Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Adventures in Porcelana

Hey guys!  So, I know it has been a little while since I last blogged.  And there weren’t many details in my last post.  So I hope to fill you all in a lot better this time.  This past week we were in a new island, Porcelana.  And it was…..CRAZY.  Lots to talk about.  So buckle up :]

Ok.  So on Tuesday morning we left E’s house at 625 am ish.  Yeah.  It was an early morning.  That was fun.  We got to the bus station at 7 and found out that that bus was full.  So we had to wait for the 8 o’clock bus.  It was fine.  We shared a lot of laughs while waiting (Lady Fru Fru and soft noses :]).  That bus ride then took us like 4.5 hours.  I spent most of my time sleeping and thinking.  We did have a big of an event happen on the way tho.  It was HILARIOUS.  When we were almost at our destination (we didn’t know how close we were at the time), Beth decided to try the bus bathroom.  She entered the teeny room and shut the door and began to take in her surroundings.  Before she could really do anything, the bus lurched to the side, and she flew out of the bathroom.  Yup.  She plowed right through the closed door and fell butt first into the aisle.  When this happened, Jeano and I heard the loud commotion and turned to see what was happening.  From my seat, I couldn’t really see anything, but Jean could, and she just lost it.  At about this time, a guy was helping Beth up off of the floor, and she was trying to put on her professional face.  As she tried a second time, she couldn’t get the door locked properly and realized there was no toilet paper.  So finally, she just gave up and came back to her seat.  Then she explained everything that happened to us and I got a pretty serious abs workout.  Honestly, we laughed for like 5 minutes straight. 

Soon after, we arrived at our destination, a boat dock.  Now, it was a little after 1 at this point, and I was very hungry.  Luckily, we found a little store with a bathroom where we relieved ourselves and bought cookies :]  we waited for the boat for an hour, and during this time, I managed to break a restaurant sign in half…..oops :]

When the boat came, we realized we were about the only ones on it.  So that was nice.  Basically, I slept some more.  It was FREEZING so sleeping helped me deal with the cold.  And finally, after about 4.5 more hours, we arrived at our final destination, the house of Boris and Gaby Hernandez.

My first thought when we got there was Alaska.  I have never been to Alaska, but I feel like from what I have heard and seen in movies, it would look like this place did.  It was beautiful.  The weather was risk and a little chilly since we were so far south and all we could see were mountainous islands and water all around.  And the house is like…..solo.  Just a lone cabin on the front of this jungly, waterfally island.  I mean, there are more houses, but very few and far away.  Across the water is a scientific research center place that is pretty hi-tech.  We never got to see that tho. 

So we get in the house and meet Gaby (Boris picked us up from the other boat in his).  We talked for a bit while having bread and tea/coffee.  Then, soon after, she began making dinner.  As we were setting the table, she pops out a package of JB ketchup.  Yes, THE ketchup.  It is the best stuff ever, and we eat it with everything.  I liked this lady already :]  we had rice and eggs and were even more thrilled.  Delicious dinner.  But wait….it gets better.  We got HOT SHOWERS!!  Ahhhhh!  I was so excited.  It was basically glorious :]  ok, not quite, but it was REAL good :] And to top it all off, we all got to sleep on our own bed and they were wonderful!  Warm covers….not a sleeping bag.  Ahhhh.  So good.  We were truly blessed.

Now, from here my log is going to be a little different.  I want to tell you what we did and stories and things, but it’s gonna be long.  So what I tell you is just going to be fun facts.  The order I describe things is not necessarily going to be the order they took place.  I just want to remember these things and find them interesting.  So here we go.  

First off, we thought we would be coming home on Friday.  Maybe Saturday, but probably Friday.  Nope.  Didn’t work like that.  We ended up leaving Sunday on the boat that brought us and this time, it was FULL.  No problem, just different.  So when we finally got off of the boat, a guy came to pick us up and took us to the bus station.  It was like 6 at that point, and the bus didn’t leave for a little over an hour, so we went to a church service, although we didn’t know we would be going to a church service at the time.  So that was fun.  Lol we just showed up in our nasty travel clothes while everyone else was all spiffied up and sat in the service for like half an hour before leaving again.  Very interesting.  Then we went and waited some more for the bus at the station.  I was so ready to just get on the bus, plug in my ipod, think, and sleep.  So finally, that is just what I did.  That ride was quite eventful for Beth again tho.  She pretty much exploded her insides onto herself, the window, and a few neighbors.  Needless to say, the ride was pretty rough, stuffy and smelly, so it caused some problems that her body just didn’t like.  I felt very bad for her.  Finally, at like 11 o’clock, we arrived back in Puerto Montt and were picked up by a friend and his truck.  WE MADE IT.  Granted, we were pretty smelly and down to our last pair of clothes the day or two before we got home, but we survived.  And that is all that mattered.  :]

HOST DESCRIPTIONS: Boris and Gaby are a mid 40’s couple that lives alone with their dog Chimutrophia.  Yes, that name is WAY too long for a dog.  They don’t have any kids and have been together for 8 years (Gaby has an adult son from a long time before, but that is besides the point).  Boris is a quiet guy who likes to laugh.  The guy always had a smile on his face.  So sweet, always doing stuff for his wife.  Good sport about everything.  Just a very good, sweet, hard working guy who has lived on this “middle of nowhere” island his whole life.  Gaby, his wife, is quite opposite.  She had quite the different background and LOVES talking.  I mean LOVES.  She is hilarious and tells it like it is and has lots of opinions.  She always made sure we had everything we needed and just loved talking.  Also, fun fact.  She listens to a “rock and pop” radio station that plays tons of oldie/current rock and pop songs.  And she knows a lot about artists and current music that she can’t even understand :]  and according to her, “Justin Bieber tiene pechugas.”  If you know what that means, you know she is hilarious.  If you don’t know, you don’t need to know :]  ahhh.  Too funny.  We all loved them a lot and had a blast and lots of laughs.

CLEARING:  the purpose of us going to Porcelana was to help Boris clear an area of land so that he can make a long dock.  When we got there and saw the stuff we had to clear, it was a little overwhelming.  Fallen trees and brush were EVERYWHERE.  We did have a chainsaw, hatchet, 2 machetes, and 2 axes tho, so that was good.  We started a pile of useless brush and branches to be burned, and the rest we either chainsawed or macheted up.  By the time we were done, the change was huge.  Granted, it’s still not ready, but we got a lot done.  The burn pile was massive, wet and still pretty green.  We had burned a little corner of it, but it started to really dwindle.  Then Jean started her magic and Jeff and I helped and before too long, we had a dang good fire going :]  that was really fun.  I love fire.  We burned the whole pile in like…..2 hours.  It was exhilarating :]  and very hot.  Also, I burnt my hair AGAIN!  And this time, it was for real with REAL fire.  No false alarm, Skylar and Malarie (remember sparklers :])  Luckily, it was just a tiny spark and I didn’t lose much hair at all. 

WOOD CHOPPING:  it’s true.  I am officially Lumber Jill, compliments of Miss Beth Hale :]  Ok, so I am by no means a professional or even good at chopping wood.  But I did do a little of it.  And I have come to the conclusion that I could NEVER make it in the wilderness.  Hard, hard work.  As I was chopping, I thought, “Kaley would never believe this.”  But Jean said she would testify for me.  But seriously, it’s real hard.  When I actually chopped a piece off tho, I did feel like a boss :]

Food:  during our stay there, we had delicious and new types of food.  We got to eat LOTS of fish that the boys caught on our first night there.  They caught like 150 fish with a net…..Jesus with his disciples style.  So that was REAL good.  I have realized I love fresh fried fish :]  also, I had crab for the first time.  That was delicious too.  You see, E used to e a diver when he was young and before he knew Jesus.  So one day he took us all out on the boat, and he went diving and got a ton of oysters, some crabs, and a few sea urchins.  Sea urchin, by the way, is weird.  Tastes like sea salt egg snot (Jean says boogers).  But anywho.  We also had fresh bread almost every meal.  I am definitely going to miss this bread.  So good.  But I won’t be missing eating SOOOOO much of it :]  oh, and we had curanto which is like the most cultural meal here.  It’s basically a heaping plateful of clams, oysters, chicken, sausage, milcao (weird potato cake thing with meat inside), and whatever other meat you want.  Basically, if you eat a full portion of that at a restaurant or something, you don’t need to eat again for awhile.  So yeah.  That was real good.  We ate very well while staying there. 

BEDS:  I know I mentioned our amazing beds before, but I just feel like I need to elaborate a little.  To give you a little feel for why this is such an exciting topic though, let me describe our current bed situation.  No granted, things could be TONS worse for us.  And really, its not bad at all.  But it does make me appreciate a good bed when I sleep on it.  Jean sleeps on a bed made by Jeff.  It’s a pretty sturdy bed with the best support.  Beth and I are on beds held up by sporadic boards lying horizontally.  Beth usually wakes up having some part of her body falling through to the floor.  And almost daily, the boards on my bed fall through, and it sounds like the bed is breaking.  So these really nice beds we had in Porcelana were GREAT!  We had actually sheets and comforters.  COMFORTERS!  And not just any comforters……down feathered comforters.  It was wonderful!  So warm.  And the beds had real mattresses.  Not a 3 inch thick thingy.  Ahhhhhh.  So good.  Also, another funny side note.  Every morning we woke up, and this bird just repeatedly ran into the window.  Over and over again.  Haha.  Very comical.  And, the view from my window was fantastic.  The water with the mountain behind it….just breathtaking. 

Ok.  So the next part of my post is gonna be the details of our second day there.  We went on a CRAZY trek to some hot springs and a geyser.  It was the best adventure of my life.  But, you know me and my details.  This could get pretty long.  I wanna remember all this stuff tho.  So prepare yourselves.

TREK:  So to start off, I began this adventure not really knowing what I was getting myself into.  I was rocking gym shorts with hiking boots tho.  Quite attractive if I do say so myself.  When we left the house, I asked how far away the hot springs were, thinking we would be there in like 10 minutes.  NOT THE CASE.  I was informed that they were like a 2 hour hike away.  OH.  Haha.  Let the adventure begin. 

Before we began tho, we went to Boris’s dad’s house and picked up two random girls.  One was from Australia and the other Austria.  We had no idea anyone else was going to be coming with us.  It was just very random.  But, no problem.  We found out that they were from the research foundation place and just wanted to see the geyser and stuff.  So after picking them up, we started down the trail.  I had no idea what was ahead of us, so we were just walking along, chatting with the girls and explaining what we do here to them.  Just happy as ever walking along, taking dumb pictures and whacking things with a stick. 

Then, after a little while of walking, we came to a bridge.  Boris said that we had to be really careful walking across, and only one person at a time could go.  So we are watching everyone kind of shuffle along the sketchy looking bridge.  I was one of the last people to cross.  So I am jokingly telling the two other girls behind me to not laugh while I cross.  I get no more than 4 steps before I COMPLETELY wipe out.  I mean, my foot slipped while my other one was stepping and I was airborne, crashing down on my butt.  This was……terrifying at the time to say the least.  If I had not been holding on to the cables, I would have slipped right off of the bridge and probably died.  Yeah.  I was so shocked that I didn’t really know what to do.  E was staring at me on the other side pretty shocked himself.  When I finally did reach the other side, we were able to laugh about it.  Basically, I am a huge clutz who doesn’t really know how to walk.  Haha.  This was made very clear to me as the day went on.  But before I get to that, I need to tell you all that SOMEHOW E got my fall on CAMERA!  He was taking a video, and it captured the whole thing!  Basically, I am famous around here now, since EVERYONE I know has seen this video of me wiping out like a dork.   How happy :]

So after that happened and we all made it across safely, we continued on our way.  We got to the river that we would have to cross…..3 times!  E, Boris, Beth and the Austrian all put on a wet suit, while the rest of us just went in the clothes we had on.  Our whole team minus Beth had to cross barefoot because we only had our hiking boots along.  So here we were, facing this pretty strongly flowing, FREEZING river, knowing we have to cross it.  I got my game face on.  The first time we crossed, we had to go around this jut in the wall, and we tried to make a train and cross all together.  E stationed himself in the water so we could hold on to him to keep from slipping.  Well, the train idea wasn’t our best.  I was the caboose, and as I was standing still in the back with COLD water up to my stomach waiting for the others to move, I almost spazzed out.  My whole body was in pain from the cold, and I couldn’t go anywhere.  Jean was in front of me, just talking away to keep her mind off of it, but I couldn’t say anything.  I just bit my tongue and tried to be as patient as possible.  Finally, we all made it around that jut and got out of the water.  We had a little ways to walk before we had to cross again;  since my feet were numb, I just decided to walk across the rocks barefoot instead of taking the time to put my boots on. 

The next time we crossed was a lot more mild.  We had to cross to the other side of the river, but it was more shallow and not as strong of a current.  Also, they tied a rope from one end to the other so we could use that as a support.  Of course, I still almost fell in, but I managed to stay up.  And, since our bodies had just been in the water, it didn’t feel as cold the second time in.  So that was good.  After this crossing, the trail got a bit more intense.  So after putting on our shoes, we walked for about 10 more minutes before we came to the next point of crossing.  The path definitely got harder now tho.  We had to use a rope to get down a steep cut off and things.  Just very adventurous. 

The next crossing was a little more difficult, but not as long as the other two.  E had to pull us up onto a big rock, and then we crossed a couple yards to the other side by walking through waist deep water again.  After this part, we only had to walk another 5 minutes or so and finally made it to the HOT SPRINGS!  This was pretty exciting. 

First off all, the springs were all natural.  I mean, hardly anyone has ever been to this part of the world.  Its just so hard to get to, and since Boris is the one that found all of this stuff, not many people know about it at all.  So that was a cool thought.  And, since they were all natural, there was moss and floating sticks and stuff everywhere.  It looked pretty nasty at first, but it was awesome.  In parts, it was TOO hot to get in.  Somehow we added cold mountain water to the one spring, but still, it was VERY hot.  It felt wonderful though.  I didn’t want to leave.  My poor body had been through some drastic temperature changes that day. 

After about a half hour in the hot springs, we continued on to go to a geyser about an hour away.  I had said before that to the hot springs was about 2 hours, but it definitely took us closer to 3 to get there.  So, I prepared myself for another long walk to the geyser.  The trail to get to the geyser was definitely the craziest.  First off, we had to repel up and down steep drop offs numerous times.  I felt so legit while doing it.  I have never done anything this trekky before in my life.  it was CRAZY.  Also, at one point, we had to walk along the rocks beside the river, so they were mossy and very slippery.  I honestly have no idea how many times I fell.  It was awful.  Lol I just have no coordination.  And I was wearing my hiking boots!  I finally just gave up caring.  Jean is seriously like a tree/rock monkey.  The girl can just fly over all these things with no difficulty, and I was making my way very slowly through them, falling and slipping multiple times.  It was a very humbling experience. 

AND THERE WERE LEECHES!  Ok, so if you don’t know, I have realized I HATE slugs.  There are so many slugs here, and I despise them.  And the thought of a slug like thing attaching itself to me and sucking my blood gives me the shivers just thinking about it.  GROSS.  Almost everyone had at least one on them at some point, but thank the Lord, He spared me.  I probably would have had a breakdown.  Ok…..maybe not that bad, but I would have freaked out for sure.  So I guess it was just as good for the others that I didn’t have one as it was for me :] 

Also, along the way, we got to see some crazy nature.  It was beautiful!  The colors and tranquility of it all was breathtaking.  We saw waterfalls, and finally made it to the geyser as well.  I don’t even know how to describe it.  I have a few pictures and lots of videos tho, so if you are ever interested in seeing the, just ask when I get back :]  There were spots of very hot sitting water and just a few feet away were freezing water.  I don’t get it and have no idea how it is even possible.  And some parts of the rocks were like….squishy and warm.  Ahhhh.  Just so insane.  I have never seen anything like it before in all my life. 

By this time, it was about 3 o’clock.  I hadn’t realized how hunger I was since I was so busy trying to keep up and not die.  We each had 2 little biscuits with butter and honey that we brought along.  So that was really good.  And we drank the natural creek water.  I felt very outdoorsy.  It was great.  Lol  The worst part was knowing that we had to do everything again.  It was really fun, don’t get me wrong.  But, at this point, I was ready to just be done.  You know?  I wasn’t really looking forward to going through freezing rivers again.  But, whatever.  I knew I would probably never do anything this exciting and adventuresome again, so I just got back in the zone. 

The way back was just as clumsy, if not clumsier than the way there.  I am telling you, I just cant walk apparently.  I also sunk my entire shoe in mud TWICE.  My clothes were VERY filthy as well.  I just couldn’t get over the fact that in the states, the average human would never attempt this.  Lol it was just so…..i don’t even know the word to describe it.  Unless you were a serious hiker, you normally wouldn’t ever attempt anything like this.  Becca, the hike on the Rainbow Trail in Gatlinburg has NOTHING on this.  That is a kiddy trail.  Oh man.  Just so crazy.  Jean loved it, and Beth hated it.  So if you know them, you can kinda picture what I am talking about a little better. 

As I said before, all the falling and stuff was very humbling for me.  But really, my whole time in Chile has been pretty humbling for me.  Pretty much every one of my comforts have been taken from me here.  And it has been so good for me, but also very difficult at the same time.  I can honestly say tho, that I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.  I have grown so much through it and have realized just how truly blessed I am.  And although there have been some really low points for me personally, there have also been some very high points as well.  Jesus has just been so faithful in my life.  I don’t deserve a thing, but He has blessed me and loved me with an infinite love.  Through Him, I have gained eternal life and can do all things. 

Also, something that came into my mind as I slipped and fell so much was the verses that refer to God as the steadfast rock on which we can stand.  Until this time, those verses had been nothing more than just that….verses.  But now, I can relate with them very well.  Without God, I am screwed.  I can’t depend on myself to keep me up and going.  If I tried to go throughout life without Him, I would end up bruised, broken, and helpless.  He is the only thing that I can count on to ALWAYS be there for me. 

We finally made it back to the hot springs, and it felt even more wonderful than the last time I am pretty sure.  I went completely under because it felt so good.  I was advised against it since I would freeze on the way back, but I just didn’t care.  I might never get to be in natural hot springs again.  I had to take advantage of it while I was there.  When we left, I was cold, but it was worth it.  Lol

We survived going back through the rivers again.  Beth had a scare one time tho.  She fell face first into the icy water, and E jumped in just to make sure she was ok.  Luckily, nothing happened, and she was fine.  I have no idea what we would have done if something would have happened to her tho.  Just thanking God that nothing did. 

After getting through all the rivers, I was pumped.  We were finally on the last leg of the journey.  It filled me with an extra spurt of energy.  We finally did make it back to Boris’s dad’s house.  And we all survived!  I seriously did feel VERY accomplished on our way back to Boris’s house.   It was a very good day filled with tons of memories that I will never forget.  And I have lots of videos to reminisce with :]

WOW.  Ok.  So that is the end of that trip for you guys.  So much to write about and tell tho!  I still have a little more to talk about, but not much, I promise. 

BUS ACCIDENT!  Yes.  We were on a bus that ran into another car.  Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?  Well, it really wasn’t.  I actually had no idea anything even happened.  I was listening to my iPod so I didn’t hear the loud crunch, and buses are usually pretty jerky, so I didn’t think anything was out of place.  But, as people began looking around and standing up to see what happened, I realized that something indeed had happened.  Apparently it isn’t too unheard of here tho, because everyone seemed to know what to do.  Another bus pulled up and picked us all up free of charge of course.  I just think it is fun to say that I have been in a bus accident.  :]

Also, when we got back, our puppies were gone.  I didn’t really have hope of ever seeing them again, but then, the next day, I found Piggie at a neighbors house sniffing around.  I was so excited!  She is like the cutest thing ever now.  In full adorable stage.  What a fuzzy little fur ball.  And she is chubby.  Just so cute and soft!  And then, the next day I think it was, we found Petey!  She was just roaming around our street.  I gotta admit I went a little crazy.  I was just so happy they were both still alive!  And they are just the cutest things.  I want so bad to take them home with me.  And, I realize how much I am going to miss Hopey!  For real.  She is the most loyal dog.  I love her.  She is kinda gross and not cute at all, but she is for sure the most loyal dog I have ever seen.  One day, I went on a very long walk pretty far away, and she walked with me the entire time!  And anytime she sees us coming down the street, she runs to greet us.  sniff.  I am gonna miss her.  For real. 

Also, as I write this, Beth is eating a banana with ranch dressing.  She says she doesn’t care if I put this in here because no one is going to read it anyways.  It’s the 8th page.  She says, “Tell Aunt Millie I say hey.” :]  Because I know you are faithful in reading, Mildred.  I love you! 

Whew.  That was a lot of writing.  But I just don’t want to forget any of those details.  If you made it through this whole post, give yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself to some ice cream.   Thanks again for all of your support.  GUESS WHAT!  I will see you guys in 17 days!  I cant wait!  I love you all so much.  Keep looking up and serving the Lord Almighty with your lives and attitudes!  Enjoy and God bless! 

Ps. SONG OF THE POST!  If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens.  She is blind and puts all of her trust in Jesus.  BEAUTIFUL. 


  1. wow, I laughed so much, but believe God's hand was on you guys. how thankfull I am. you are right, it probably would'nt have happened in the states! danger is against the law, at least certain dangers. what an experience!! can't wait to see you! Tell Beth "hi" and yes, to read your blog is a must. love ya.Millie

  2. another comment. Kirsten,you got to see a spot in this big wide world, that only you and your team got to see along with your guides. How awesome is that!! I used to say, O God, this is so beautiful, but it;s in this remote area where not many people can see! this morning I thought about this and thanked God for letting me see such magnificence. God wanted you and your team to see this, and only you for now. god loves you guys and so do I.