School here have a range of funding that goes from 0 to minuscule. So imagine my surprise when the Biology teacher announced that we would be dissecting during class. Much to my surprise, the students had to provide all of the materials. That’s right, everyone had to go to the supermarket and pick up a kidney, and then bring in knives to dissect. It was nauseating. I have serious concerns about the Chilean health code after today. I showed up without anything because my group said they would take care of it. The teacher sends us into the “lab” and my friend reaches into her backpack and pulls out a brown smushy blob. I thought my heart would jump out of my chest. Then they broke out the rest of the materials, which for some consisted of a really dull scalpel, and for others consisted of an x-acto knife. The put the kidney on the bare table, and began to hack away at it without any instruction from the teacher. ON THE BARE TABLE. Now while dissecting may not be my favorite thing, it doesn’t completely freak me out like it does to some people. Without the smell of formaldehyde and the fact that one group brought a cutting board it almost resembled cooking. This isn’t the fact that still haunts me however. The fact that no one thought to bring soap is what really made me want to vomit. When clean up time came, they wiped off the table with some wet paper towels and when I commented on the fact that it still wasn’t clean, they looked puzzled and didn’t understand that just because we couldn’t see the blood anymore that it wasn’t clean. I decided not to touch anyone for the rest of the day and skipped lunch. Some experiences are better lived on an empty stomach.
Today my friend from Canada was a little shaken up after the earthquake (no pun intended) so we decided to have a fun day in the center of Santiago. Our first stop was Santa Lucia, a fort which was originally Spanish, then taken over by the French. I’m not exactly sure how accurate this is, but the Canadian said so. There are 2 distinct types of architecture in the fort, near the base is French and towards the top is Spanish. The change is very noticeable and the fort is very famous.
Our next stop was lunch. After hiking around for a couple hours, we decided that refreshments were well deserved. In all honesty, I have to say that this was my best meal in Chile, and it wasn’t even Chilean food. We went to a Peruvian restaurant, and I was in heaven. It was like a little bubble outside of Santiago. the waiters were courteous, the food came quickly, and after a while I was convinced that even the air was cleaner. It is rumored that Chileans breed their cows to have more fat, because they think it means more flavor. I have gotten used to cutting off half of my meat because of this gruesome fact, yet was pleasantly surprised at this restaurant. I was able to eat 100% of my meat, and the risoto was to die for. they even put in the extra effort of presentation which for some reason seems to be frowned upon everywhere else. It was a great day in the end and well worth the 2 dollar trip in the subway. Its nice to know that not everywhere in Santiago is the same. Its nice to have a change sometimes.
Ever since I have arrived every once in a while my host parents will ask me if a felt the earthquake that happened during the day, and up until yesterday I had always been surprised to find out that there had even been an earthquake. But yesterday I finally felt my first Chilean earthquake. It measured a 5.2 on the Richter scale and woke me up early in the morning. No damage was done, and no one was hurt. No furniture fell over and I didn’t even get out of bed. when everything stopped shaking I looked over at my water glass, and since it was still upright with every drop of water in place I decided it would be alright to go back to sleep. But then, at the lovely hour of 7 a.m. I was awoken by birds chirping. This is the first time I have ever heard birds chirping in Chile, and if there is a correlation to the earthquake, I have no idea.
I know its all toasty warm down here, but I had to celebrate when I found swiss miss in the grocery store’s imported section. While I was sipping my tasty treat I decided that since it is still winter in the states, I should share my favorite hot chocolate recipe with you all. So here is what you do: you make hot chocolate like you normally do, but then you put a spoonful of peanut butter in. I know it sounds crazy, but it tastes like you put a bunch of reeses through the juicer and liquid gold came out the other side. Please try it before you knock it, you might be surprised!
It makes me sad to inform you that St. Patrick’s day isn’t celebrated in Chile. I asked my friends what they were doing and they didn’t even know what it was. They looked at me like I was crazy when I told them about the leprechauns and rainbows. I’m pretty sure some of them still think I was making it up. Anyways, I found a group of people from the United States and the Commowealth that celebrate like we do, and we are all going to an Irish restaurant completely decked out in green to show our pride for an ignored holiday used mainly for excuses to pinch people and drink green beer. None of that nonsense for me though (apart from my gluten allergy I am still underage) but it should be a fun night spent with good friends.
I have un-officially started school again at Colegio Intercultural Tremen. Why is it un-official you may ask, because my name is still not on the roster. They are not doing a very good job of motivating me, especially since we spent the entire day talking about the Chilean equivalent of the ACT, and how it is scored. School is once again boring, and I wish I could spend my school days studying my stuff, but I get in trouble if the teacher thinks I am not paying attention. I am however looking forward to the swimming unit we will have in P.E. because it will be the first bit of exercise I have gotten all year. Yet another thing to add to my list for when i return.