At the foot of Cerro Bella Vista is the Museo a Cielo Abierto. If you’re learning Spanish and want to guess the meaning, block your ears because I’m going to tell you what it means. The Open Air Museum is around twenty years old and consists of murals dotted along four streets of Bella Vista.
We can’t comment on the level of art work that was in Valparaiso during the 1990s but what we saw today doesn’t really compare with the random surprises that we’ve encountered while meandering about.
These are some of the more vibrant murals.
We’ve been putting up various posters to advertise our English Teaching website www.inglesabrepuertas.com . English Opens Doors or Inglés Abre Puertas is the Chilean Government’s tagline for wanting more Chileans to learn English. Taping signs to poles is a regular practise here. We often see “Rent for room” signs – yes there is a need for English teachers here. With almost nil rainfall you know that the sign will last for a very long time. While we were putting up one sign an elderly gent stopped to watch us. A potential customer? Judging by the velocity of his Spanish and the different directions he was pointing we decided that he wouldn’t be participating in any private tuition.
Most of our posters go on university notice boards and other designated places for public announcements. And we only use posts that have already been used in an attempt to keep our visual pollution to a minimum. Perhaps the man was telling us to bugger off to our own country or perhaps he was annoyed at flyers being taped to lamp posts. This was one of those times we were glad that we aren’t fluent.
It’s taken a month but the girls finally have their sports uniforms. I think they’re made from left over material from a polar expedition. We’ve decided that if it gets too cold we’re going to sit outside the uniform shop and wait for offcuts to be thrown out. It’s been a hassle for the past four weeks as the school has a strict uniform policy, Indiana and Truce have had to take a change of clothes on the sports days and change before PE and back into their uniform before leaving school.
It’s funny what food brands are over here. We’ve found Bega cheese direct from Oz and also Milo but we don’t think it comes from Australia. The consistency is different. The other day I was feeling a bit low on sugar and thought I would have a Milo. I opened the tin and thought how fine and bland the powder looked. Then I mixed it with cold milk and stirred and stirred but it wouldn’t dissolve.
I almost choked as I breathed in chocolate dust while drinking. I cursed all Chileans who worked in Milo factories and wondered how the Australian government could let Milo be made in such a crude way. This is the national emblem of Australia we’re talking about here.
Later on when my lungs had become moist again and I was able to speak, I told my story to Talluah when she told me that Milo is too expensive to buy here so she just refilled the tin with chocolate drinking powder, the type that is meant for hot water.