About the Author

That would be me, Amy.

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I’m 27 and have spent the last 4 of 5 years living in Chile, mostly thanks to this guy:

We met the very first time I came to Chile as a young, meek, innocent 21 year old exchange student in 2009, and long-distance-relationship-story-short, three years later, this happened:

And another year and a half after that, this little one came along:

Who now looks a little more like this:

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We’ve pretty much followed ‘first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage’ to the T.

I started this page after I returned to Chile after Andrés and I got married in the USA, hence my incredibly creative title of “She’s Back In Chile”, which I think in 2015 a more accurate title would be “She’s In Chile”. However, this is a terrible title if you ask me. But I don’t think of changing it, principally because I don’t have enough energy, and She’s Back in Chile gives enough of a clue as to what this blog is about: a female that speaks english is returning to Chile. It speaks to a wide audience. Females, English speakers, Chile.

I work in the luxurious field of heavy machinery and mining, pretty much following what I studied in school – Spanish (spoken daily) and International Studies (gringa working for a German company in Chile…that’s pretty international if you ask me). If I answer right now what I enjoy doing, I would answer running, watching my son learn new things, going on dates with my husband, and getting into bed. Just being honest here. I know sleeping isn’t really considered a hobby for most, but it is for me.

Andrés is going on year 9(!) of working at El Oasis, a campus university ministry in Santiago founded 12 years ago by my USA compatriots at CMF International. Andrés originally attended as a student before he even knew Christ as his Savior, and now he runs the whole dang thing. That just goes to speak about his love for God, his talent for leadership and his overall awesomeness. El Oasis really is an oasis for a lot of Chilean college students. They like going because Bibles are never shoved down their throats (never a good idea), the love of Christ is present in the staff members (making them enjoyable to be around), there is free food weekly, legitimate fun activities take place frequently, and it’s just a really loving and happy place. It’s a win-win-win, as Michael Scott would say.

Joaquin Wesley was born at the very end of 2013, and our lives have been all about him in 2014. Justifiable, he can’t do anything for himself yet, and now our ministry is our family. Learning how to be a mom and care for another human for most hours of the day is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, even harder than Advanced Placement Biology senior year of high school, and that was pretty freaking hard.

But it’s true what all those veteran parents say, that it’s the hardest but the best thing they’ve ever done. I may not have said that 8 months ago, but I can say it now.

So thanks for coming to my slice of internet. Whether it be for Chile advice, being a fellow expat, marrying someone from a different country, having a baby abroad, living life in a foreign language or seeing how God works well though all things, I’m glad you’re here!

17 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Hi Amy, did you take any personal possessions with you to Chile, other than luggage? I am going for an extended stay to the Chillan area and wonder about taking small kitchen appliances and my favorite pots/pans. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this?

    • Hi Brenda, if it’s an extended stay and you won’t be in Chillan forever, I’d recommend leaving your kitchen appliances in the States and purchasing baseline appliances here. They’re not very expensive. My husband and I got married in the States and all of our wedding gifts are in the crawlspace of a relative’s basement! Also, you would have to buy converters for all of your appliances if you brought them. Part with them for a time, and then you’ll be excited to use them when you get back.

  2. Hello!
    What would you consider the pros and cons of living in Chile? I’m a Christain gal from the states who is thinking about moving there….
    Thank you,
    Katie

    • Hi Katie! I’ll start with the positives. Chile is a very safe country relative to other South and Central American countries. Their unemployment rate is at an all time low, and if you have a few months to search, you’ll find a job no problem given you speak Spanish. The weather is temperate, like California. Always hot in the summer (about 85-90 degrees), and not too cold in the winter (minimum 40 degrees). Cost of living is less expensive than in the states. One bedroom apartments in Santiago can run as low as $350 a month not including bills (depending on where you live). You can get anywhere in Chile without a car. The transportation system in Santiago is very efficient and extensive. Buses leave every day from Santiago to any city in Chile. There are a lot of interesting and beautiful places to visit here. Getting a visa is fairly simple and cheap. There are a lot of churches here, and it’s pretty easy to incorporate into a church family, evangelical churches here are very open and accepting. These are just some that I can think of off the top of my head.

      Cons: You live far and an expensive plane ticket away from the States. Only 2% of Chileans really speak English, so you need to know Spanish. Lines are long, and you have to do almost everything in person versus online (reasons why their unemployment rate is so low). The visa process is not hard, but it can be complicated. There are a lot of steps to becoming fully legal and able to work. You generally need a job before you arrive to Chile if you want to get a residence visa. However, you can come and look here and sometimes the employer agrees to hire you and then you can apply for a visa, it just depends on your situation. I’m married to a Chilean, so I got a visa via marriage. Men (and women) stare. All Chileans look similar, so when they see a blond or someone with light eyes, they will stare at you…a lot. I don’t like it, others don’t mind. Also, it would be hard to find a job if you don’t know spanish.

      Anyways, good luck! Not every country is perfect, and adapting to cultural differences is always a challenge living outside of your own country.

  3. Hey Amy,
    First want to say I love reading your blog! And second, I had a question. I am planning on moving to Chile at the end of this year, and want to bring my dog and my ferret. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find an animal friendly place to live?
    Thanks!
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy. I live in the capital, and a lot of people have animals (dogs and cats, from what I see). Last year, I did some English tutoring at student’s houses and one girl had two big German Shepherds, 4 little dogs, 2 cats and parakeets. Granted, they lived in a house and had more space, but it was a lot of animals. On the first floor of our apartment, there is a family that has a gigantic black dog. It’s only 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms. So I’d say no, it’s not hard (here in Santiago at least) to find an animal friendly place to live. I can’t vouch for other cities, but my guess is that it would be the same circumstances. Good luck!

  4. Hi Amy. I am coming to Chile on Saturday for approx. a week. I am packing…I HATE packing. I know generally what the temperature will be. I’m a boot girl and wonder what the status of boots is there? My tall black boots and jeans one day? Perhaps boots and a skirt (short skirt) walking around Valparaiso? Or no? Leave them home in Boston? Whatever you suggest. Have a tour set arranged for Sunday…looks like rain. 😦 Thank you in advance for you input! Cindy

    • Oops, sorry it took me so long to reply! Valparaiso in April is pretty enjoyable, between 60-70 degrees during the day and 40-50 at night. Rain is very possible, it comes and goes. When I was there in December/January (high summer) it was cloudy and cool all week, but then I went for a day in March (beginning of fall) it was sunny and 75, so it’s a bit hit or miss, just like any coastal city. Hope you enjoy!

  5. I just want to say thankyou and tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I married a Chilean too and while we don’t live in Chile we live in Australia, we have been for an extended stay before so I can understand some of your frustrations but also absolute enjoyment that comes with Chile 🙂 so again thankyou and keep posting awesome stuff 🙂

    • Thanks so much! Some days here are great, other are…not so great. But that’s how it is anywhere! And above all of the weird things that I don’t understand here, Chile is definitely a step ahead of many of its neighbors, and right now, it’s our home so we’re enjoying every minute we can! Hope you can visit again sometime soon. Take care!

  6. Hi Amy, I just found your blog; I’ve been searching for expat blogs, particularly in Chile and Argentina. My husband and I are trying to find someplace a bit friendlier economically to eventually retire to. For now we still need to work. Do you have any advice, or suggested reading / websites you could recommend to help bring me up to speed? Just trying to track down all the information on visas, jobs, rentals, is proving overwhelming, never mind all the other little things it helps to know – LOL! But, I am a determined individual.
    We’re trying to find someplace close to the Patagonia region; right now we live in the pacific northwest, so blustery weather doesn’t scare us …. but I hear rumor of nightmarish winds…
    I’m in the process of trying to find the best program to learn Spanish. I have a brother that speaks fluent Portuguese; I know there are several variations of the castilian Spanish, and that there is a Chilean Spanish – lots of slang and around 9 “living” languages in all that…. so, any suggestions as to what would be the best way to go about learning a version I could actually communicate with in Chile? ( I still find it funny when people speak Spanish to my brother; Portuguese is not basic Spanish you’ll find in the resort towns of Puerto Valliarta…. trying to find anything other than that here to learn is proving difficult.)
    I look forward to reading more of your blog. … and congrats on that adorable little baby!

    • Thanks for your comment! Patagonia is beautiful, but yes, very windy and rainy for most of the year. I would search ‘Chile Expat’ on google and you can find some good websites on living advice in all of Chile. I only have experience in Santiago.

      Unfortunately, I’d say the only way to really learn “Chilean spanish” is to come and live here. I had a decent background of school spanish before I studied here, and I am still learning, but I’d say a good two years got me set on most of the slang and customs. I would take classes before you come to get accustomed to the language so that you have a good idea of how to communicate when you arrive. Any basic software programs are good to start such as Rosetta Stone.

      I hope this information is helpful to you and good luck with your plan to move!

  7. Hello Amy… I found your blog while searching for information about travelling in South America…and I keep coming back because I just love your writing! I am also an expat from Brasil living with my husband in London, we are planning a trip to Patagonia next year and I wanted to know if April is a good time of the year for a visit? Anyway, I wish you all the best and to your beautiful family. Little Joaquin is so cute! All the best.

    Giselle

    • Thanks very much Giselle! Patagonia is beautiful (or so I know). I’ve never been further south than Pucón and Puerto Varas, but Patagonia is on my list of to-do’s. April is a good time of year, though it will be considerably colder and than December-February (also heading into the rainy season). However, it is good to consider April because there won’t be as many visitors (heading into low season). I would expect temps of 10-15 degrees celsius during the day, and probably some days of rain. If you go during the summer months of December-February, the weather will be obviously warmer and with less rain but you’ll have to deal with a lot more khaki-laden retirees and chaco-wearing college students 😉 Let me know if you need any more advice!

  8. Hi Amy, I found your blog trying to find a yoga place for my girlfriend who is pregnant. She is British and I’m Chilean and we are expecting our first Baby :). Is there any recommendation about a specific place where to go? did you had any Childbirth classes in English? she doesn’t speak much Spanish yet and she is freaking about about not being able to speak well the language and that the baby that is coming. do you have any contact network of English speakers moms she could talk about being pregnant in Chile, far away from home? I’m trying to help her to feel more comfortable here in Santiago.
    Thanks!

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