Banners and BBQs have been on sale for a few weeks now culminating with masses of meat for above the BBQ and carbon for below the BBQ. The red, white and blue has been building for this one day when Chileans celebrate their independence from Spain. Even North Americans with their patriotism can’t compete with this day of national pride.
Sebastian, a student English teacher, invited us to spend September 18th with his family over in Playa Ancha. They had decorated their garage to look like a ramada, a temporary building decorated with tree branches. Ironically, the tree of choice for decorations is the eucalyptus – an Australian tree. We were treated to sweet, handmade wines, empanadas, meat and salad. Everyone cooks with carbon in Chile and it cooks the meat slowly and gives it a lovely smoky flavour. After lunch was finished everyone took turns dancing the cueca, a courting dance which involves much postulating and handkerchief waving. Indiana was in her element because she had just performed this dance for school.
Unfortunately for Truce she fell while the children were playing and scraped her face on the ground. She felt battered and bruised for a while but like a true trooper she pulled herself together and still had loads of fun. In fact we all had loads of fun being welcomed into this traditional family day by a very warm and generous family.