10 October 2014

El Museo Interactivo Mirador

Ok if you've already read the previous post you know that I'm so impressed with this museum that I feel it deserves its own post.  Everything online said that this was a must see if you are in Santiago with your kids.  I even joked with my mom about how crazy I am.  like who brings their kids to the other side of the equator for a day at a kids museum when there is one less than 15 minutes away in her home city....?! Apparently that crazy woman is me!  To be honest I expected it to be good.  Good like the children's museum in Atlanta. As Americans I think we tend to think our shit is the best.  Everything we have is the best because, well because it's American.  I think my travels have taught me not to assume that.  I expect Chile's to be equally as good.  I did not expect the best freakin' museum in the history of children's museum.  The place was huge and touched on all things science.  I remember attending a similar museum in my youth growing up in NYC however this was much more... Much much more!! They made everything hands on, feet on, body in...  interactive was an understatement.  Through movement and experiment they taught about the advanced Chilean mining industry, transformation of energy, all things electro magnetic. How they have earthquake proofed their very shaky country, micro organism, what the brain is made of and how energy flows through it.  The spectrums of light. I could go on and on.  The young staff who worked there was knowledgable and friendly. There were a ton of school groups and as Rueben warned us we did get plenty of curious, harmless stares.

Here is a compilation video of the kids interacting in the museum.  Toward the end poor Dude was on overload and couldn't contain himself with so many amazing things happening around him. 

Ok here are a couple of cute stories about the curious stares and attention we've been getting.  While being greeted at the entrance the guide (who saw me coming toward her in advance) welcomed me warmly with a smile and informative pamphlet.... in Portuguese! She assumed we were Brazilian.  Even though I do speak, read Portuguese I wanted to make this a teachable moment for her to not assume. " Portuguese?! But we are American do you have anything in English or Spanish?!"  She blushed and gave me 2 of the same pamphlet, one in English the other in Spanish.  Im sure she went and shared her shock with the rest of the employees there.  Hehehe!  

My favorite moment however was a girl who I'm guessing was about 12 walking up to me big and bold.  Looking me dead in my eyes "De que pais viene Ud.?" (What country are you from? Using the Spanish formal and respect for of addressing adults and strangers) "soy de Estado Unidos, hablo ingles espanol y viajo el Mundo." (I'm from the United States, I speak Enlgish, Spanish, and I travel the world".). She smiled at me satisfied, and then stood a while to be able to look at me close up.  You have know idea how much I loved the audacity of this young girl child!!! "De donde pensaste que era?" (Where did you think I was from- I asked?) now I was the curious one.  "Ecuador" she said matter-of-factly.  She smiled at me again, turned on her heels and disappeared into the sea of Chilean school children. I giggled to myself, I assumed she thought I was Brazilian like the museum greeter.  Guess I have no business assuming either!!! After the giggle to myself I felt all fuzzy inside thinking of my first study abroad in Ecuador in 1996, my loving host family there that I still communicate with regularly and completely adore.  And I also thought about my first encounter with the Afro-Ecuadorean population, the Esmeraldas (the emeralds).  If I had to be mistaken for a member of this bad ass group of revolting Africans well then I'm honored.  

We ate lunch at the museum, hung out for another hour, then left to return to our BNB to rest.  We could have easily sonar anothe 2 hours there.... easy.  At one point I was thinking to myself," how can we hide in here, to, ya know, spend the night. So we can keep playing..." The kids were exhausted and needed to chill in chile.  We bought a MIM refrigerator magnet to remind us of the good times and we left satisfied with lots of great memories.  We walked a block before I decided on taking a taxi.  Dude was too tired to walk to the station and with so many taxis whizzing by, I figured it was a good decision for all.  Our taxi was another pleasant guy who talked about his life in Chile and how proud he was to have traveled throughout this loooong skinny country.  He was a very pleasant guy and only charges of $1000 peso which is less than $2 USD.  

As soon as he dropped us off we headed up the ramp to enter the metro station two old ladies who may have stood 4 foot 7 inches each were walking with their arms linked.  This lil old ladies were slow, and frail using each other for walking support.  As little dude bounced about next to them in all his 5 year old happy gitters the old lady closest to him reached over and started rubbing his head.  She felt ever nap and curl and started giggling like a tweenager. "It's divine", she said en espanol, "so many tiny curls!  It's just perfect!"  I too laughed at her excitement and said to her in Spanish ,"you just couldn't resist it could you?!" Shaking my head.  "No, no I couldn't!!" She said as she reached up and rubbed Zane's head in the same fashions his time even more tickled that I called her out and that we understood her excitement.  One of the main reason I travel:  to see the unfamiliar, and to let the unfamiliar see me! #missionaccomplished

We caught the train back home, but stopped for pizza on the way. For $6 we got a large cheese pizza, 7 BBQ wings, 5 bread sticks, and a 2 liter fanta.   My heart smiled at the exchange rate playing In our favor.  After our expensive trip to Zurich last month I was relieved to say the least!  

On the way home from the pizzeria I saw post cards and decided to but some for my peeps in my mailing list.  I can't afford to buy everyone a t-shirt from my travels but postcards are in the budget!  The store sales lady was also curios about us.  Where are you from?  Why chile? For how long?  Why do briefly?  Do you like it?  I've gotten a lot of "why Chile?!" From curious locals.  It seems like they didn't realize the rest of the world is aware or interested in their existence.  Little did they know there are more of me, many have already come and many more will in the future.

Now we are back at the BNB chilling, on wifi, talking, playing games.  The kids are watching Cartoon Network en Espanol and like we always do we just loving on each other.  

Oh yea I just took a shower.  The water temperature ranges from peal your skin off hot to scream out for mercy cold.  I opted to introduce the world to a brand new layer of baby fresh skin. 

Also I'm so happy I listened to the voices in my head that told me to bring my my outlet adapter.  They use the European two circle outlets here.  I would have had a tragic tragic situation over here if I couldn't recharge my phone etc. 

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