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About Me


This picture, taken while I was researching Easter Island for a Fodor’s guidebook has the distinction of heavily misrepresenting how much of a daredevil I am. Not shown, hands on ATV handlebars, holding on for dear life.

I am Eileen Smith. ExBrooklynite, current Santiaguina (Santiago, Chile dweller). Here are some things you might want to know.

I am a writer and photographer.
This blog is one place I write. I also write for magazines, guidebooks, essay collections, apps, websites, etc. My main interests are Latin America, food, culture, language, belonging and place. Here’s a link to published work current and forthcoming. I have published multiple essays and a Chilean cookbook. I have a memoir manuscript hanging around that wants me to pitch it. Hopefully soon.

I am a translator.
I translate Spanish to English. My areas of expertise are tourism/travel/food//culture and education/communication. I do not translate English to Spanish. I also edit scientific papers written by native Spanish speakers in English for publication in major journals. As a result of that I know a lot about parasites in Chile. Job benefit? Contact me for rates: bearshapedsphere at

I am from Brooklyn, NY.
My living trajectory has looked like this: Brooklyn–>Amherst, MA–>San Francisco, CA–>Amherst MA–>Central America–>Portland OR–>Washington, DC–>Portland, OR–>Cuenca, Ecuador–>Washington, DC–>Santiago, Chile. I left home when I was 17, and have been living in Chile since 2004, but that doesn’t stop people from asking me for advice about New York all the time. Almost every place I’ve ever lived has had a 5 in the address.

I have a JD (Law Degree).
It seemed like a good idea at the time, which was a long time ago. It has been handy in complaining about unjust contracts with noncompete clauses and one time in arguing with a landlord who was trying to make me pay an extra month’s rent. Aside from that, and a few long-standing friendships, it has not been terribly useful. I am lucky enough to do things I mostly love for a living, despite having studied law.

I love language.
I studied theoretical linguistics in college, and Masters’ level work in English language teaching pedagogy, taught English for about five years, in Chile and the United States. I don’t teach English anymore, but I still love language, and write about it often, particularly my relationship with Spanish.

I ride a bike.
Mainly a nearly decades old white Bianchi Boardwalk Hybrid. I ride around the city and go on longer jaunts, and will often ask if I can bring my bike into your house when I arrive, as bike theft is common in Santiago. I’ve done self-guided, multi-day tours in the United States, Chile, Costa Rica and New Zealand.

And rollerblade, and salsa dance.
With variable results.

I’m on Social Media
twitter- @bearshapedspher In English and Spanish about Chile and not.

I gave my blog a silly name, but there is a reason.
Want to know what it means? Click here: Why a Bearshapedsphere?

Contact Info:
on twitter: @bearshapedspher
email: bearshapedsphere at