I was not in the 8.8 earthquake that recently hit Chile. Most of my friends are in the RM,or Santiago and thereabouts, and so far everyone is checking out well, including one that lives on the 17th floor downtown, and another that lives on the 14th floor near Cerro Sta. Lucia who reports that the quake was like "being in a cocktail shaker." People are scared and freaked out, but the RM is for the most part, ok.
As for the south, Talcahuano, Concepcion, Talca, Constitucion and the areas nearby, I am seeing what you are seeing on the news. I'm seeing buildings ripped apart, piles of splinters and cloth where houses used to be. It is totally otherworldly to see it from the other side of the globe. I am thankful for the internet and news agencies and twitter, facebook and other social networking sites that can give me even a glimpse of what is going on, and of course for all the friends and friends of friends who have called my mother and sister to find out how I am doing. I am worried about two contacts I have in Talca, one of whom I have been working quite closely with over recent months.
I have lots to say about my trip and how great it is and thanks to the two kiwis who texted me about the earthquake as soon as they found out (others might have done the same, but they don't have my NZ phone number). But all that great is misplaced right now. I'll talk about it some other, more appropriate time. Thanks to all for your concern and well wishes.
Hope and prayers and ánimo for the Chilean people. They'll need it.