And how are things in Santiago?

Welcome to the country with the longest coastline of the world, most earthquakes per year and the largest climate diversity within a single country. Here I work in the observatory in Santiago to implement in digital an ‘orthomode transducer’. This is a device which permits the separation of the polarization of an electromagnetic signal and is an important component in a telescope like ALMA.

My weekends are filled with exploring this beautiful country. I spend the first three months of my internship to explore the north of Chile. Here I visited the Atacama desert, was allowed to see ALMA and did a four-day trip to the salt plains in Bolivia. Further down in Valle de Elqui I visited Pisco breweries for which Chile is famous. Even the capital of Santiago is worth visiting. For me it was my first experience in a metropolis (5,5 milion citizens) and I must say it is quite something else when you are used to Eindhoven.

The people are very warm and welcoming to strangers. Although it is a must to speak Spanish since 90% of the population will not be able to speak in a different language. But even then the people will go out of their way to help you if you have any questions. I am also very lucky with my colleagues in the team at my work. We regularly go out for a barbecue (Chile's national sport) or go out and drink beers and Terre Motos.

My time here is almost spend, I have three weeks left to finish my internship. Afterwards I have three weeks of holiday which I will spend to explore the south of the county, especially Patagonia. And then back to the cold Netherlands!

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