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Saying Goodbye To Chile ~ David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Friday, February 21, 2014

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I’m convinced that time will pass more quickly if I would only stop watching the calendar and counting down the days until David comes home. It’s kind of like a pot of water that won’t boil if you keep watching it. Yet I still wonder how he might be feeling as he finishes up his time in Chile, his home for the last two years. The reality is that I cannot make any assumptions nor can I imagine how he feels about saying goodbye to Chile.

However, I do believe that you leave a little piece of yourself wherever you visit. Perhaps there will always be a part of him that will remain in Chile, the part that came to life with every gorgeous sunset he witnessed, every glance he took at the Andes Mountains, every bite he took of the fresh-baked pastries and with every person he encountered along his journey during his mission, some who may have very few physical possessions yet are full of joy and grace.

I couldn’t be happier that the wait is almost over but I realize that it’s sort of a goodbye for me, too. How is it possible to love a foreign country that I never visited except by doing research online to write articles for this site? For me, chili had always been a delicious beef dish, eaten during the winter. Chilly was always a reason to put on double layers of clothing.

Through David, the country, C H I L E came to life for me, instead of just being a speck on the world map. In addition to his beautiful voice, everlasting friendships and computer skills, I have David to thank for yet another thing, for opening my eyes to this beautiful country with its historical sites, extensive landscape of mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, glaciers, deserts, waterfalls, beaches, lakes, rivers, forests and islands.

It’s not just the countryside that I admire; it’s also the people, who are passionate and fun-loving. I’ve even become fond of their music after doing some research on what’s playing on their airwaves. I picked up a few songs for my Ipod; Alberto Plaza’s “Bandito”and “Amiga” by Alexander Acha. But that’s not all. I found a little Argentenian bakery not too far away that makes the most delicious empanadas. If I ever get the chance to visit South America, Chile would be my first stop.

Soon, David’s time spent in Chile will become part of his past. He will be busy with all sorts of plans for new music, touring, family, friends, catching up with fans and going out for Pad Thai. If he feels sad about saying goodbye to Chile and the people he met there, I hope he also feels content that he made a difference in their lives.  He has certainly made a difference in ours.

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Posted in @DavidArchie, David Archuleta | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 78 Comments »

Super Crash Course in Spanish – David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Thursday, December 19, 2013

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In the past few weeks a large number of fans have lamented not learning Spanish while David has been in Chile. Well, it’s not too late! The Voice is now offering a super crash course in conversational Spanish! Each week until David returns, you will find a few simple Spanish phrases here with the English translation and the phonetic pronunciation, spoken by our own Djafan. The phrases will be designed to use when speaking to David at a VIP or simply for use in a fan letter. Imagine how chuffed he will be when he realizes that we learned a little Spanish while he was in Chile. :)

Ready for your first lesson?  Here we go!

A mi tambien me gustan los mangos.
I also like mangos.


Hola, como estas?
Hello. How are you?


Mucho gusto de conocerte.
Nice to meet you.


Mi nombre es (Divina).
My name is (your name).


Hasta la proxima vez.
Until next time…


Gracias.
Thank you.


 Adios.
Goodbye.


You’ll find the link to this page entitled, “Spanish Crash Course,” on the top of the site. It will contain all of the Spanish phrases as they are added each week. If there’s a certain phrase you’d like us to include, kindly post it in your comment.

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Si.

Posted in @DavidArchie, David Archuleta | Tagged: , , , , , , | 92 Comments »

David Archuleta is Coming ~ Look Busy

Posted by bebereader on Saturday, October 19, 2013

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It’s been almost nineteen months that David has been away. His two year mission will be coming to a close sooner than we realize. It’s made me think about his last vlog in which he told us to explore our own hobbies and to basically take time for ourselves and our own interests. My own interests?! David, you were my hobby for the last five years! I put some of my own interests on hold when I became a fan, so I was kind of lost when he left and didn’t know what I’d do for the following twenty-four months.

Time has a way of passing when you’re not paying attention. There are a lot of things that could be accomplished in 24 months. Get an Associate’s or a Master’s Degree. Learn a foreign language. Give birth to a baby. Even two babies. Learn a sport. Write a novel. Lose weight or gain some if you need to. Let your hair grow. Catch up on back seasons of some TV shows. Save money. If I had saved ten dollars a week in a special fund since David left, I would have close to $1,000 by the time he comes home!

I learned that time doesn’t stand still and was thinking about things that have happened during the last year and a half. Obama was re-elected President. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four game sweep to win the World Series. The United States government shut down. Hurricane Sandy hit Atlantic City, NJ like a cyclone and caused 8 million people to lose power. The new Iphone5 became available. We lost Robin Gibb of The BeeGees and Marvin Hamlisch, two musicians whose contribution to music is immeasurable. Unfortunately there was a horrific movie theater shooting, a terrible school shooting and a heinous bombing in Massachusetts.

When I reflect on the last nineteen months, I didn’t save money in a special fund nor did I write the next great novel. I didn’t learn a new sport either. But I’ve been brushing up on my Spanish enough so that I can converse with Gladys en espanol, un pocito, during chat. I’m enjoying a brand new cereal that came on the market recently. It’s called Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch. The only reason I’m mentioning it is that I know David will like it too, because I remember how he loved Honey Bunches of Oats and this one is very similar, but even better. (Thank you for telling me about it, Sky!)

Since American Idol Season 7 ended I rarely watch TV but as of a year ago, I found a TV show that I can really sink my teeth into. Two shows, in fact! One is called, The Voice (no relation lol) and the other is Nashville. I also joined the ranks and succumbed to the Candy Crush Saga. Level 84, thank you very much! And my little granddaughter, who was almost one year old when David left, had wisps of blonde hair when I took her picture for the “I Will Be Here #2014″ video. She could only say one or two words at that time. Now she has a hot mess of blonde curls cascading down her back. Her vocabulary has grown tremendously and she speaks like she’s two going on twenty! I’m teaching her to say “David, Come Home!” :)

How are your plans going? Have you accomplished what you set out to do in David’s absence?

 

Posted in David Archuleta | Tagged: , , , , | 92 Comments »

Never Over “Falling Stars” by David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Saturday, September 21, 2013

get-attachmentPicture edit: Reiko on Twitter

“Falling Stars”, Track 6 on “The Other Side of Down” was met with mixed reviews by record critics and fans when the album was released in October of 2010. Some felt the song was irrelevant to the central theme of the album. Others thought the song wasn’t believable for David to sing because he wasn’t old or experienced enough. Still others dismissed the song as a departure from the optimistic lyrics we have come to expect from David’s music. And then there were those, including me, who fell head over heels in love with the song.

Written by Emanuel “Eman” Kiriakou, Claude Kelly and Jess Cates, “Falling Stars” is a hauntingly beautiful song about not getting over a romantic relationship. “Over you, never over you…”

When Eman gave us a snippet of the song in a bubbletweet a month before album release, it may have sounded tinny and inaudible but it was love at first listen for me. I’m drawn to love songs, especially those sung by the most angelic voice in the universe. The bubbletweet immediately captured me and made me yearn for the full song.

That tinny-sounding bubbletweet got 23,755 views!

20,000 may have been mine. LOL

video edit: Abrra

“Falling Stars” begins with a relaxing tone and builds as it progresses until it reaches a very emotional pinnacle at the chorus after the bridge when David sings “like fallling starrrss” and “like crashing carrrs.” On the album version, you can hear a slight buzz in his voice throughout the song, giving it a dream-like quality. The steady drumbeat during the song is reminiscent of the sound of a heartbeat which perhaps was intentional. It breaks my heart as he tells the story of a love that can never be. I believe him because unlike anyone I have heard, he is able to sing with the emotional maturity of someone who has actually had the experience even if he hasn’t. It’s part of his genius. His refrain from using vibrato at the suggestion of Eman gives the song an unusual quality, one that fits the sullen mood of the song. He ends the song with a relaxed tone again, and brings us back down to earth.

Credit Rusharr

YouTube comment from six months ago:

AHAHAHA I remember my dad turning to me asking me ‘Are those high notes even possible?

Why my interest in “Falling Stars” now, almost three years after its release? I never stopped loving the song. I always wished for radio play and I don’t think it ever got the recognition it deserved. But a recent comment on The Voice by Emmegirl prompted me to dive into YouTube when she pointed out that there has been renewed interest in some of David’s music as evidenced by very recent comments, even on videos that are not live performances. I chose to investigate “Falling Stars” and was encouraged to find brand new comments praising the song, especially since David has been out of the country for almost two years. I saw from the comments that I am not alone in my admiration and fascination for this song.  

From YouTube: 

This song made my life so much less complicated. It cleared my head. He’s the reason I’m smiling right now.5 months ago

This song is so beautiful. 4 months ago

Still listening in 2013 to this romantic song. 2 weeks ago

I feel so good when I listen to this song. 2 months ago

Such an emotional song. I cry when I hear it. 2 months ago

The song is so calm and soothes my broken heart. 1 month ago

He is so passionate-his voice, his lyrics, his emotions…everything about him is so wonderful. He is an amazing singer and what’s more, a lovely man. 11 months ago

UUUU

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I’m sure you’ve noticed that David has specific body language for each song he performs. Check out the angst he portrays in this live performance of “Falling Stars” from Wichita, Kansas.


Credit Clear Channel

When you forget me

 When you don’t remember my name

 Not even a memory

 Somewhere in the back of your brain

 I won’t be offended

‘Cause I always knew that the day

 Would come when I’m not enough to make you stay

 You tell me it’s not possible, no way that we could break

 But nothing is illogical, believe me

 

 Like falling stars over your head

 We were bound to burn out, burn like crashing cars

 I’ll never get over you, never over you

‘Cause you are so beautiful, yeah

 

 The world is turning

 And time keeps on lingering on

 The sun will be burning

 Eventually you will be gone

 

 I’ll always love you

 Oh, believe it or not

 Baby, that’s not enough to, not enough to

 Stop these…

 

Falling stars over your head

 We were bound to burn out, burn like crashing cars

 I’ll never get over you, never over you

‘Cause you are so beautiful, yeah

 

 When it’s all said and done

 I’ll be just a speck in the galaxy

 Floating far, far away by gravity

 Tell me it’s not possible, no way that we could break

 

 Like falling stars

 Like crashing cars

 Like falling stars over your head

 We were bound to burn out, just like crashing cars

 I’ll never get over you, never over you

‘Cause you are so beautiful, yeah.

David’s use of his falsetto in “Falling Stars” is perhaps the highlight of the song for me.  My heart skips a beat as his voice glides effortlessly from falsetto and back again, as if he is crying from the deep pain he feels about this doomed relationship.  In the above interview, he describes his own feelings about the song.

Eman, who was one of the writers of that song, he wanted me to not sound like myself…he wanted me to sing with a different tone and a different energy…

It really added a more mature…it kind of has like an umph kind of manly kind of vibe now, and I think that was what Eman was trying to do.

It’s not about showing me and reflecting me, but…I felt like it was okay to have one song that was just a genuinely truly amazing song.  I think that song is one of them.

I totally agree.

Posted in @DavidArchie, @kariontour, lyrics, The Voice | Tagged: , , , , | 48 Comments »

David Archuleta’s Announcement and My Own Personal Journey

Posted by bebereader on Monday, June 3, 2013

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I have avoided watching David’s “announcement video” for the longest time since that day we saw it together in real-time on Livestream. He was hurting, or so I thought and I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t watch him being vulnerable in front of so many people. Most of all, it hurt me to see him cry.

How would I live without his shining force for two years?
How could I get through two years with no new music, I thought.
Two years is way too long to go without a concert.

It was all about me.

I know about milestones and rites of passage in one’s religion so I should have seen David’s mission announcement coming instead of hitting me from out of left field.

In my religion, for example, when a young person reaches 13 they are considered to have achieved spiritual maturity and are welcomed into adulthood by having a Bar Mitzvah or for a girl, a Bat Mitzvah. This important event is marked by being called to read from the Torah, which is the fundamental narrative of the Jewish religion. This is usually done in temple before family, friends and a congregation of people and the reading is done in the Hebrew language. In addition, they must learn to chant in the ancient melody. Hebrew is written in symbols, not letters in the printed version of the Bible and is very hard to learn. It often takes months or years to accomplish this at the same time they have their regular school studies. It’s considered an honor to fulfill all of the required duties which I have simplified here. There is also a community service requirement.  The Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is a milestone life-cycle event in the life of a Jewish person and is the culmination of years of study.

Having had a chunk of time to reflect on all this, I realize how selfish it was to think of myself and how David’s leaving would affect me.

Last night I was on YouTube as I usually am, watching old concert footage. Instead of avoiding the mission announcement link, this time I clicked on it! I watched it 3x. I saw it differently this time than I did all those months ago. I didn’t see a hurting David baring his soul. I saw a brave young man who didn’t know how the audience would react to his announcement and when he heard applause, was so touched that it brought tears to his eyes. I saw a brave young man who had the difficult task of telling his fans that he was taking a temporary leave from his music career. It was hard for him but he had the strength to do it anyway. I saw someone who had the courage to be vulnerable and who shed tears of relief.

Video credit David Archuleta

Even in his absence David continues to inspire me. It may have taken me 15 months to have the courage to watch the “announcement video” but seeing his strength is making ME strong enough to wait out the days until he comes back home.

Posted in @DavidArchie, Chile, David Archuleta, Editorial, Mission, The Voice | Tagged: , , , , | 67 Comments »

David Archuleta and the People of Chile

Posted by bebereader on Saturday, April 27, 2013

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Since Elder Archuleta began serving a mission in Chile, I’ve been curious about the Chilean culture. I have already researched Chilean music, dance, foods and Chilean holidays. Now I’m curious about statistical information of Chile and what it’s like to live with the Chileans and their habits and customs. How does one go about finding this unless one travels to Chile?

Statistical information was easy enough to find; it came straight from Chilean websites and census data. For the real nitty gritty information, I searched through travelogues and blogs of foreign exchange students until I hit the jackpot! People actually keep records of their travel experiences. The quotes on various topics that I extracted from the blogs are in boxes.  Bloggers’ names have been omitted. Muchas gracias to those who unknowingly contributed.

Population: 17.27 million (2011) World Bank.  The population of Chile is expected to reach about 20.2 million by 2050.

The majority of the Chilean population live in the capital city of Santiago.

credit: syntagmafilm

Chile is one of the largest exporters of salmon. Chile also exports other fish, fruits, wine, chemicals, paper and copper.  Over 1/3 of the world’s copper production is produced in Chile.

Chile has one of the longest recorded dry spells in the Atacama Desert where it did not rain for 40 years.

Chile is a founding member of United Nations as well as of the Union of South American Nations.

Catholics make up 63% of the population. Protestants or Evangelical 15%.
Jehovah’s Witnesses comprise 1%. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 0.9%. Jews make up 0.4%. Atheists are 8.3%. Muslims 0.1% (From Census data 2011)

The Chilean Peso is the national currency of Chile and has been in circulation since 1975. One Chilean Peso is divided into 100 centavos.
One US dollar was worth 517 pesos in December 2011. (Imagine having to get used to using different money.)

The national sport of Chile is the Chilean Rodeo and is mainly practiced in rural areas. The most popular sport in Chile is what they call futbol but we call soccer.  The country stops when there is a soccer match and when they win, they go to Plaza Italia to celebrate. Chile has participated in the Olympics since its inauguration and has won 13 medals with tennis bringing in the most.

The literacy rate of Chile is 96.5%. The government provides free and compulsory education to citizens up to the age of eighteen. Chile has a large, well-educated middle class. Education is emphasized as a means to a better life, and the majority of young people earn a high school diploma.

The official language is Spanish; the one used is Chileno which is a mix of slang taken from old sayings and some American-Chilenisms like “Cachai“, which means do you understand or do you get it, coming from the American word “catch”.

On Language
“The Spanish is the worst!! I don´t want to speak like a Chilean but after being here for over a year everything I say ends in “kchay” and I can´t say “sí” or “no” – it´s “sip” o “nopo”.

credit: englishopensdoors

Chileans are a friendly bunch of people! The common greeting among friends and relatives is the abrazo, which is a hug and a handshake, sometimes with a kiss on the right cheek for women. It is repeated when saying goodbye. When conversing, Chileans tend to stand much closer to one another than in North Americas do. The common greetings are “¿Qui’ubo?” (What’s up?), “¿Como esta?“ (How are you?), “Gusto de verte“ (Nice to see you).

credit: jorge stepankowsky

In Chile, the custom is to give a child the last names of both the father and the mother, although the father’s name is the official one. The paternal surname comes first, followed by the maternal surname. (Example: David James Archuleta Mayorga)  Children are addressed either by using both names or by using only the father’s name. Wives keep their maiden names in addition to their husbands’ and they are also known by both names, although they sometimes prefer to use only their husbands’ name.

Avocados (“palta”) are plentiful in Chile and are added to any kind of burger, sandwich or hot dog. The very popular “Italiano” hot dog has ketchup or chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise and avocado on it.

On Italiano Hot Dogs
“And then there’s the combination of 3 ingredients, such as tomato, avocado, mayonnaise simply abbreviated as “italiano,” due to the 3 colors of the Italian flag (red, green and white). Once you know that, you can ask for any kind of sandwich and add “italiano” without any further explanation.”

credit Japi O

On Bread
“How much bread do Chileans eat? Two buns in the morning, one in lunch time, two or more at “Once” (pronounced own- say)…yeah that is a lot of bread. The toppings for bread: the regular stuff: butter, pate, scrambled eggs, jam, avocado…WHAT? yes, avocado, they eat it smashed with salt and oil. Bread with avocado is a 80′s classic and one of my favorites.”

“Chile has many kinds of bread, and the most common are “frica” (like a hamburger bun, but better), “molde” (typical slice), “marraqueta” (a crusty roll made with French bread dough, “hallulla” and “pan amasado” (both made with lard). Once I was eating one of these delights in Dominó (restaurant) when a guy from another Spanish-speaking country came in. When he finally decided from among beef, chicken, pork, tomato, avocado, bell pepper, mayonnaise, etc., the waiter asked:

“Fricamoldemarraqueta?”

“Huh?” asked the bewildered foreigner.

“FRI- CA- MOL- DE- MA- RRA- QUE- TA,” repeated the waiter, trying to be clearer.

By that time I was already well initiated in the ways of bread and was able to explain, “There are 3 types of bread, you need to choose one.” How was he supposed to choose when he had never even heard of a marraqueta or frica? But in the end, he loved the sandwich.”

On Onces
“Onces—or tea is a Chilean gastronomic institution. Inspired by the British tea, people gather in the early evening (mostly on weekends these days) to “ruin their dinner” (yikes, I’m channeling my mother!) for a carb fest of sandwiches (ham, cheese, and avocado are customary) and/or toast and jam, cookies, cake, and even ice cream (surprisingly often in reverse order). Oh, and the cup of tea is placed in front of you with the plate of food behind it, so that all the crumbs fall into the cup. Don’t try and change it around. It’s no use.”

On Coffee
“Most Chileans tend to drink instant coffee at home (Nescafé, sometimes referred to by purists as “no-es-café” – it is not coffee). When they go out, they drink “café café” (coffee-coffee) to explain that this is not regular coffee (which would be Nescafé) but rather REAL coffee. And it will probably come in a very small (demitasse) cup and often includes a small glass of soda water and a couple of little butter cookies on the side. If you go to a coffee shop they’ll ask if you want “express” (espresso), cortado (café con leche), or capucchino…”

credit: tintoweno

On Shopping
“Security rules in Chile can make shopping complicated. In small stores, shoppers must ask for what they want instead of taking it off the shelves themselves. Then they are given a paper with a description of the product. They take the paper to the cash register to pay for the item and go to another part of the store to pick up the item.”

On Things that upset Chileans
“Not wearing shoes at home.”
“Wandering around with wet hair upsets Chileans because they believe it causes you to catch a cold.”
“Saying that you don’t like sandwiches. Chileans love sandwiches, or “sánguches” in the local vernacular. They eat them for breakfast, onces (tea), snacks, and late-night noshing.”

On Dogs
“Chileans seem to have another kind of relationship with animals. It’s a live-and-let-live laissez faire attitude that endows domestic animals with the same apparent right to share public space as birds, squirrels (which, by the way, don’t exist in Chile), and, of course, humans.”

“Chilean dogs are often free to come and go as they please, and as a result, really don’t seem to care much about what anyone else is doing, and vice versa. Dogs are an extremely common sight on busy city streets and parks. Even the Plaza de la Constitución, in front of La Moneda, the presidential palace, is full of dogs—some with collars (i.e. owners), some without—that spend the entire day playing in the park and rarely seem to notice the hordes of tourists or uniformed officers or speech-making dignitaries or marching protesters or snuggling couples who want to share their space. Cats and dogs often wander in and out of casual restaurants. They are rather good-natured and healthy looking pooches, deep-snoozin’ on busy downtown street corners as pedestrians just step over or around them.”

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“Leash laws—if they exist, I’ve never been able to tell— are not enforced. Dogs are allowed to “go out and play,” snooze when they’re tired, and come home when they get hungry. The streets are full of dogs just hanging out, having a good time, and generally not bothering anyone…By the way… the stereotypical dog’s name in Chile? Not Rover, or Spot, or Fido (have you ever really known one of those?)… The quintessential Chilean dog’s name is Bobby! (pronounced BO-bee)”

Chileans are passionate and fun loving people. I wonder if Elder Archuleta has picked up any Chilean customs or affectations. If I ever get the opportunity to visit South America, my first stop would be Chile. Of course my Spanish would be rusty but after reading so much about the country there is now a familiarity that exists for me, if only virtually. And I can’t shake the thought of seeing David, strolling down the street in Santiago, eating an Italiano hotdog. :)

Posted in Chile, David Archuleta, The Voice, Travelogue | Tagged: , , , , , | 90 Comments »

David Archuleta ~ That’s What Makes You Beautiful

Posted by bebereader on Friday, March 22, 2013

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When I first saw David on American Idol back in 2008 I was immediately drawn to him because of his angelic singing voice. But there was something else that drew me in, something powerful yet  hard to define at the time.  He was so captivating for a boy of 17. And very endearing.  It was refreshing to see a young person with manners and so much integrity. His character, good nature, million dollar smile, infectious laugh and the way he showed grace under pressure together with the sound of his voice all contributed to my never missing a night of Season 7.

More than five years have passed since his Idol audition. I watched as he grew and changed. His personality unfolded before our eyes. He blossomed into a handsome young man whose inner beauty shines through. Edith nailed it when she said, “I’ve admired you not only for your singing but for your person.”

By now, his voice and his beauty play equal parts in why I’m his fan for life. Each enhances the other. He is just as beautiful as his voice and I’ve grown to respect him for all that he is and all that he is yet to become.

Video montage by Marcella and photo collage by Bebereader from the LDS Living photo shoot.

Posted in Art, David Archuleta, Editorial | Tagged: , , , | 55 Comments »

The Ultimate Setlist ~ David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

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gif credit: ohnopurple

It is not an easy feat for a young artist to come up with a sophomore album. Yet David has produced a total of seven albums in five years. To quote Simon Cowell, “When you’ve got it, you’ve got it.” Back from his mission with a plethora of songs in his repertoire, he will have a leviathan task on his hands making up his setlist for when he starts touring again.

So let’s help him out. I’ve compiled a list of songs from his albums, plus songs and covers he has done at concerts and appearances.  Some songs he hasn’t even sung yet but we can dream, can’t we?

Here is your assignment, should you wish to accept it:

Use the ballot below to select 25 songs you would like to hear David sing on his next tour.  You can make suggestions for other songs, too. We will tally the ballots and come up with the 25 songs that make it to the Ultimate Setlist for the Homecoming Tour! You never know who may wander over here to read our list and take note of our choices. ;)

Posted in @DavidArchie, concerts, David Archuleta, fandom, Homecoming Tour, poll, The Voice, tours, Welcome Home Tour | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 84 Comments »

Sightseeing Through Chile For Elder Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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There are wondrous places in Chile that Elder Archuleta most probably will not get to see while busy on his mission. Perhaps he will make a trip back there one day in the future to visit more of this beautiful country that he will have spent two years of his life.

Chile is a country of extreme contrasts from volcanoes of the Andes Mountains to ancient rainforests and from the Atacama Desert in the north to massive glaciers in the south. In between these areas are waterfalls, beaches, lakes, rivers, forests and islands.  If you visit the north, south, east and west of Chile in one day you have the possibility of experiencing all four seasons. With these unusual changes in temperature and weather, Chile attracts thousands of tourists each year. If you’ve ever wondered how long Chile is, it’s approximately the length from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean or from the west coast to the east coast of the U.S. And at it’s widest point, it stretches for only 112 miles.

Come with me to do some virtual sightseeing through Chile to find places that David may want to visit should he decide to return. Aside from the tourist attractions which look awesome, by the way, there are some not as famous places that David may find appealing, too.

The penguins of Punta de Arenas

Punta Arenas in Magdalena Island, a popular tourist attraction in Chile has one of the largest penguin breeding sites. The island was named a national nature reserve because many years ago, commercial fishing in this area caused the penguin population to decline. But through a ban on commercial fishing, penguins were protected and penguin populations have increased.

Every fall, penguins leave the safety of the ocean, their natural habitat, and march for twenty days to a place called “Oamack”. That’s where they choose their mates, procreate, protect and feed their offspring and after a while they return to the sea. Later, their babies go to the ocean, where they stay for four years, and when they reach their adult life, they follow the same pattern of their parents. →   These creatures are a sight to behold!

Easter Island and the Moais, the giant volcanic rock statues

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Easter Island, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean between Chile and Tahiti and now a national park was isolated for centuries from the outside world. Stumbled upon by Dutch settlers on Easter in 1772, the majority of the population are original inhabitants, Rapanui people, who developed their own distinctive culture best known by the moai, huge statues with elongated faces carved out of volcanic ash thousands of years ago. How and why the moai were built is a mystery. Each one weighs over 20 tons and is about 70 feet tall.  There are hundreds of them on the island, some in rows, others laying broken on the ground. Some say Easter Island is the most enchanting place in the world place to watch the sunset. There are other activities to do on Easter Island, like going to the beach, taking a tour of the volcanic craters, diving and surfing.

Cerro San Cristóbal

Cerro San Cristobel, Chile

Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in Santiago, the capitol of Chile, with a beautiful view overlooking the city and, on a clear day, the Andes Mountains. At the top of the hill is a 72 foot statue of the Virgin Mary that can be reached by cable car or a long hike. I doubt that Elder Archuleta has had a chance to hike or take a ride on a cable car to see the view in Santiago. Cerro San Cristóbal has Santiago’s largest public park with a botanical garden and zoo.

World’s Largest Swimming Pool

You don’t have to be a swimmer to be curious about this, the world’s largest man-made outdoor pool at a resort in Algarrobo, a small town on Chile‘s central coast. The pool is the size of  20 Olympic-sized swimming pools! It’s filled with 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater that it gets from the ocean and it’s warmth from the sun. It was listed officially as the largest (3/5 of a mile) and the deepest (115 feet) swimming pool in the Guinness Book of World Records in December of 2006.  Why build a pool right near the ocean? Simple. The water in the nearby coast is cold and dangerous. Swimming is prohibited.

Credit: theamazingnewsdotcom

The 6000 foot granite walls of Torres del Paine National Park
The 6000ft granite walls of Torres del Paine

Torres Del Paine is a national park located in the south of Chile, The park‘s main attraction are the three giant granite peaks that were carved out by glaciers. The peaks rise 8200 feet above ground. The park has dramatic landscapes, lakes, mountains, glaciers, valleys and forests with exotic birds roaming the area. It’s also popular for hiking and rock climbing. Because of it’s beauty, this park is referred to as “heaven on earth”.

Valle Nevado in the Andes Mountains

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Does David ski or snowboard? I don’t know but the most popular skiing resort in South America is in Chile and draws skiers from all over the world, equipped with bilingual experts, not that David would need one. A helicopter drops skiers from the top of the mountain for a ride down the hill.

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna is located in the Atacama Desert, some parts of which have not received rain in 200 or more years. This scene is the result of centuries of wind and floods on sand and stone. The large sand dunes and stone formations mimic the surface of the moon, and gave the area it’s name which translated means “Valley of the Moon”.

The Viña del Mar International Song Festival

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I think David would enjoy this song festival held annually during February since 1960 in Viña del Mar, Chile. It is considered the most important musical event in South America. It competes in two categories, pop music and folk songs, interspersed with performances by artists from all over the world.

Villarica Volcano

The active Volcán Villarica, just outside of Pucón

This snow-capped volcano looks harmless but it is active. When there’s no seismic activity in the crater, visitors can make their way up to the top either by hiking or on a guided tour. For a close look into the bubbling volcano, helicopters fly overhead regularly.  It takes 4 to 6 hours to get up and then down this volcano. The way down is a combination of sledding and walking.

The glaciers of Tierra Del Fuego

Perito Moreno

The Tierra Del Fuego or “Land of Fire” got it’s name from Ferdinand Magellan who spotted fires burning along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in 1520. Tierra Del Fuego is an archipelago (an expanse of water with many scattered islands) near Antarctica, comprised by channels and lakes, the ocean, forests and the Andes Mountains. The climate is windy with much rainfall and cold but warmer than one would assume.  In winter, the average temperature 28 Fahrenheit. In summer, it rarely rises far beyond 50 Fahrenheit.

The House of Eleven Women

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Angelica found this and passed it along to me.  Casa 11 Mujeres is a house on top of a cliff near Santiago built to fit a family with eleven daughters, from age four to twenty. Built on a 45 degree slope, the house is actually a vacation home that stands on a site sloping down with a view of Cachagua Beach on the Pacific Ocean. It has three levels and space for entertaining.

I’m sure Elder Archuleta has already learned about many of these places when talking to local Chileans and to people he’s met on his mission.  He’s probably learned of these and many more. The combination of historical places, cultural sites and natural wonders  make Chile a special place for relaxation, fun and learning. The beautiful beaches, ski resorts and mountain range add to the appeal. If he chooses to visit Chile again in the future, he is sure to have a memorable experience.

credit: Chiletravelchannel

Posted in Chile, David Archuleta, The Voice, Travelogue | Tagged: , , , | 122 Comments »

Christmas, Chilean Style ~ David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Thursday, December 27, 2012

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There was something missing from Christmas this year. Or should I say, someone. David has been a part of the Christmas holiday for the last four years, beginning with the Jingle Ball concerts, then at the Christmas From The Heart Tour, next MoTab and last year, at the My Kind of Christmas Tour. There was no concert to go to this year, no videos on you tube to wait up for and no concert recaps to anticipate. I have no choice but to make do with the treasures he left us in the way of his Christmas cds and videos on youtube.

This year, Elder Archuleta spent Christmas in Chile. I hope he had a Merry Christmas, spent in a loving home, with delicious food and with friends by his side. But I can’t help wonder what Christmas is like, Chilean style. Do the Chileans celebrate the same way we do? If not, how different is Christmas in Chile from Christmas back home in the USA?

Weather
Unlike in North America and Europe where Christmas is celebrated in the winter, the 25th of December comes in the middle of summer in Chile because it is in the Southern hemisphere. Chileans could be found lazing by a rooftop pool under the sun rather than sipping eggnog by the fireplace or baking cookies to keep their kitchens warm like we do here.

Christmas_treeChristmas Tree and Decorations
Like we do, Chilean families get their homes ready for this holiday by decorating. They put up Christmas trees, decorations and balloons. The decorative themes seem more religious based with Nativity scenes being a common feature. No matter what their social class, Chileans celebrate Christmas by making pesebres (Nativity scenes) weeks before Christmas. The traditional Chilean Christmas tree is decorated with baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and animals with the three wise men. Chileans display their pesebre in their front yard to welcome visitors and in an entire room of their home if space provides.Gifts are placed under the Christmas tree and exchanged and opened at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Church Services
With 70% of the population Catholic, Christmas is the most religious holiday of the year in Chile. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is at the focal point with church services held every day during the length of the season. Many Chileans stay up late to sing traditional Christmas carols and to read the accounts of the birth of the baby Jesus from the Bible. The nine-day novena that starts the actual holiday is held with great importance. The main gathering point for families on La Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) is midnight mass “Misa del Gallo”).

Family Dinner
Following midnight mass is a big family dinner held on Christmas Eve instead of our Christmas Day, with children, paPan de Pascuarents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins gathered together to celebrate. In Chile, the custom is that three generations live under one roof and homes are handed down to children by their parents. Turkey, beef and other meats are served, with traditional Chilean foods and potatoes, rice and vegetables. Pudding is a Christmas dessert favorite in Chile as is a fruitcake called “Pan de Pascua“, the Chilean Christmas cake. Chile is known for it’s red wine which is used to toast the season along with a traditional drink called “Cola de Mano” or “Monkey’s Tail”, similar to our eggnog, and made with a liquor called aguardiente, coffee, milk, sugar, cinnamon and egg yolks. 

chile-christmas-2008-12-5-10-4-56 Santa/Presents
The holiday is especially dedicated to children who open their presents at the strike of midnight or close to it. In Chile, Santa Claus is known as “Viejito Pascuero“, or ‘Old Man Christmas”.  The kids call him “Papa Noel” and he travels by sleigh with reindeer to deliver toys to children. Since fireplaces are rare in Chile, Papa Noel must climb through windows to make his deliveries. An interesting Nochebuena custom is to allow kids to stay  up or be woken up at midnight, then to take them out for a walk to see if they can spot Papa Noel and his reindeer, delivering presents.

Christmas Day
In Chile, Christmas Day is more relaxed than in North America or Europe. Families engage in outdoor sports activities like surfing, flying kites and rock climbing. Others go as spectators. It’s a time to enjoy the holiday, visit friends and family, enjoy gifts, play with new toys, or head to the pool or beach to cool off and enjoy nature.

So basically, the Chileans celebrate Christmas in many ways like North Americans. They have the same idea of a Santa who drives a sleigh with reindeer and delivers toys to children. Catholics go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. They decorate their trees, hang stockings, spend time with family and have big feasts. The entire holiday season ends as it begins, by paying homage, with prayer to their Lord Jesus Christ, who is central to the Chileans’ way of  life.

Elder Archuleta singing Noche Divina (Oh Holy Night) in Chile

Posted in David Archuleta | Tagged: , , | 23 Comments »

 
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