V is for Vendimia
Written by
Kari Redmond
May 2015
Written by
Kari Redmond
May 2015

While living in Chile I became great friends with twin brothers, Esteban and Luis. We have kept in close touch since I left over 10 years ago now.  I visited Esteban in Canada when he went there to study, returned once to Chile and traveled around with him a bit and showed Luis around when he trained around the United States and spent a week in Colorado with me.


The brothers and their family have a farm in Cauquenes, Chile. In the ten years I have know them, I have listened in awe to the stories they tell of Vendimia.  On their farm, they grow grapes. Once a year, around this time, family and friends from all over, meet on the farm and harvest the grapes. 


During the days, they hoist baskets up and down the rows of grapes collecting the delicate fruit from the vines.  In the afternoon, they put the grapes in giant barrels and stomp them. Just like in I Love Lucy. Really! In the evenings, they have huge asados with all the Chilean foods I miss. And at night, they sit around a huge campfire drinking wine and pisco enjoying the company of each other. When it is time to go to bed, everyone retires to the various tents set up around the farm.


The boys invite me every year, and it has been a dream of mine since I first heard about it, to go. I really cannot imagine anything more amazing than being back in Chile with my old friends and their family, picking grapes and stomping them, sleeping under the southern sky, soaking it all in.


The way my terms work at my teaching job, and in order to keep my health insurance, I’ve never really been able to go when it takes place.  But we are soon moving to semesters which may allow me to take a semester off while teaching shorter four week terms upon my return. Thus making it very possible.


I have set a time limit for this one contingent upon the length of my visa for Chile which expires in 2018. I will take a term off. I will return to Chile, the only country I will allow myself to return to. I will spend a couple of weeks there, one on the farm fulfilling a dream, the other around Chile visiting old friends. I will then visit Paraguay and Bolivia for two weeks or so and finally see all of southern South America.


My eyes tear up as I write this, thinking of how long I have been dreaming of doing this, returning to Chile, seeing my friends, doing something I’ve only ever seen in pictures.  So Esteban and Luis, watch out. I’m heading your way. 

Let's be friends

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