While Halloween may not be as widely celebrated here, it is still considered a holiday. We get Monday and Tuesday off of school to celebrate. I am going to go out with my Brazilian friend, which should prove to be very interesting. I will be sure to post pictures and stories later.
I arrived from Temuco about an hour ago, haven’t even unpacked yet and am writing my blog because I can’t wait to tell all of you about how great my week was. I traveled to Temuco, a city in the south of Chile, with my schoolmates and our dearest professor Andres Millan. It was a great success and I now have many more beautiful photos and memories. And since I haven’t posted in so long, I’m going to give you a day by day journal of everything I did.
Friday: Friday started out as any normal day, I went to school as normal but we were let out early to pack and prepare for the trip. At this point, I was a little nervous. In my backpack was a sleeping bag, a couple pairs of jeans, a phone charger and some T-shirts. I was prepared for not having hot water, and I took what I thought would be my last relaxing shower for a week. We left for the school at 10 and the bus to the south departed at 11:30, half an hour behind schedule of course. I’m 90% sure that every one of my classmates drank a redbull before getting on the bus, because no one wanted to sleep. Their idea of a 8 hour long bus ride in the night was to blast music and eat candy, and while this is not what I had planned on doing (having missed my daily nap to finish packing) I figured what the heck, lets go with the flow and see what happens. We spent the night dancing, talking and having fun teaching me new Spanish words.
Saturday: I’m not going to lie to you, but I spent the majority of Saturday sleeping. I was completely exhausted and arriving at 7 a.m. probably wasn’t a good idea, considering my family came to look for me and every one was awake, wanting to know every detail I could think of about the United States. I had a special family, because of my allergies, and there wasn’t anyone my age to hang out with. This was kind of a bummer but it worked out well because I got to know my 3rd mother really well. At about 5 we went into the city for ice cream, and my mom bought me a little decorative box as a gift from her and her sons. While I didn’t understand most of what they said, people from the south speak with a different accent much like the U.S., I was happy to be with them because I didn’t have to use my sleeping bag AND there was hot water.
Sunday: Sunday was a laid back day, I slept in late, had a birthday lunch with my family, then watched saw VII with my sister. Not exactly my kind of movie but I wasn’t in any condition language wise to argue.
Monday: Monday was my first day going to school, I saw my friends for the first time since Saturday morning and found out that a lot of them didn’t even have running water in their houses. I was really feeling lucky. Every day we went on a field trip, and today we went to the forest to take a hike. I took a lot of pictures but most of them didn’t turn out because of the lighting. This was kind of a bummer, but on the bright side I got lectured by a teacher in the school named San Salvador about the end of the world. He was convinced that the earthquake in Chile and the earthquake in Japan are signs that the world is ending, and that we all need to repent or we will go to hell. That’s just the parts I understood, this lecture was about an hour long and dedicated especially to me. Hooray.
Tuesday: Tuesday was my favorite outing, we went to the river to swim, and while it was very very cold, most of my classmates got in anyways and we had a great time. Most of my pictures are from this day. We ate sandwiches next to a waterfall, then later went to a beach that had black sand.
Wednesday: We went to a train museum in the historic part of Temuco, and then hitch-hiked (andar a dedo) to a river where there was a fallen bridge from the earth quake and most of my classmates swam, but I decided to sit this one out because I was starting to catch a cold.
Thursday: To be honest, I didn’t understand most of today. We went to the army base, and then the the market downtown. We also had to go to classes in the school. Everyone was asked to present themselves and the class was given an opportunity to ask each of us some questions. And when I stood up the first question they asked me is if i was single. That was a little akward, but the kids in my class were really cool and taught me how to count to 10 in their native language, mapuche. My host-mom for the week then converted me into a milk drinker by blending together milk, banana, and sugar into a delicious drink that not even I could resist. I will have to make this all the time when I get back to the U.S.
Friday: Friday was our last day in Temuco, and it was also the most boring field trip. We went to a basket weaving museum, where an old man lectured us on basket making for about an hour. Then he had all the boys stand around me in a circle and chant something. I have absolutely no idea what this was about, but it was pretty fun. We boarded the bus at around 1:30 in the morning to return to Santiago. I spent most of the night talking with a friend while my other classmates slept. Needless to say I am completely exhausted and am planning on sleeping a very long nap today, after a hot shower of course. 🙂
I leave tomorrow night. My friends defiantly don’t have me pumped up AT ALL. No one in my class wants to go, because the kids who came here we so boring. I’m trying to stay positive. The main reason no one wants to go is because they say “there’s nothing to do”, which for me translates to “I have no idea what I will do without facebook for a week and there’s like, dirt outside”. At least that’s what I hope. We will see how it all turns out. I’m bringing my large camera so we will at least get some national geographic quality photos out of the deal, since I was finally bored enough to read the manual yesterday.
So this coming week I will be spending a week in the south in Chile. I am trying to stay positive, however my friends are making me worry. They changed the date we leave to Sunday night, because the kids who came here weren’t very fun and no one really liked them. My friends really don’t want to go on the trip anymore and I can feel their un-excitement. However either way I will be out of contact for a week. I will be sure to post lots of pictures and a nice long story when i get back.
So Friday was teacher day, and we all got to wear street clothes to school. We did nothing in school (big surprise) and we were let out at 12:30. I then proceed to eat ice cream. For lunch. I also bought fabulously sparkly shoes and played Zumba on the Xbox kinect. That alone was a pretty great day, but then my friend from Brazil offered to take me to a party on Saturday. She told me that we would talk on facebook later that night. Well she hasn’t gotten online. And if she doesn’t, I will be quite mad since I rejected an invitation to go to a rugby game with other friends. This is why RIGHT NOW could be the turning point of my weekend. Will I sit around at home eating chocolate, or go to my first Chilean party. Check back tomorrow to see. 🙂
Tomorrow I will be taking a sick day. There is paro, so its not really ditching, but I’ve had a lot of headaches and I haven’t really eaten much so tomorrow will be for rest and recuperation before the weekend. Not to mention teacher day, which will be an event. My school is the only one I have heard of that is having school, and I’m pretty frustrated. At least we get out early.
Today on the bus ride home the inspectors stopped the bus. Everyone has a bus pass, (it costs about $1 to ride the bus) and you are supposed to scan it before you get on in order to pay. This is mainly the honor system but every once and while the inspectors will get on the bus and scan your card to see when the last time it was used was. This has happened to me twice, once with my host mom and I had no idea what was happening, and the second time was today, and I was alone. My friends don’t use their passes so I figured “do as the Chileans do” and stopped using mine a while back. Well today the inspectors got on the bus and I decided to act clueless and pretend not to speak a word of Spanish. Guess who didn’t get a fine… this girl! The inspector saw my puzzled look and blonde hair then skipped to the next person. Being blonde does have its benefits.
There wasn’t school today. I haven’t the slightest idea why, but all i know is my host mom made gluten free lasagna and I ate way too much. After a single day I gave up on my exercise routine, and am continuing to put on the pounds. I must somehow find the motivation to continue.
On another note, I met with my councilor today and found out that the rotary club is having a lunch so that the exchange students can show off their talents. What a great idea you might think, until you remember that I don’t have any talents. I ski on weekends, but that’s hardly anything I can demonstrate during a lunch. So I am asking you for help (since my parents are suggesting things like dancing the sprinkler) deciding what, if anything I can present. Please leave comments below. 🙂