: Local Business Directory

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The magazine Forbes writes that small businesses are impressive when you think ¨about the time, commitment and labour these hard working individuals contribute to make their business both come to life and stay alive¨ (Sep 2 2014). Many of us do not think consciously about where we shop, but it deserves some thought. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Your improving the local economy: when you buy local, the money is more likely to stay in the community.
  2. You develop a connection with the people behind the business. You are more likely to find help when you need it and receive better customer service (they depend more on their public profile, for starters).  To them you are not a random customer but a valued customer.
  3. You are stimulating the production of more local jobs
  4. You help working parents have the opportunity to set their own hours, have more time with their family and have the potential to expand their earnings.
  5. Small businesses, rather than chains, have been shown to increase innovation and lower prices over the long term.
  6. You help to keep traditions alive, for example when you choose to buy artesenal products, and are more likely to buy something that was the product of love and interest rather than about furthering a company´s bottom line.  You are also more likely to increase product diversity – if you ask for something you are more likely to receive it from a small business.
  7. You will also feel good knowing that you are helping people to support themselves, particularly in a place like Santiago where costs are high and wages are love, and chain stores are on the increase.

For those of you who are in Chile, here are some local providers you could consider purchasing from the next time.

ACCOMODATION

Algarrobo: Apartment Overlooking Canelillo Beach

Beautiful apartment that sleeps six and beside a pine forest filled with walking trails. Contact Taryn on +569 9 799 5258.

Horcon: Chile´s Best Kept Secret Beachfront Apartment

The 2 bedroom apartment, which comfortably sleeps up to 6 people, is located in the region of Valparaiso just a 2 hour drive from Santiago.  Visit the Airbnb site here.

Quintay: Apartment with Sea View

Located in a private, gated community, this is a fantastic and impeccably styled ground floor apartment available to rent.

Tunquen: La Mirage Parador

Bed & Breakfast available throughout the summer months in the Algarrobo region, perfect for romantic getaways.  Visit the site here.

Valparaiso: Winebox Valparaiso

This project is all about urban rejuvenation and represents the first tourism project in the historic Mariposas neighborhood. The hotel is constructed from 25 recycled 40ft High Cube shipping containers, insulated entirely with recycled materials with all furniture and decorations made from recycled materials recovered from Chile’s wine industry. 

ART + DESIGN

Abstract Art: Hoda Madi

An artist, photographer and amateur astronomer, Hoda creates jaw dropping abstract art paintings using materials such as sand. Visit the website here.

Fine Art: Olivos Art Studio

Claudia and Sergio are from Chile and Mexico respectively, and create paintings using various styles. The Essence of the Mapuche exhibit is of particular note. Visit the webpage here.

Hair + Makeup VIÑA DEL MAR: Haley Mahannah 

A stylist, professional hairdresser and makeup artist based in Viña, Hayley does private jobs as well as working out of a salon.

Hair Removal: Sugar Me Up

Hair removal using a technique known as sugaring.  Speaks English!

Handmade Gifts: Woolful Rebellion

Beautiful gift ideas made by a fellow expat. Read my blog here or email barahonasarai@gmail.com.

Jewellery: Indre Bar

Minimalist gemstone necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Visit the Etsy store here or send a message to indre.b@gmail.com

Jewellery Watches: TTANTI Watches

Ttanti is a watch brand that ensures the sustainable use of resources involving craftsmanship. We use Swiss movements to ensure excellent performance. We invite you to know our history. Visit the website here.

Photography: Sibylla Michelle Photography

Portrait photographer from the UK, responsible for the most stunning bridal, pregnancy and newborn photos I´ve ever seen. See her website here and read my blog here.

Souvenirs + Paintings: Siski Kalla

Siski creates unique gifts with her watercolour paintings, from bespoke tea towels featuring Chile´s wonders, through to kids growth charts and customizable world maps.  Read my blog here.

EDUCATION + CLASSES

Art: Andrea Adresic Art

Former art teacher and professional painter, Andrea holds exhibitions as well as fun art classes for adults and children.

Dance + Yoga: Dhatri, Yoga + Ayurveda

Learn Bharatnatyam and Odissi, classical dances from India with Usha Vikas. Isha also offers Indian tribal paintings. These classes are conducted at Dhatri (yoga y Ayurveda). Dhatri also offers classes in yoga and Ayurveda therapies.

Language: Russian Language Classes

Russian language classes for work, tourism and every day use. Private and group classes available, as well as Skype.

Sewing + Fabric Art: Stitch Lounge Santiago

Join a growing community of students learning the craft of sewing with various workshops designed for various ability levels. Visit the website here.

FOOD + WINE

Agricola Tinajacura

This family-run business describes themselves as a farm following holistic methods and as such you will find they produce happy chickens, free range eggs, wool products and lamb without any antibiotics or hormones. See the website here.

Anouk Boutique Bakery

Anouk follows traditional recipes from Holland to make by hand authentic breads using natural ingredients.

Attilio & Mochi Tunquen + Sucre Wines

The couple label themselves as passionate winemakers, who ¨generate very small and limited batches […]so we can personally take care and execute ourselves in all stages of winemaking, and allow for the characteristics we like, that make them so unique.¨ See their website here.

Happy Hummus Happy Food

How can you pass up the chance to eat some happy hummus?  100% natural and homemade hummus with free delivery to many comunas.

Hubbard & Smith

Bacon and sausages exquisitely prepared using traditional recipes and locally sourced ingredients. Visit the website here.

Jimbo´s Pie Shop

Enjoy the quintessential Antipodean foodstuff – the humble pie – made with love by Aussie expat James.

Los Locos Tacos IQUIQUE

Mexican food served with traditional tortillas in the northern city of Iquique. A great option for those needing something fast and delicious; catering available.

Pasteleria Lalaleelu

Amy and Young have burst onto the food scene with a cafe and cake shop to rival all others. Don´t leave without a bag of their caramel popcorn. Read my blog and see their website here.

Polka Tortas y Pasteles

Stunning decorated cakes exquisitely made for every occasion.

Sabor con Sentido

Healthy condiments for your food prepared the natural way.  Visit their website here.

Santiago City Bees

Pure honey sourced from 16 bee hives in Santiago.

South Indian Flavors

Homemade south Indian food using traditional fermentation methods and prepared with ingredients brought from India.

Tu Picada Santiago

A small catering startup specializing in everything from traditional BBQ, pizza parties right through to romantic candle lit dinners.

HEALTH

Acupuncture: Guillermo Toro Madrid

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Dentistry: HP Implantologia Dental Office

English and Spanish speaking dentist located in Providencia, specializing in implants.

Homeopath: Caitlin Wheat

Certified in Australia, Caitlin speaks both English and Spanish and offers treatments for various conditions, particularly digestive health.

Massage: Injeet Singh

Ayuvedic and sports massage by Injeet, who also does massage at the Santiago Marriott Hotel. He does house calls.

Massage: Taralee Walling
✋Over 18 years of experience
✋Professional and confidential
✋Trained and certified in the U.S.(900+ hours)
✋I specialize in Relaxation, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular/Trigger Point Therapy, Pre and postnatal massage
✋30.000 one hour. 45.000 1.5 hours.
✋NOTE: LIMITED AVAILABILITY Monday through Friday ONLY

Contact +56 9 76024562 and email: momentaralee@gmail.com

KIDS

Activities: Little Readers Book Club and Kids Playing in English

Neither businesses per se but professionally run and full of fun for young children. Experience the joys of reading, arts and crafts in English with Danielle.

Clothes: Hecho Con Amor

Clothes and accessories designed and made by hand (and love). See the website here.

Dresses: Mi Odette

Beautiful and unique girls dresses brought from Russia. Visit the website here.

Food: Smiley Kids

Organic food for babies and children made with their healthy development in mind.Visit the website here.

LEGAL + BUSINESS

Organizational Development + Data Analysis: MyDO

Classes, workshops, as well as a variety of consulting services focusing on personnel selection, organizational studies and training. English and Spanish speaking.  Visit the website here.

Handyman: Dial A Tradie

24/7 emergency Gasfitting, Thermofusion, Electrical and Maintenance Company servicing Santiago.

Law: Maximo Aguirre

Contact Maximo with your legal questions on +56988944396 or send him an email to maximoarayaaguirre@gmail.com.  He is taking private cases.

Life + Business Coach: Michelle Clarke

Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach who works with individuals and leaders of influence. Her clients are already-successful, high-achieving individuals who want to sustain their contribution in this world – professionally, personally, holistically. Visit her webpage here.

Community: Discover Chile

Join Chile´s largest expat forum as a corporate partner (and market your business exclusively) or use it for yourself and make the most of your time in Chile (free). Visit the website here.

Private Detective: Salgado Investigations

Salgado Investigations is a private investigators agency based in Chile, acting for lawyers, insurers, retail, and private clients. Founded by Jorge Salgado-Reyes, we offer bespoke private investigators Chile services across the private and commercial sectors with more than 17 years experience.

Website Design: Mukul Matey

I am personally recommending Mukul for all your website needs. He fixed and improved our own site (milesandsmileschile) and has always been helpful, courteous, professional, on time (which is hard to find in a website developer) and with lots of ideas to help us be better. Mukul really knows what he is talking about and has also designed websites for many people I know.

TRAVEL + TOURISM

Campervans: Soul Vans

Campervan rental based in Santiago and Puerto Montt founded in 2015 and today boasting a range of comfortable and fully equipped campers.

Tourism CONCEPCION: Lle Chile

Tourism and consulting business specializing in study tours in the 8th region along with relocation consulting services. Visit the website here.

Tours + Transfers: Miles & Smiles Chile

Boutique tour and transfer company offering private, customizable tours in English and Spanish. Visit the website here.

Transfers: RS Transit

Private transportation service to airport, hotels, business conferences and events.

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Mummy Diaries: Love

reSometimes I wonder – what is love? When I think about it I don´t find the answer in a single word. When I grasp its depths I find everything but also nothing; its explanation always eludes me.

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Love is a smile, a laugh, a look, your child´s hand in yours and the feeling of those tiny fingers. 

Sometime it´s in the pang of noticing something that you´ve not seen before – a freckle, how long those arms have gotten around your neck, the nostalgia as you fold away a tshirt that no longer fits for the last time.

Love is every time you kiss their cheek, wipe away their tears and convince them to swallow their medicine, a damp cloth laid upon their burning forehead.

Love is there every time you watch them run, jump and sing, colour over the lines and as you display each masterpiece on the wall until they make the next one. It´s watching them laugh with their friends and run away from you, their goodbye lingering in the air like fairy dust – so special, fleeting and fragile.

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Love is bearing their pain with yours and allowing their weight to fall on your back, and telling them the truth. It´s sheltering their dreams when the sky is stormy and holding them when they have nightmares. Love is feeling them need you – closer, close, and far – but allowing them to fall. It is about showing them that the world has darkness as well as light, warmth as well as cold, and that good and bad lies in everything.

Love is about frustration and sadness, laughter and euphoria, anger and despair, confidence and strength.  Sometimes it means standing tall but feeling small, being sad but also happy.  Love embraces contradictions and says sorry, and it is always there.

Love is never a word but always a feeling. Its tips touch higher than the highest mountain and reach deeper than any ocean. Love is my children, to whom I gave life and from whom give me my life.

That is what love is.

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Notes From The Street: Marta´s Story

¨The drugs were always there. They were there for my father when we had nothing to eat. They were there for my mother, when my father was in jail.  They were there for my sister after she was raped. And they were there for me, as I looked after my family and vowed that I would always rise up – raise my family up – so that nothing could hurt me.

I fell pregnant when I was 20, to a man I always thought was the greatest guy ever. He was so good looking then, and he was tough. No-one wanted to fight him – plus he was skilled with the knife. We met at a friends house when I was sixteen and I was just blown away by him. His charisma, his green eyes, the way he didn´t care what anyone thought.  I felt lucky that he chose me.

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After the baby came he moved in with my family.  He went to work, I stayed with the baby and took care of my nephews.  But then one day he didn´t go to work. And everything changed.  He took to dealing drugs from our home, which was nothing unusual for me as I knew all about drugs – I´d grown up with them. But the coke messed him up, it really did.  Every day was the same. I couldn´t stand it. I couldn´t stand him. We would fight in front of our children – we had two by then – because there was no where else we could go to fight.  He´d hit me and I´d hit him back. But I always stayed because I didn´t know how I´d be able to support myself and our children without the income he brought him from drugs. I was also a sucker for those green eyes.

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In the end it wasn´t a decision I had to make. He stabbed someone one night after a soccer match, got arrested and I never saw him again. I don´t think of him. I took over his job dealing the drugs, not because I love drugs but because I needed the money. It became something I was good at doing and to be honest I enjoyed the power

I met Pablo three years later. He is a quiet guy, someone that let me be go about my business. We had a lot of fun together. He also worked, which I liked. We have three children together and we live in the same place where I lived with Daniel, though we have bigger rooms because I´m the boss.

I am the boss. I bring in the most money and people are afraid of our family because there are a lot of us and we´ve been here a long time. There are fifteen adults living here and we have everything we need to defend ourselves in a situation. Situations do happen but I´m not afraid. Things do happen in front of the children because we can´t shelter them, though we do try to protect them. They are growing up the same way I did, though more stable because this time around there is always food on the table. They all go to school too. My sisters all work, and most of the men too, though there are a few bad eggs in every family that sponge off the rest of us. I don´t like the man my eldest daughter chose and I was not happy when she fell pregnant because of the strain it would put on me to feed an extra mouth, but I am surprised by how she has matured since her daughter was born.

I am proud of how I have built my family up. I am proud of how strong our name is. I live for the little things, for my children, my grandchildren and my nieces and nephews. I save for months to throw the best birthday parties and I love any excuse for a party.  I love watching soccer and I support Colo Colo. Sometimes I wish things were different – I have so many scars, seen so many horrific things – but I´m not bitter.

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I am strong.¨

 

Notes from The Street is a series of interviews conducted with various people I have met during my time here. My aim is to humanize a different world to what expats normally encounter, but a Santiago one that thousands live none the less. For more stories try:

Jose´s Story

Santiago´s Children & Maria

Luis´Story

Jose & Pasarlo Chancho

Manuel & the Taxi Pirata

Luisa and being a mother

Luis, and the role of education

Diego

 

Mummy Diaries: Day in the Life Of

Floating … please take my hand James McAvoy … I mean Ewan McGregor – oh ok you´re both in my dream, I´ll accept that. Just please keep speaking Scottish. This is amazing … wait why are my children in the water too? And they´re drowning – this is a NIGHTMARE! Wake up, wake up! 

So much crying … that is real crying. Oh no, the baby is waking up. 5 more minutes! Wait please don´t leave me James! Not you too Ewan!!!! Noooooo!!!

I should get up. I´ll get up.  Does he not hear that noise?!

My boob feels so empty. It has no squish now.

Am I the only one who sees a kitchen full of dishes and thinks to DO THE DISHES!!!!

I´d love just one morning where I get breakfast in bed. And a sleep in. Hint hint hint hint hint HINT!

You´ll make it? Best husband ever!

I am so hungry. What is taking so long?!!!  Why he is going so slow – is he doing everything separately?! Just multitask OMG! 

What is the baby eating? I really do need to vacuum.

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During the Day

Son lets play!! Yes I´d love to play Thomas! Let the baby join in, Emilio. Emilio? Emilio! Emilio – EMILIO!!!!! Not the eyes Emilio!

Poor baby.

No don´t draw on the – be careful of the – don´t drop the – watch out!!

*sees red*

*cry a little bit*

I hate this sometimes.

I feel awful. I love my life – I am the luckiest person in the world.

I miss working. I miss cramming up my day with important stuff. I miss money!

Urgh I want to lose control! Give me wine! How much can you drink while breastfeeding again?

All that pumping and dumping seems like a lot of work.Will wait a bit longer. But I will lose control one day!

I just farted. Pretend it was the baby. Why does this keep happening now?!

Time to go shopping.  What to wear? Haven´t worn that in a while – wait can´t breastfeed in that. I´ll wear – wait, can´t do it discreetly in that one. Ah fuck it – no-ones looking at these flabbyflabs anymore!

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At the Shop

He doesn´t need a lollipop but thank you.  Yes my baby is fine, thank you. No he isn´t too big, just those gringo genes!! Yes he seems warm enough – another blanket would probably kill him but thank you for that. No lolly for the baby, but thank you.

Breastfeeding and walking – I am a mummy superstar! Self five

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At the Nursery

I have to buy WHAT?

My son is two, he can´t possibly do that even with adult help. Oh I have to make THAT? 

Dinner

Hmm what can I bribe him with today?

This doesn´t end.

Is that a vein popping out of my head?

I really need a minute to myself

Oh poor darling.

Must.resist.urge.to.give.in

Gave in.

I am the worst mother ever. 

Did that count as a balanced meal?

Better put him in the bath now before the baby cries. Wait – baby is crying. Do it with baby crying or do it later?

Later. Oh man it is late!

Bedtime

Please don´t pick Thomas for the fourth consecutive night … yay Thomas!!!!  Better sing him the songs too.  Will he get too cold tonight? But it´s hot now – aaahhh Santiago has crazy weather!!  Ok, I´ll read another story. 

Cuddles are just the best ever. Look at that little face, those little eyelashes, his little nose … what is that in his hair? Better check he doesn´t need the potty.

Hurry up on that potty, son!

Aaaahhh cuddles!

Your cheek/against mine/that is/the most delicious thing.

Delicious. Scrumptious. Splendiferous. Roald Dahl – man I can´t wait to read those books again. I mean for the children and everything.

I could cuddle forever … and he´s asleep – RUN!!!  Now to check the baby.

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Some Time Later

FREEDOM!

Time to dig out all the adult treats!!!

Food, food – where is the food?!

Am I eating too much? I´ll never get rid of this floppy stomach.

Ah fuck it – I have TWO kids!!! Where did I hide that chocolate bar again?

Crying baby on TV.  God am I lactating? This is so embarrassing.

This scene between the child and her mother is making me well up. I´m so sensitive these days.

Aaaagh don´t wake up!!! Please, please, please.  I still need to take a shower!

My bed feels so good I think I might disappear into it … oh hello! Are we cuddling tonight?

Some time later (but not that long)

If we woke the baby up it is your turn.

On Date Night

Pushup bra oh yeah!

I wonder what the kids are doing.

Hmm what to say? I want to be funny. And sexy.

I hope the kids are ok. Should I call and check?

Gosh look at that couple. Were we ever like that? Do you know, I just can´t remember!

I want to have sex like a porn star. Lets do it!!!
I thinkI ate way too much. Wait I need to pee – AGAIN!

Did I take the meat out for tomorrow? Internet bill is due too!

I do love my husband.

I can´t stand my husband.

Lights Out

I do love my life.

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Mummy Diaries: Respect

Right now, Max is in that stage where he can´t stop going backwards.  At the moment he is currently bashing his head into the sofa, destroying a Sophie the Giraffe teething toy and simultaneously crying and laughing. He sounds like an ewok. Should I go rescue him? Yes …in five minutes.

We don´t have a full-length mirror in our house. I turned it sideways and hung it on the wall to open up our teeny tiny bathroom. I haven´t seen my bottom half in months, only my boobs which have been out so much they are no longer interesting. They have taken quite a beating lately. Max is like a flaming grizzly bear sometimes and the last few weeks it seems like I´ve been feeding him every half an hour (I want to say not literally but …)

In fact, my breasts have seen so much action in the restaurant recently – on the side of the road, in the supermarket, on the metro – that they have lost all hint of sexual connotation. They are literally non-things in the bedroom (they aren´t big anyway, to be fair). This depresses me for two reasons. The first is I was enjoying not needing a pushup bra (I wrote pushchair there like five times – doh!) and that amazing feeling that I still had cleavage in a granny bra (oh the comfort!). The second is that they got crazy sensitive in the months after Max was born and things were coming very easy (if you know what I mean!). Now nothing happens!

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Here we go again!

The other day I took the mirror off the wall because I dug out my winter leggings and they seemed tight (around my calves of all places!). Maybe some of you will be annoyed that this was an issue for me but honestly I nearly burst into tears. I went my whole pregnancy thrilled about my weight (I gained 7kg) which was all gone a week after Max was born, something I didn´t try to achieve it was purely due to all the vomiting. With Emilio I put on 18kg so it was something I really noticed because every second person was telling me how huge I was (thank you, considerate friends and strangers). But in the last two months something strange has happened to my appetite. I am eating – A LOT. I have been crazy, crazy hungry and – because this is Chile after all – I have satiated my hunger with marrequeta, that ubiquitous bread people wax lyrical about.  All that bread has gone straight to my hips. My thighs. My calves, ankles, arms, face, stomach – everywhere except my breasts, basically.

This has bummed me out so much that I have literally gulped back a tear every time I have gotten dressed in the morning (or at noon – meh).  It had even started to affect those (rare) intimate moments with my partner. I would run away, turn away, cower in the dark, dress in sacks and squeeze into jeans and get all aggressive with my muffin top.

It was exhausting.

Focusing all that hatred and negative energy at myself in a moment when I was already fragile was like half pressing a self destruct button.

So I stopped.

The time came when I had to make a choice – either go forward and be happy, or go forward and be miserable. My decision was sparked after hearing my own mother say something negative about herself when showing her our holiday photos. I told her she had to pay a thousand pesos every time she said something bad about her appearance.  I realized I should apply the same advice to myself.

I can´t tell myself to love my body when there are so many things I would like to change, but I can tell myself to have some respect. 

I made a human being!!!  

My stretchmarks are battle scars, they circle and lead away from my bellybutton like lion claw prints, evidence of the amazing achievement it is to grow a baby beneath them.  The pouch that hangs over my jeans or that dangles like an alien life form when I lean forward is the remnants of the home I had built for my sons, a home that protected them and nourished them when they couldn´t survive any other way. My aching nipples and limp, fluctuating breasts are the single source of life for Max – they perform tiny miracles every half an hour. My body has worked and is working HARD, doing something that so many people around the world crave to be able to do. I am blessed to have my body, and am so lucky to have it work the way it does, albeit with a few varicose veins and cellulite ridden pockets of skin here and there.

So I have come to the realization that this is my present. I don´t know what the future may bring but for now I am drawing strength knowing that my body is strong. This realization spreads to all corners of my life – yes, even to the bedroom – because I refuse to be a victim to more evil thoughts.  Confidence is what is sexy – own your body, ladies!!

 

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The Mummy Diaries are my own diaries based upon my life as a mother in Santiago.   I publish them because I believe that there are many universal themes that we mothers come across, but these themes are not always touched upon publicly so it is easy to feel isolated – especially if you are an expat (like me!) living in a foreign country. I fully subscribe to the idea that communication is everything.  Share your thoughts below, get in touch privately, talk to your friends – but if this is not working please get in touch with a healthcare professional. For those living in Chile, I can recommend an amazing nurse who is fluent in English, Spanish and Arabic, who can point you in the right direction.

Check out my other related entries:

Wine, Vines, and Rides – Hitting the Vineyard!

I recently spent a fantastic day at the Casas del Bosque winery, in the Casablanca Valley.  I could have easily spent the whole evening there, and probably the following day too if there had been a room option.  I had an hours wine tasting in the morning, where we tried four wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir) before sitting down to lunch on the terrace and then a bike ride.

Chile has a fantastic, internationally acclaimed wine scene and the Casablanca Valley is right up there for producing quality wines.  The reason why the grapes grow so well there is because of the climate: the dry summers combined with the cool currents brought by the winds via the sea and the Andes mountains.  In fact, the climate is so perfect for grapes that many producers can forego pesticides entirely and are organic (look at Emiliana, Bodegas RE, Attilio & Mochi – all within the Casablanca Valley). The sea and the mountains also make a kind of natural boundary, protecting the vine crops from pests such as phylloxera. This parasite feeds on vine roots, and during the 19th century it destroyed vineyards on a grand scale across the Americas, Europe and Australia.  This has meant that Chile is the only place that grows grapes on its own rootstocks, rather than being grafted onto pest resistant rootstocks like the rest of the world.  Chile is also the only country that produces the Carmenere grape variety, which was wiped out worldwide due to phylloxera.  Vines were originally brought by the Spanish during the 16th century, although today the wine scene more closely resembles that of France due to cuttings brought here of French varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Malbec.

Of the red grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenere are the most noted, with a low concentration of tannins and a full spicy and fruity taste, while Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the most important white varieties with a fullness that is often remarked upon.

The Tasting

The tasting was led by an exceptionally well-spoken sommelier, who encouraged us to pick out the different ingredients, aromas, and drew our attention to the colors.  We started with the Sauvignon Blanc, considered Chile´s best, which contained hints of jalapeño, grapefruit, freshly cut grass, pear and apple. We were told that this wine is best paired with fish, shellfish, crustaceans and even Ceviche.

Next came the Chardonnay, my personal favorite.  I could just taste the caramel, apple, lemon pie, mango, bananas, melon and pineapple.  This was a very easy wine to drink and my glass was not quite enough (purchased a bottle though!). This wine is good with shellfish, full-bodied fish, salads and fresh cheese.

Probably the most lauded wine produced by Casas del Bosque – and certainly the one most enjoyed by our tasting group – is the Syrah.  The Syrah grape thrives in the valley´s cool climate, and we spent a while dissecting the flavors, including lavender, raspberry, cinnamon, walnut, herbs, bay leaf and pepper. This wine goes well with smoked cheeses and red meats.

We finished with the Pinot Noir, which to me was very complex and deep, with notes of leather, almond, plum, vanilla, strawberries wild mushrooms and truffle. This variety is very well known and considered to be emblematic of the Casas del Bosque winery.  It pairs very well with quail, duck, chicken, turkey, beef stews,, pasta, full-bodied fish and cheeses that are moderately ripe.

The Lunch

Attentive service, tranquil setting (we were on the terrace), delicious and fresh food – I was actually surprised at a) how good the restaurant was and b) how relatively inexpensive it was for the quality received.  Star of the show was the Chilean Soul (Alma de Chile) dessert.  The Kids Menu was very good value and included the dessert, it was big but my son (3.6) ate it all!  What I also liked was that it wasn´t chips and chicken nuggets – there were meat kebabs, chips and salad.

Activities and Grounds

We rented some bikes and explored the winery by bike, which was an excellent decision because the grounds are stunning. It is also fairly flat for those of you who are like me and not very athletically inclined, but there are advanced trail options too. We also rode to the lagoon, which was nice (you can also choose the picnic option there). We didn´t see too much wildlife, which is a shame as Luis usually spots tarantulas and even snakes when taking tour groups, but we did see a lot of birds.

The grounds are well maintained.  There are several toilets, lots of seating areas and even sun beds for those who need to sleep off the wine!!

Suitable for Families

We went with a toddler and a baby in a pushchair (you need good wheels to navigate outside of the winery). People were courteous and no-one blinked an eye during the tasting or lunch. There is also a children´s playground, conveniently located beside the sun beds!!

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Miles and Smiles offer tailormade and carefully crafted tours for individuals up to larger groups which includes premium tours and tastings. Or you can make your own way there by car.  Check out the Casas del Bosque webpage here.

 

Ghosts of the Past: Exploring the General Cemetery

Those of you who have used our business, Miles & Smiles, may have noticed that we offer a tour named after my blog, Querida Recoleta. It was important to me to have an option that was a little different to all the usual options offered by agencies, particularly if it showcases how so many people in Santiago live.

It also includes a visit to the General Cemetery, which is probably my favorite place in Santiago.  Where else can you go to immerse yourself in history, take some great photos and walk or bike to your hearts content, sometimes to the sound of nothing but your breath and the distant hum of engines.  I like to go here to look at the architecture, read the names and think about all the people that came before me and called this place home.  I don´t find it to be morbid or unsettling – in fact I find it to be a calm, peaceful place to go when I need to step away and reflect.

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It is also almost alive with history.  This is the oldest cemetery in Chile where you can find 11 generations buried with enough skeletons to cover 117 football pitches. It was born in the 19th century beside hospitals and medical institutions so that bodies could be quickly taken away and looked after; before 1821, bodies were buried under ground which is today underneath the city pavement.

Patio 29 is where you can find all the unmarked graves of the disappeared, many of whom were abandoned in the Mapocho river, and close examination of tombstones will reveal the deaths that occurred during various epidemics (one particular area is dedicated to the lives lost during the 1887 cholera epidemic, which claimed 100,000).

 

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