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: 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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Expat Spotlight: Meet Photographer Tamsin

Is there anything more magical than a photo?

It has the power to transport you in time and, from just that one second, it has the power to open up a whole new world. In other words, it shows you how to really see the stories that are all around us, in the flower, a smiling child´s face or in the marvellous vista before you.

Ever since I have begun playing with my camera, I have learnt just how much work goes into creating those images. Before you even start editing, you have to think of the photo you want to take. What is the subject? Where should they be positioned? What lens to use? What settings to set? How are the colours balancing out? And once all of this is sorted, you can begin playing around with effects, view points and work on extracting the story that exists in every blink of the human eye.

I booked a session with Tamsin because a) she comes highly recommended and b) because I don´t think there is a greater gift than a beautiful photo.  Tamsin is a professional photographer specializing in portraits and hails from the sunny UK, though she has lived in Chile for the last 9 years.  She began her photography business in 2012 and shoots on a Canon 6D, utilizing a variety of lenses perfect for portraits. She has also begun branching out into video, creating a keepsake of short segments set to music that showcase all the little details and interactions that make up your family dynamic.  This is an idea that she is really excited about – I can´t think of a better wedding or family memento!

What I loved about our photo session is that Tamsin is very encouraging and warm, plus she was open to all my ideas (even if they didn´t quite work or if they meant getting a bit wet!?). Even better, she knew exactly how to shoot what I wanted, and the pictures have turned out so unique.

Tamsin´s Photography Tip for Beginners:

A photography tip for beginners is to pick up that camera and practice! Whatever camera it may be, the best way is to delve right into it. Try and veer off from using the automatic setting and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. And also don’t start buying all the expensive gear to begin with, start small and slowly work your way up.

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Tamsin is offering half price off of her video keepsakes – please get in touch here!

More Information:

Website here

Instagram here

The Expat Spotlight series introduces you to expats (like me!) who have made Chile their home.  I specifically choose to highlight people who I think exemplify what it means to be an expat: those who embrace Chile and give something back. You can read other stories here:

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.

Mummy Diaries: The Truth

  1. First thing first: you will NEVER be as tired as you are with your first newborn. The good news it that they WILL eventually start sleeping, and so will you.
  2. It’s not over once baby is out. You still have to pop out the placenta. And the contractions keep on coming. After-birth contractions are PAINFUL, constant and get worse with each baby. But by day 3 they will be a thing of the past. Massaging your tummy and a hot water bottle really help.
  3. When you breastfeed for the first time it can be pretty different to how you expect. It might not come naturally, be painful or make you feel icky, but honestly not everyone does it like a pro first time – in fact, nearly all of us suffer in the beginning. The trick is to just get your boob in their mouth anyway you can and aim for your whole nipple to be in there. It hurts like a b**** those first few days but there are things you can do to help with the pain. Cabbage leaves for engorgement, soaking nipples in warm water with a little salt if you’re bleeding, lanolin creams (or even olive oil), and nipple shields are a godsend!
  4. When your milk comes in around day 3 or 4, your boobs will swell up to become ginormous, achey rocks and EVERYTHING will get covered in milk. You may even get flu-like symptoms. Don’t panic! Everything will calm down soon (but if it doesn’t check with your doctor or midwife).
  5. Babies love to be with their mummy especially in those first few weeks. Although it feels like you might never get a break I repeat to you that IT DOES GET BETTER!
  6. When you leave the house, bubs will really enjoy emptying his/her bowel. Over everything. And then again. Take a few extra outfits just in case!
  7. When you breastfeed in public it can feel like everyone is watching but trust me, they really aren’t. Just tune out, focus on baby and do what you have to do. Bubs will probably choke, vomit and you may squirt everywhere in a few directions but hey – at least they’re not crying!
  8. When bubs does cry nothing soothes them like cuddles and booby. Seriously, you will never spend so much time sitting down, laying down or even standing up, with your knockers out. Just remember to pop them  back in when the doorbell rings.
  9. You will find yourself eagerly analysing bubs’ poop. The colour, consistency, the smell … Oh my gosh why is it green today? What is THAT?! And what on earth does diarrhea look like in a breastfed baby??? So many questions …
  10. Feeding time. What is the point of spending all of my valuable time preparing deliciously runny baby food concoctions if they just refuse the spoon, spit it out or play with it? Like seriously!
  11. I.am.completely.over.sterilizing.everything.
  12. You’ve just given baby a lovely (not)relaxing bath. They are now all snuggly and clean in their pj’s.  It’s looking good for bedtime. And then the explosion happens. I don’t quite know how something so small and innocent looking can unleash so much poo that it ends up in their HAIR! How does that happen?!
  13. You will eagerly devour mummy blogs, What To Expect books, buy everything the magazine tells you to buy, sing songs to your tummy etc while waiting for your firstborn. Then you will delight in reading your newborn endless stories they are not the slightest bit interested in and probably take too many photos. With your second all of that is a thing of the past. Dirty old hand-me-downs and a couple of snaps will suffice!
  14. You will eagerly fill in the first bits of the Baby Record Book. And then you stop. Who has time to remember to write in it when all they do is CRY?!
  15. Showering becomes a few quick minutes while they watch you from the bouncer chair.
  16. Everyone will love to look at your baby. Touch your baby. Tell you that baby is cold. Or that something is wrong. Get ready to adopt ninja abilities because people will try to randomly take your child from your arms or pushchair.
  17. People have no idea how much time or effort it takes to get baby to go to sleep, hence why they think nothing of waking your baby up once they are FINALLY asleep!
  18. Gone are the days of lunchtime banquets and four course dinners. Lunch is a quick spaghetti bolognese. Every day. Spice it up with different pasta shapes. IF you have the energy, that is.
  19. Your child is a loving, delightful angel it really is true … until the day they start at kindergarten. Yep, those days are long gone.
  20. You think a 2 year old can have a tantrum? Wait until they turn 3! Literally everything you say they will either disagree with, cry over or not want. Henceforth you become a jedi knight, mastering the art of suggestion, until it reaches bedtime, when all hell breaks loose. EMILIO NO MORE IT’S BEDTIME I’M NOT TELLING YOU AGAIN!!!
  21. If you’re pregnant and reading this, I bet you are stressing about the birth and you haven’t even THOUGHT about feeding solids or potty training yet. Well you should! Birth is a piece of pie compared to the sheer stress and panic that these two things cause. Good luck and get ready to learn a whole lot of stuff about your child’s sphincter!
  22. Your toddler WILL amaze you every single day (especially when asleep and inert). It’s just miraculous how they soak everything up like a little sponge. They will amaze you with their stories. Their imaginative games. Their songs. Their ability to remember whole passages from books by heart. And their ability to instinctively know that the F-word is naughty and that they shouldn’t mention it in company, right Emilio? Oh wait ….
  23. We have a saying in NZ and OZ  about things being “shits and giggles”. Life with your children really is a series of alternations between the two. But pooz you can just wipe up and forget about (maybe soak and scrub a bit first) and as for giggles, there really is NOTHING that will prepare you for your baby’s first laugh which is literally like a burst of sunshine. And that is honestly how life will be from now on: a bit shitty at times with bursts of pure happiness. NOTHING will prepare you for the love you will feel for your children whether they are first-born, second-born or number 5 (or even higher!). It is true when they say that once a mother, always a mother and it really is worth every stinky, sticky and wet moment 🙂

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Fantastic Food, Fabulous Ferias!

Santiago is the heart of this nation – all foods end up here – and nowhere is this more obvious than the ubiquitous feria, or market.

The feria is my favorite thing to do here in Chile because there is no other place where you can delve right into the culture and discover what it really means  to be a local. They are a lifeforce for the people in the suburbs who use them everyday (except Monday) to stock up on  almost everything they might need, from fruit and vegetables to medicine, fresh fish or clothing. Stallholders begin in the wee hours, receiving deliveries and then setting up their spot for the day, of which aesthetics are key. Effort is put in to ensure their produce looks fresh and better than the neighbor’s offering, with everything from fake grass, realms of hanging garlic to delicious preparations of ceviche (seafood marinated in lemon juice) or pebre (a spicy tomato salsa mix) made to show off their ingredients to the max.

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NZD$20 (not including packaged items)

Food plays a key part in Chilean life. The indigenous of both northern and central Chile had a diet rich in potatoes, quinoa and meat from sources such as pudues, alpacas and llamas, well before the arrival of the Conquistadores. The Spanish then brought with them domestic livestock and ingredients that today make up traditional comida chilena, the very best of which is known as comida casera (homemade food).  Many of the dishes are simply prepared, which reflects Chile’s peasant past.  Dishes include the cilantro-heavy cazuela stew or lentejas (lentils),  while the hugely popular Corn Pie (Pastel de Choclo) mixes both meat and chicken. Beans (porotos) are so frequently consumed and traditional that there is a saying – “mas chileno que los porotos!”

Chile is also blessed to have the Humboldt Current drifting past it’s Pacific Ocean coastline, which brings a huge variety of sea dwelling creatures up from Antarctica. All year round you can enjoy seafood in delicious dishes, my favorites of which are Chupe de Jaivas and crab/prawn empanadas.  You know it must be good if it has been immortalized in poetry, which Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda actually did in his Caldillo de Congrio (Kingclip Chowder) poem.

I also find the feria to be a place where you can see real artisans at work, from the man who quickly wraps up the carton of eggs to the elderly gentlemen who will rapidly explain the medicinal or culinary uses of strange ingredients. Remember to shop around for the best prices (cheapest in the centre), watch your belongings, take small change (no big notes!) and use a portable shopper to cart your purchases (not just for nanas!).  Finally, stallholders will give you about a million small plastic bags for your purchases so it can be a good idea to take along a reusable bag or simply place things directly in your trolley – and therefore baffling them all!

Ask the locals where the day’s feria is when you are in the suburbs – they will likely be able to tell you! For a unique Santiago experience head to the bustling La Vega market in Recoleta wbere you can try comida chilena in La Vega Chica, or go for huge portions in the Tirso Molina.

Family Fun: Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete

What is one of the easiest ways to make your child happy, get them to sleep well and that can be done easily with a newborn? 

Easy. A park visit.  And no trip to the park would be complete without a delicious picnic.

Emilio just loves a picnic, thanks to one of my childhood books about picnicking on the moon called “Whatever Next”. There really is nothing simpler or better fun than packing up a blanket, hitting the supermarket for goodies or even baking a few treats, before searching for the perfect spot to unwrap it all and indulge.

Our usual spot is the Parque Bicentenario in Vitacura because it’s only ten minutes away from our house by car, plus it has birds and fish to feed (and Mestizo, one of my favorite restaurants here).  In summer they put out sun umbrellas and loungers that are free to use, which is great because the sun in this city is fierce. However it does have a few down sides, like it can be hard to find a park and the grass always seems to be sodden wet and full of bees (and Mestizo staff can be snobby too).  So when a friend recommended Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete we decided to give it a try.

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This park only opened in January last year but I had never heard of it.  Why is that??  The place is FANTASTIC! My friend described it as “crisp” which I think is a pretty good summation because it still has that nice feel of being new … so crisp in other words.  It’s a big park – some 20 hectares according to Wikipedia – and it’s divided into two sections. The first is focused around a lagoon area where you can rent paddle boats (including life jackets) and the second follows the Mapocho river.

It’s pretty lovely and wonderful to walk around in. It’s filled with bridges that succeed in transporting you out of Santiago and into somewhere much more romantic.

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The downside is that because the park is so new, all the plants have a long way to grow still so shade is scarce.  We did find a spot to linger in and it was glorious just to be so close to the water.  Being from NZ I am used to having the sea in close proximity at all times so I often feel claustrophobic and stifled in Santiago. If you feel like that too then you will definitely enjoy this park, just remember the sunscreen and hat!

The Nitty Gritty

Entry is FREE

Disabled/pushchair access

Sights: 2x football fields, amphitheater, statue/sculptures, fountains

Snacks sold at entrance

For more information visit the Quinta Normal official site here.

Or visit this excellent site (Spanish).

Welcome Baby M!

Luis, Emilio and I are super pleased to announce the arrival of baby M, born Sunday 25th September 2016 in Talagante, Chile.

An intense natural birth with the world-famous in Chile Talagante midwives. I can’t recommend Rosa and Eliana enough. For a holistic approach to birth, please send them a Whatsapp message:

Secretary (for appointments): 56 9 9796 4143

Rosa Maria (lead midwife): 56 9 8428 4658

Eliana (midwife): 56 9 4277 8258

*detailed post coming soon*