Hello again! We are a full 6 months into life in our small town beach in Chile, and we love it. It actually feels like we’ve been here longer, which is a good sign, as it means a lot is happening. Looking back on the past 3 months that’s surely been the case. I’ll admit it’s been scary settling in a foreign country that we really don’t know that well, but these past months have been some of the most enriching of my life.
Some of the highlights:
Well, we are literally days away from welcoming our first baby into our family. Our baby girl is due April 12! It’s been an adventure getting ready and a wonderful experience to see all the love Jenine has gotten down here as we wait and prepare. Just one week ago, we temporarily moved from Matanzas up to Reñaca (Viña del Mar). We are still by the beach, but now we are just 20 minutes away from our hospital. We are hoping to have a natural birth, and we are working with a midwife from a natural birthing center in Viña called Obsnatura and they are awesome! We’ll send out some instagram pics as soon as she comes!!
I wouldn’t say we are fully prepared to be parents, but we are definitely ready. We can’t wait to meet our Chilean/American daughter! I’m sure her Spanish will quickly surpass ours….
The biggest event of the last 3 months was definitely the wildfires at the end of January. Our new house survived the most massive forest fire in Chile’s history. The fires came probably 200 yards away from burning our property. Sadly, friends of ours lost their dream homes. It was a difficult week, that brought much of our community together to help one another. The best way to save your house in a wildfire is to have a wide perimeter clear of all bushes and trees with low or long branches. There was a ton of work to clear our property, and many people in the community volunteered their time to help out. We were lucky….
I hope we never have to deal with a disaster like this again, but at least we are now more prepared. It was definitely a learning experience with mother nature.
In happier news, our family truly is expanding rapidly…we adopted a puppy – “La Brisa”! She’s currently the baby of the family and enjoying the attention and we love the excuse for more walks on the beach. She is a wonderful and sweet dog, and we feel very lucky to have found her. She is with us in our apartment in Reñaca now, and she definitely misses the freedom of Matanzas.
Our house, our first real house, is nearly ready. Martin has been working really hard and we should be ready for a move in by June/July, right after we get back from our summer trip in the USA. Martin and Joy invited us to their family’s beach apartment in Maitencillo, where we signed the building contract and had a wonderful time together. Maitencillo is a truly beautiful place with a lot less wind than our beach, which makes it much more popular. To get ready, we’ve been busy making furniture for our house – beds, night stands, shelves. Our neighbor Marcelo has generously helped us with tools, time and expertise as we learn. In the process, I even learned to weld to make a little surf rack for my moto. It will be cool to furnish our house with stuff we’ve made!
We’ve had visitors! My ex AdMob co-worker Alex Garcia popped in, Jenine had a girl’s week with Sonia from San Francisco while I was off in Colombia for my best friend Sanjay’s bachelor party and Annie and Ben visited us on their Latin American tour right before heading down to hike in Patagonia. Into Santiago –> Chilean coast (visit us!) –> wine country –> Patagonia –> leave from Buenos Aires is an awesome trip. Come visit us and we’ll help you plan it!
The kitesurfing season is mostly all wrapped up, for me especially since I am no longer in Matanzas. I got to make some great friends through the season like Carolus (Germany), Bastien (Sweden) and Lucas (Italy) who all live in Chile and come to Matanzas nearly every weekend to kite. Roca, the main wave spot, produced some amazing days. I got 50 days on the water, and my skills improved dramatically, and I can’t wait for next season. I also got a good amount of mountain biking in, which I wasn’t expecting. Now the wind is calmer and the winter waves are coming, and my focus, apart from learning how to be a dad, is on improving my surfing. This is my dream 🙂
Those are the highlights! Oh and I would give our Spanish a 6/10 on the path to fluency, we are starting to hold our own in conversations, but the work continues. Luckily we have some friends who are pushing us to keep practicing and are being patient with us. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made.
We can’t wait to update you all when we become a new family of 4! We are going to be back in the USA from the end of May until the end of June. We are going to Sanjay’s wedding in Whistler, Canada and then spending a few weeks in Oregon and a few weeks in Chicago to introduce our baby girl to the rest of her family! When we get back in July, after we move in to our home and get settled, we have some projects that could actually turn into a business one day down here. More on that one day. I also feel like I need to mention Mr Money Mustache and his blog and his interview with Tim Ferriss. It’s been immensely helpful in shaping my ideas around money and how to make our savings last while we get set up.
Overall, it continues to be a blessed experience, and each day we are grateful.
george & jenine
Click to see all of our photos: