28 septiembre 2006

Oh, today.
School.....eh. You know how school is. I took a math test(although, I'm not sure if the teacher is counting it....hopefully...no?). I'm starting to almost grasp what he's talking about. One day, all his symbols just made sense. If only I understood his reasoning. Everything I've learned about math means nothing here, the order of solving problems that's been forever engraved in my brain is wrong here. It's utterly confusing. But! I'm starting to figure out his messed up way of solving problems that make little to no sense, so....I suppose that's a very good thing!
The gym teacher wasn't here today, so it was proclaimed that we had no gym class. Entonces....we got to leave school early. 90 minutes early. Mamá was out shopping, and had given me the key anyway, so I walked home, partially with Freja. We didn't get as many looks. That's why I like wearing my uniform in public. It's like saying Look at me! I belong here! Anyhoo. I crossed the street all by myself, which always terrifies me. It's four lanes of traffic, haha. Buttt...I waited for the red light, and made it safely across. Go me! Was home alone for about two hours. Answered the phone for the first time!!! yesss! Although....it still terrifies me. Thankfully today it was just Freja asking if I wanted to go to the movies. Phew.
We did go to the movies. We saw La Dama en El Agua...I forgot the translation....Lady of the Water? Something of the sort. It was okay....kind of....strange. But still good. We took a collectivo. Note to self, always sit in the front seat. Freja talked to the driver the whole time, while I was crammed against the window next to a strange bearded man. The driver was quite interested in the exchange student thing....which was pretty cool. I did get to talk to him a little, but not much.
In the line for popcorn(which has carmel type stuff on it, not butter. ¡Que extraño!), there were two blonde people in front of us. And my gringo radar went off. They spoke slow Spanish, that didn't sound like gringo Spanish. I leaned over to Freja and whispered "Foreignors!" as they always slightly amaze me, and the man turned around and smiled. I asked where they were from, in English. Germany. They were very nice. We talked about La Serena a bit, and what movies we were seeing(they were seeing Click). They came from Peru and Bolivia and are travelling down Chile. I told them to make sure to check out Valparaiso. All in all, it was slightly exciting. They even had blue eyes!!!!
The movie was subtitled. Thankfully. Freja and I both decided we would cry if it wasn't, haha. Afterwards we talked about what we would keep with us when we go back home. Saying "Chao!" instead of goodbye, eating french fries with a fork, saying "ya po!" "sí po" y "Que onda?". Eating ketchup with most things. Forgetting to wear seatbelts(they're not even in most cars!), using slang. That kind of thing. It's funny to think about how accustomed to things here we've gotten. Even speaking Chilean English. I've started directly translating things into English with Freja now("We have 16 years" "I have tired") It's funny.
The language has started seeping into my brain, and it's both confusing and entertaining. When i think, it's a mixture of English and Spanish. I can read and understand Spanish now. I sat down to write an email to a Rotarian here earlier, and at first I was slightly panicked at the idea of doing it in Spanish, but the words just came. I was actually able to do it with little difficulty. When I speak English, Spanish words just slip out. It happened with the Germans today(and afterwards, when they left, Freja and I just kept speaking Spanish to each other). And there are things that just make more sense in Spanish. Which Freja agreed with too....I'm sooo glad to have someone else understand! When I write home to people, I just can't help but use Spanish words and phrases because it just seems right. It just fits better than English. It's crazy.
Anyhoo. I think I've pretty much written a novel. So.....the end? El fin. Sí. Pero.....some comments would be nice! It's kind of a strange feeling to know that people read this, but have no idea who those people are(and yes, okay padres, you are exempt from the comments, if you email me, haha). Anyhoo. Un besito, chao.

24 septiembre 2006

P.S. I am almost officially not illegal anymore! yesss....went and applied for(maybe?) my carnet, my Chilean ID card the other day. I get to actually get it October 10th. woohooo legalness!
Didn't do much this week. Slept, mostly. I really enjoying sleeping until 3 am....oh, Chile. And vacation. Def. needed that.
Yesterday I was supposed to cook lunch for my family....we were going to go out and buy what I needed, but, I slept until 3 pm, and no one bothered to try and wake me, so we went out to lunch instead. I'm getting a better idea of what I'm ordering now, which is good. We went to the mall afterwards and got a webcam! So, family and friends, you can now see me via MSN. yaaaay
Freja called and told me about a birthday party for two girls, one in my class, and her cousin in cuarto. She said they'd be by at around 10 to pick me up. But, of course, 10 in Chilean time means just before 11. We went to one of the girls houses, which was giant. The party was a lot bigger than Freja and I expected too. There was a DJ there, and lots of people we didn't even know. But....we had a good time still. My host mom picked us up at 3:30, and Freja came back to my house to sleep over. We ate left over panqueques(they're thinner than US pancakes, and you put jam(?) on it, and roll it up. Sooooo good) and talked for a long while. Then....passed out.
Today, after lunch, we went to the Valle. We drove through the mountains and saw some giant lake thing....pretty neat. Some guy there came over and asked Freja and I where we were from, then commented on how white I am, which is always fun for me. Then.....we drove farther into the Valle and saw little towns and such. We stopped in Vicuña for some helado, like always. People here eat sooo much helado. Ice cream should not be eatent this much, I swear. We were sitting in the plaze chilling and such, when some procession came out of the church across the street. A band was kind of playing, and they were carrying a giant Virgin Mary. I tried to get a picture, but only got one of the back of the procession. I'm not sure what was going on, and my host parents didn't know either. But I think it's pretty cool all the religious stuff that goes on here. My host dad said there's a huuuuuge religious festival(?) in Andacollo coming up with tons of people and dancing, and they're going to try and bring me and Freja.
Anyhoo. We left Vicuña and kept driving through little towns. We stopped in the town where Gabriel Mistral was born. It was......empty. Apparently it's full of young people during the summer, but today it was dead. I think I would go insane in a town that small. It was ridiculous.
The drive back was about an hour. We drove by mountains(como siempre) and vineyards(they're everywhere). We stopped at the airport in La Serena to go to the bathroom, and Freja and I had a good time remembering how utterly terrified we were when we first arrived here. We both just wanted to turn around and go home, haha. Oh well....
That's pretty much it. Trust me, it was a lot more exciting than it sounds though. My host parents today decided to play a trick on me and told me I had to change houses in January, some Rotary Club Coquimbo rule. Haha, real funny.
I've taken over 300 pictures here so far....haha, oops. I'm trying to upload them all onto my Yahoo site....but it takes forever to load. Hopefully they'll all be up there by the end of this week though.....so make sure to check it!

19 septiembre 2006

Big update time! woot!

So....I just got back from Viña, about...maybe an hour ago? five hour car ride, woohoo! We left a little bit around 10 am, all six of us crammed into a truck, driving. With nothing interesting to look at(woohoo desert?) but I did get to sleep a bit, so that was nice. Had lunch at some little place, which is always fun because I don't know what I'm ordering. It's like hitting the "I feel lucky" button on Google. But....it turned out okay, so that's good. Then we got to the little condo where we were staying with like, two other people. That was terrifying. I was pretty much really overwhelmed, which, as I'm sure you can imagine, is always a fun emotion to feel. Met my host brother, Mauricio, who kind of refused to speak English or translate questions I didn't understand, despite the fact that he went to California on exchange and speaks English fluently. Oh well. Lots of conversing took place, my host mom told everyone funny things that I've said, we all laughed, I understood what was going on, it was a good time. We had an asado that night, which is basically a barbaque, but much better because it's Chilean. Mauri played the guitarra and sang, and everyone drunkenly danced the Cueca using table napkins. If you don't know what the Cueca is(it could be spelled Cuecca, I'm not sure), I highly suggest you YouTube it, as it's quite cool. anyhoo. Dancing took place, and then around....10ish? Mauri turned to me and just said, "Vamos" so, like always, I smiled, nodded, and left with no idea where we were going. We left with a 19 year old girl, Maca, and her brother and his girlfriend, Pollo, y....actually I don't know her name. I was the youngest. As always. Oh well. Filo. We went to some girls house for awhile and then to the beach. We got home at 5:30. woohoo!
Sunday...much of the same. Aka nothing. Asado, empanadas, walking around and whatnot. We went out that night...we tried to go to a Fonda, but couldn't, so we ended up at the beach again.
Monday....we went to Valparaiso, which was about an hour drive away. This was really exciting....I fell in love with the city, and decided that I'm going to move there one day and live in a colored house. I actually got to talk with Mauri a lot more, and it was really really nice. We saw Pablo Neruda's house and some museum of cartoons by a Chilean guy, and I actually understood them, so that was exciting too. Oh! And we went on an ascensor. They're like these cable car type things(?) that go pretty much straight up on this track, but not really...it's hard to explain. But I have pictures!(look to the right...) Anyhoo...it was really cool, and I guess I've changed, because I never would have gone on something like that in the US. We went to another ascensor, but this was just a regular elavator that went straight up, and we got to see all of the city....it was amazing. I loved it oh so much. Monday was the independence day of Chile...but you couldn't really tell all that much. Minus Chilean flags everywhere, obviously. I saw lots of gringos, which was exciting. At Neruda's house, we were leaving when a group of English people walked by...I giggled and couldn't stop smiling...I'm not entirely sure why, haha, but it was cool. I got a lot of stares throughout the day, more than in La Serena, which is considering that we were in the South more, where there's a lot of German people, and I saw a lot of blondes(and always excitedly exclaimed "Rubio!!!"). Anyhoo. We went back to Maitencillo, the town we were staying in, at around 6. I had an empanada, and passed out somewhere around 9 while everyone else(minus Maca, who was with me) danced the Cueca outside. We woke up at 11ish...wandered downstairs, and chilled until 1 when we went out. We actually went to a Fonda, and it was a lot of fun. I saw some more gringos. And more blondes. And we got to dance. As far as I can tell, a fonda is this, dance type thing? with lots of more traditional music, but some reggaeton too. There was this typically dressed cowboy type guy(there's a word, I just can't remember it) on a horse at the entrance with some stick thing, and he hit some guy who was chucking stuff at the horse. Then, he moved away and yelled for everyone to just go in, which was good becuase I wasn't sure if I would be able to get in anyway. There was soooo many people, it was crazy. I think we kind of lost Maca, Pollo, y the girlfriend, but I was with Mauri the whole time so it was okay. I'm not sure what time we left, but when Mauri and I got home, we went to the beach for a little bit and ended up going back to the house at 6ish. wooohoo!
Slept till 1 today, cleaned up, hung around the house with Mauri, we went back to the beach for awhile and talked about my life in the states, and what I want to do in the future. He told me a little bit about his exchange and time in California, it was really nice. We're both very similar, we don't talk much, but the silence is never awkward. I promised him that I'll teach him some piano when he comes home in December, and he promised to teach me some guitar. We went back to the house, ate lunch(spaghetti, which was a nice break from all the meat and empanadas). And then.....many many pictures were taken by my host grandmother(Grammy, she reminds me of you!! hehe), and then....we left. It was kind of sad, because I don't know if I'll ever see some of those people again...but ....hopefully I will. If I ever make it down to Santiago, Maca said we'll party together. And, obviously, Mauri will be here this December. And we're going to go camping and out to discos and whatnot. 'Twill be fun.
and....that's an abbreviated version of this weekend. It was amazingly fun....and I loved it. I kind of learned to dance the Cueca too!
love you all
(oh ps, the last picture's just some grafitti that I kind of had to document.)

15 septiembre 2006

Today....was horrible. Well, for the most part.
Math nearly brought me to tears. We were taking a test, and the teacher somehow thinks that I know what's going on....? I told him I didn't understand, so he pretty much did one problem for me, while blabbering on in Spanish, looked at me, said "Ya?" and walked away. And I still had no idea what I was doing. There were four problems. Each was worth two points. When I handed in my paper, I had the one question he did, and one I attempted which I'm positive is wrong, because there weren't any crazy symbols like he uses. So...there goes my math grade. That class is going to drive me insane. I honestly have never been so confused in my life, and it's like he doesn't notice or care that I'm completely lost. Stupid teacher.
I think the boys here like to be especially immature on the days when I'm not so happy. So you can imagine how the rest of my day was. urgh.
School ended at lunch time, I'm not sure why, and I was never informed beforehand. Thank you, classmates. So I walked home with Freja. She came to my house and we goofed off for awhile, had lunch and played the piano, while joking about our talents. For the next inbound orientation we have to have a talent show, but we don't know what we're doing yet. I'd play the piano, but we have to bring whatever we need, and there's no way I'm bringing the keyboard. So...I have to find something else...but I don't really have anything else. So...I don't know.
Not going out tonight. I have a really annoying cough. Again. (stupid lungs). And I'm packing tonight anyway I think.
Tomorrow at 8 am we're leaving for Viña del Mar for the weekend. I'll be back Monday I think. Five-ish hours in the car. woot! When we go to the North later this year though, it's 15 hours. 15!!! Who does that??!! I tried telling my host parents about the Rhode Island mindset with travelling and whatnot...but it's hard to explain in limited Spanish. Although....my Spanish is getting better, and I usually get things on the first time, if I pay attention(which is the hard part). Anyhoo.
love and miss you all!

14 septiembre 2006

Hoy día, nada mucho. School. Fue fome. Got out early due to some phys ed. test. Walked almost all the way home with Freja, but my host mom and grandma stopped by and picked me up. Oh well. We're going to make it a weekly thing, but only weekly, when we have our gym uniforms on(pants) because really, what foreign girl wants to wander the streets of La Serena in a skirt? Got home, was alone for the first time ever for about....half an hour to an hour or so. It was quite nice...I miss being home alone.
Decided to go on a walk. Wandered around, down past my neighborhood. Let's just say, I noticed the differences. Loud reggaeton music, people blatently staring at me. These two guys were outside like, painting their fence or something, one was watching me walk by, then nudged his friend so he could stare too. And I turned and looked at them, which I've discovered usually makes people stop staring, but not these guys. It was....weird. But...I kept walking and was fine. I feel perfectly safe here. I got a couple of honks from trucks driving by. That was....polite. I noticed a cute little sheep farm not too far from my house(and thought of you, dad). It was nice. It was only like a half hour or so, but it's nice to just get out of the house and get some fresh air and think. But...I do like walking in my neighborhood better. I feel like I stand out really badly in the other neighborhood, but mine, I feel right at home, like I belong there. It's so different. All the houses perfectly clean, gardens all nice, people all inside their little fenced in Chilean fortresses. And the other neighborhood? Grafitti and reggaeton, lower fences, flaite. I def. live in a really nice neighborhood here. Really nice. But quiet.
My host mom and grandma were going somewhere else and drove by me on the street, so i got in the car and went with them (to Hans house, an autistic boy, a friend of Ignacio's from school). They told me that I need to be careful walking alone, which I knew, and that I shouldn't go near the construction site by my house(which I knew, and didn't do). I don't think mamá likes the idea of my walking by myself, but honestly, I don't see why. I mean, I know I stand out, but I feel comfortable and safe, and know where to stop and can listen to my gut. I do have common sense other than not eating snipers and not going to places that end in Land(Sam). I can fend for myself fairly well. And I feel super independent here. I mean, I know she's pretty much my mom, and is just looking out for me, but still. I came here to live like a Chilean teen in La Serena...and they can go for walks by themselves! Granted, my walking privaleges haven't been taken away, but I do feel a bit sheltered here. I'm used to walking almost anywhere I want(granted, I don't do that too often back home, but I'm trusted enough to), and coming home after school with my own key, and being home alone. And I know it's different, and that's cool, but still. I'm 16, not 6. It's just...urgh. I don't know....but I want to be able to take a collectivo. I don't want to have to rely on mamá for rides all the time, and I feel bad, even though she says it's okay. And I want to be able to walk places! I don't know...I guess I just wish I could blend in better. And the stares? Yeah, not too fun. I wish my Spanish was just a little bit better so I could tell those stupidheads to stop staring. I'm not some kind of freak. I'm blonde, fair skinned and blue eyed. It's not all that strange. I mean, I knew coming into this that I'd be different, but I guess I was just naive and didn't realize I'd be looked at all the time. Maybe I'm just too aware of it. Maybe I should stop paying attention to people paying attention to me. But I have to wonder, will it be like this all year? Because if it is, well then I don't care what the Rotary rules say, I'll dye my hair, because I can't take feeling like a freak all year.
anyway. That was enough of a rant. I'm sorry.
*a bit later*
had a talk with my host mom. About boys. Well, Chilean boys. And that Rotary rule that I hate the most, no dating. She actually made it seem like she was okay with me dating....like, really okay with it. I mean, maybe I misunderstood, but I don't think I did, and well. Let's just say my day got better. I mean, I'll stay inside and take rides from her if I can have un pololo chileno. oolala!
I love and miss you all!

13 septiembre 2006

Stayed home from school today. No sé qué onda. My head, throat and ears hurt, and my mamá said it'd be better if I stayed home, I guess so I wouldn't get worse, since we're going away this weekend. Oh well. Slept till like, 11:30ish, watched a movie on HBO, showered, had lunch, and now I'm here. Exciting, eh?
Yesterday I went to this giant supermarket called Jumbo. For serious, it was huge. It had clothes, everything. And metal detectors by the door. Craziness. I got to talk to mamá some more, which is really nice. We talked about Gabi and how she's doing. She said she doesn't miss anyone really, except for Ignacio because they were really close. She did say it's really different, and there aren't any parties(then again, it is Wisconsin...). But she's good, and not lonely, which I thought was odd since it's only her and her host parents, and I know I'd be kind of lonely. Oh well. I feel a lot better about my host family lately. At first they seemed kind of....distant? but I think it was just the language thing. And my host mom seems really excited to talk to me, and to bring me places like Jumbo, as lame as it is, haha. Gabi always liked to stay in the car. Oh well.
I got my passport back yesterday too! I think I'm going to go get my ID on Friday. The people in Santiago just gave me a new visa. Nothing extremely special. But....whatever. I want my ID soon....I feel weird being the only person without it, and more than a month into the exchange. Oh well.
And...that's all.
un besito!

11 septiembre 2006

Oh today...
Today was probably one of the most boring days in the history of Scuola Italiana. Or, the history of my high school career. It was pretty fome. English class kind of pissed me off. I mean, I speak English, so what do I expect...but she doesn't expect me to do *anything*, even the first grade level worksheets she hands out, and doesn't offer me anything...so I just sit there, and listen to music and space out. I think I'm going to see if I can do something more fun, like go to the music room and practice piano, because checking my mail in the library, is getting pretty old.
I think I skipped chem. class. But I was with a bunch of other kids in my class, so I didn't stress. And no one came looking for us, so I figure it's okay. Plus, I'd rather be away from that creep...
In philosophy, the teacher had us answer a question about whether social conscience is a product of culture. I answered in English(which he found amusing and tried to translate), and then I translated it into Spanish. And I only needed the dictionary for maybe 5 words. The rest I did on my own, in my head, and when it was proofread by Rodrigo, was all right except for one phrase(está bien, instead of OK). The teacher found this slightly amazing....and wanted to hear my answer. So Felipe read it for me(since I read slow and kind of butcher the language). I mean, granted, it was simple Spanish, but most of it was the same as my English version(just a tad simpler, and slightly stupid sounding), and I'm not gonna lie...I was fairly proud of myself. I hadn't realized that my spanish had improved that much....I never would have been able to do that back in the States....
After school mamá picked me up and we went to the supermarcado for bread. We got to talk, a lot, which was really nice, considering I haven't had a real conversation with her lately. We talked about jobs, babysitting, my dad speaking French, Chilean slang, a lot of stuff. It was nice. And at dinner, I actually had a conversation with my whole family. We talked about how my language skills are improving, how complicated Spanish is(for serious, it's hard like woah), and I told them about how confusing it is sometimes(I keep thinking they're speaking English, and I never know what language I'm supposed to use with people). It was really really really nice..and I'm actually a little bit excited. It's so nice to finally be able to talk to people! And like I told them tonight, I don't have to translate everything anymore. Some things I just..know. Only recently learned or complicated phrases I have to translate, everything else just makes sense. It's crazy!
So all in all, quite a good Spanish day. Most def. makes up for my lack of Spanish-ness lately.
Love and miss you all!!!!

09 septiembre 2006

Last night. Fue....divertido. I was told 10:30 pm, but that was Chilean speak for 11:25. Oh well. Freja's cousin, María Lucia drove us to the Movistar party. Movistar is a phone company here, like Verizon. We got there...a little bit before midnight, but there wasn't a whole lot of people there. The party started at 10...and we were early, jaja. Chileans are always late....
We wandered around for a bit, until we met up with some classmates. I got to talk to some girls in my class that I didn't really talk to before, it was nice. I spoke Spanish the entire night, even to Freja. I'm not entirely sure why...but I figured once you start, why stop? We danced too. I danced with...four or five guys. I don't remember. All but one we ran away from. The party was 16 and up, but there was a lot of older people there. Freja and I look older than we are, apparently(so say our classmates), and some older guys tried to dance with us. So I said we didn't speak Spanish, permiso, and we ran off to our friends. Some other guys danced with us, but it was kind of weird and they were poquito drunk, so we once again said permiso, and ran off. We talked with some 23 year olds, one of whom spoke English(but we spoke Spanish to him) outside for a little. But mostly we were with our classmates. I was supposed to go home with Freja, but no one was coming until 4, and my curfew is 3:30, so I had to go home with another girl, Fran. This boy helped me figure out how to give directions, he used to live in Maryland, so he spoke English, but I still spoke spanish to him.
I woke up this morning....thinking in Spanish. Thinking words that I don't even know the meaning of. I'm not entirely sure, but I think that close to 90% of my dream last night was in Spanish. yay! I've started dreaming in Spanish!
Today I went with a woman, Lucia, around Coquimbo. I got to see a fort, and, among other things, the cross, por fin! I've been somewhat fascinated by it, so it was exciting to finally get to see it. It was huuuuge, and you can see *everything* from it. And it was beautiful....there were clouds near the mountains and over the ocean....beautiful. I had my picture taken with Lucia in front of the cross, and the people there made it into little keychains for us. Yay souveniers! It was a good time. I met her son, and her granddaughter, who was adorable. She reminded me of Sylvia *so much*. We had lunch at her apartment, right on the beach in Coquimbo. Empanadas, and afterwards, a dessert called Mil Ojos or something like that. It was pretty good, with manjar, which is like Nutella. Quite good indeed.
Oh! and yesterday, I got my monthly allowance from Rotary and finally actually met my counselor. It was cool....he said something about me being on the radio to talk about my experience in Chile....which....is slightly nervewracking...!!! Oh well.
Love and miss you all!

08 septiembre 2006

Oh, hoy. Fue fome. Muy fome. Friday's always a bit of a nothing day. English class....I got to check mail while everyone else did some computerized English practice thing which I didn't have to do(not so sure I need to learn English...). Chemistry...gah. Fell asleep a bit. Got my test back(the one the jerkface made me take). Yay for 0's!. I tried to understand the questions....but couldn't. Also..most of it was from before I got there....so I didn't know it anyway. He smiled all creepy like and put "A" at the top and said, "¿Cierto?" (right?). I nodded and walked away. That man gives me the creeps.
Freja joined me in art. We listened to music. Como siempre.
I'm going out tonight though! To a disco I can legally enter because it's a special event for people 16 and up. I'm fairly excited. And tomorrow....someone's coming by at 10:30 to bring me around La Serena. She was in the airport when I first got here, but I'm not entirely sure who she is. Oh well.
The Independence Day for Chile is coming up....September 18th, and my host family is going down somewhere around Villa Aleman/Valparaiso/Viña del Mar. I'm not entirely sure, actually. But we're going there. My host parents don't seem to like tourists...and La Pampa(maybe that's what it's called) in Coquimbo is the biggest thing in the country during the Sept. 18th weekend. Thousands of people. So we're leaving, haha. Oh well, Filo.
Also! Last night...I was sleeping, and realized I was sleeping(a lucid dream, maybe?). Anyhoo. I was sleep talking at the time....in Spanish! Still no dreams in Spanish, but I'm talking in Spanish in my sleep now.....craziness. I'm hoping the dreams aren't too far behind. I think parts of them, sentences here and there are in spanish, but I'm not sure. Oh well.
I should have pictures tomorrow after the little tour of La Serena!
Love and miss you all!

06 septiembre 2006

Field Trip! ¡Y más!

So today.
First off..
Happy one month anniversary ME!!! yaaaay!
School. Oh, school. Absolutely nada day. Today..was not a good Spanish day. I couldn't quite roll my Rs like I have been learning(finally. Stupid fat tongue), and I couldn't quite grasp everything that was being said. Which is not too helpful during class. Oh well. Filo.
Went to the Catholic University del Norte en Coquimbo. It was okay. Freja and I talked most of the time....I couldn't hear, nevermind understand, the guide. Oh well. We went to some medical student wing or something. Oh dios mio. They had those metal tables....for dead people....with real bones in a box on top of one.....pretty much all of my nightmares combined into one actual place. Mom, dad, I actually stood next to a table that had...*shudder* dead people on them. añsldfkjañsdflkj
Then, in the hallway....they had these like, tank things, with real body parts and stuff in them. I saw a brain, part of a leg(way disgusting), some other things I didn't recognize and think it's better off that way, and then the creepiest one. Babies. Real human babies, like, fetus babies(I know there's a better word, unfortunately I can't think of it), like five of them, all different sizes. It was like a pro-life ad gone to far. Creepy.
After school I went to the supermarcado with mi mamá y abuela(se llama Elle, not abuela). And then we went to the pastelería(I think that's how you spell it) to buy empanadas..mmm empanadas....and some creepy guy with blue eyes stared at me like I was on display(I don't think I'll ever quite get used to it). At first I was like, "Oh! Blue eyes! I'm not alone!" and then he just flat out stared. The whole time. And when we pulled out of the parking lot, he watched us go. It was way creepy.
Dinner was interesting...my host mom knows very little English, but likes saying what she does know, along with my host dad. He tried to ask me if I liked pig(to eat), but I didn't know what he was saying....and this started a conversation full of farm animal noises and funny hand gestures. I love it though...they're so entertaining...and it's so much better that I understand. Mamá was telling stories, and I understood all of them!(about when they went to Canada and didn't understand anything). I felt quite proud.
Also....the documents I was never sent have arrived..and been forwarded off to Little Rhody, so all I have to worry about right now is being an illegal alien for a little bit longer while my passport is being magically repaired in Santiago. Also! My host mom's checking....but they were told that all the students this year are going to switch families at the six month mark in February. But I don't think it'll happen...hopefully not, because I like this family and don't want to start anew with another group of strangers. Oh well.
Love and miss you all!

05 septiembre 2006

Today....was nothing extremely exciting. A fairly boring day during school, actually. But tomorrow we're going to Coquimbo to see the Catholic University campus or something like that....exciting!
Today....I got in a bit of an argument though with a boy named Felipe who's quite rude, and in my opinion, somewhat narrow minded. He enjoys pissing me off, I think, and will flat out call me a bitch or an idiot to get a reaction, but moments later be chatting with me like nothing ever happened. Not to mention his making fun of mentally retarded people("Oh look at me! I am so Downs Syndrome!") which reallyreallyreally bothers me, and he can't seem to understand why. Well anyway. Today he proclaimed that he hates America. Then said that he doesn't hate the people, just the government, so I asked why and he said, "Because of the inequality between the US and third world countries". Um, okay...but how can you blame the US for that? I know of plenty other countries who are just as well off as the United States, but I don't see them being blamed for the existence of poverty. It was just ridiculous, and ended in us both pissed off at each other, but in the end apologizing and being fine.
I was wondering when I would be faced with something like that....I mean, I want to know people's opinions, but I don't want to feel like I'm under attack(like I did today). To be honest, there are times here when I can't stand the fact that I'm from the US. A lot, actually. People just...don't seem to care about taking the time to educate themselves on anything but the crap they hear on the news. And Felipe today said that I'm "a typical American girl". Oh yay, stereotypes. It just....agh. Pissed me off. First off, you've never even been to the States, and the only "American girls" you've ever seen are on TV. I'm willing to bet that he's met maybe maybe maybe less than 3 people from the US his whole life. So how can he possibly know if I'm "typical"?
Anyway. After school I went to the mall with Freja. Which was quite fun. We always have trouble ordering things or paying or something because of the stupid language thing, jaja. And the stares, ohhh the stares. People just...walk with their heads turned, looking at you. It's like they've never seen blonde before. It's not that amazing, honestly. Then....we were in a pharmacy, and I was buying shampoo and conditioner. And of course, it's in Spanish. I had seen the same thing in the US, but I couldn't remember what type of hair it was for, so we went to see if someone who worked there could like, mime it or something for us. Well, Freja asked "¿Habla ingles?" and before we could explain, they went off to another guy there who did. And we were brought to him, and let's just say it was quite embarrassing...everyone knew that the two gringas had no idea what they were doing. But we figured out what the bottle said, and managed to find everything else we needed on our own.
And I was able to talk with Mamá on the way home more...about stupid stuff, like how I wish I could speak better Spanish, and how I took the bus to school in the US(Gabi is now too and hates it haha). Nothing of much interest, but better than awkward silence, and I feel like I'm improving. Yay!
And mañana is my one month anniversary of being in La Serena!
Love and miss you all!

04 septiembre 2006

So....today, I wake up, and it's sunny. Which, it shouldn't be.
And then, I look at my cell, and...oops, it's 7:47, aka, the time I usually leave for school.
I managed to get ready in about ten minutes though. Which was fairly amazing to me. And I got to school slightly late, but before class started, so it was all good.
School....fome. As usual. Boring. Both linguaggio and filosofia had tests, so I was left wandering the school aimlessly. Linguaggio, I wandered around and listened to music. I bought some cookies from the store since I didn't have time for breakfast, or to pack anything to eat during the day. The woman was really nice and asked where Freja was. The last time I went there with Freja, she gasped and pointed and said, "Sus ojos!"(your eyes") since Freja has greenish eyes, and I have blue. Both of which aren't too common here. And she didn't even mind when we weren't sure what everything was called, and told us that it was okay, it was the only way to learn or something of the sort, haha.
Filosofia, I spent on the computer, reading about fashion trends in Europe on the C/S board. Because yes, I was that bored.
And then.....I got home and found....a package!!!!! A package from home sitting on my desk, and it was pretty much amazing to recieve. Just so you guys know, I absolutely love getting mail and such,mmmkay hinthint jaja. But for serious, it was amazing, even if opening it involved me pretty much breaking some razor thing. Oh well. I think it was worth it. Thank you, padres!!!!!!!! And it came earlier than I expected! I wasn't expecting it until tomorrow at the earliest....Freja's family sent her a package and it took two weeks to get here, but then again, it was coming from Denmark.
anyhoo. I do believe that's all for today.
Love and miss you all!!!

03 septiembre 2006


Today we went to Andacollo, the town where my host dad works. We drove for about an hour or so, through and up the mountains. It was really really pretty! Then we finally reached the small town, which probably has the population of Tiverton or so. It was really really quiet....kind of strange. My host parents had to go to a funeral in one of the churches in the center of town. There's a really famous cathedral there called the Batista. I took pictures of it and whatnot. It was huuuge inside, and really pretty. I went to a little museum with my abuelos, which was fairly interesting. It was mostly stuff that had nothing to do with the Batista. I think it was all stuff that people had kind of given to the Virgen de Andacollo for doing miracles or something, but I couldn't really understand....that's just what I assumed.
I walked around a little bit with my abuela and took some pictures. And then the funeral ended and everyone came outside. They were all dressed really casually, in jeans and whatnot. For a funeral! Which was kind of weird to me. And the coffin came out.... which was slightly creepy(I've never seen a coffin before), but I did pretty well, aka I didn't freak out, haha. They put the coffin on the ground and said some prayers or something over it, then picked it up and put it in the hearse, which was just like a station wagon, but with flowers on the roof. And then, the hearse started driving away, really really slowly, and everyone walked behind it off to the cementary. It was so different, but so cool.
Then we drove to my host dad's office, and up a little further to a mina, which I assume means mine. It was pretty much a construction site. More pictures were taken, and then, we drove back home to La Serena.
It was really cool to get to see another town, and it made me so happy to be in La Serena. Andacollo was cute and all, but it seemed really poor, and really....boring. At least in La Serena there's always something to do, and if there isn't, then there's something to do in Coquimbo. Andacollo struck me as a boring nothing town, up in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. You have to drive like a half an hour up winding roads just to get there, and there's nothing except small houses and restaurants. And churches. And lots and lots of Virgin Mary stuff being sold everywhere. I'm thinking there's a story about her appearing or something, because I saw a few pictures that had her like, floating over the city. And her statue was everywhere. Everywhere. It's a good place to live if you're hard core Catholic.
And. I saw ostriches there!!! Someone had ostriches like, fenced in in their backyard! Crazy!!
Anyhoo. More pictures should be uploaded to my Yahoo tonight. Woohoo!
Love and miss you all!

02 septiembre 2006

So.....last night, I finally went out at a little past 11 pm. Freja's host sister and her friend picked me up, and we drove around meeting people and finding out where the party was. Then we went to someone's house for a carrete. All of the people there were older than us, but it's okay because Freja and I look older than we are, apparently(everyone's always surprised to find out how old we really are), and we felt comfortable there. Except that all the guys kept looking at us, and then whispering to each other, it was kind of strange. Oh well. Filo.
We left that party at about 1:15 and went to a disco, Sundance(where I went a few weeks ago). But....we couldn't get in because we're only 16, and apparently, unlike a few weeks ago, that wasn't okay. Some woman that I think Nata(Freja's sister) knew tried really hard to get us in, by telling the security guard that I was allowed to enter in the US and had permission to and he should make an exception for the two gringas. Of course, she was lying, because I'm not allowed to enter in the US, but the guy didn't know that. He didn't let us in though. The other guy would have, because he looked at us funny, and I've found that having blonde hair, or just being different, can get you very far. haha, but not last night. While we were selling our tickets in to someone else, this group of boys tried to talk to me, telling me that they knew me. I said "No", but they continued, so I ignored them. It was kind of annoying. When Freja and I were walking back to the car, alone, people whistled and yelled things at us. But we ignored it. I said something in Chilean English to Freja too, "We have sixteen years, Freja!" haha, it was a good time.
We tried driving to another disco, but it was 2 am(and I had to be home for 3:30), so we ended up going back to the parking lot of Sundance and hanging out with Nata's friends(there were a bunch of people there anyway). It was fun....I got to speak Spanish, and people actually understood me, and I understood them!
I got home a little early....but my parent's weren't home anyway.
This morning I felt sick. yay. I think I ate something funny, because my stomach's been kind of weird lately. I should probably figure out what it was....
Tonight I think Freja and I are going to try again, at another disco. And even if we aren't allowed to enter, maybe we'll have more luck. I've heard that a lot of places here don't really care about the age thing, but sometimes it's harder for us because we can't just blend in, ya know? Oh well. Filo.
I love and miss you all!!!!!

01 septiembre 2006


Oh, today.
I got to wear my uniform for the first time. As in, my actual uniform...the skirt, shirt, sweater, socks, and shoes. oh boy! People were oddly fascinated with how freakishly pale my legs are....which was strange, but understandable. I am kind of freakishly pale.
Nothing of much interest happened today. My art teacher was out, so Freja and I walked around and took a few pictures. My chemistry teacher was a giant jerkface and made me take the test, even though I didn't know what it was asking, and hadn't been there for most of what was on there. I don't think he's counting it though. He's so creepy....I'm glad I sit in the back of the room. The girl in front of me, Fran, the teacher came over and like, stroaked her cheek, then leaned in and whispered something in her ear. He came over to me and wrote down an answer, and stood over me, waiting for me to finish the equation or whatever it was. I did, and didn't look at him. I try not to draw attention to myself....but it kind of doesn't work considering it's me and all, and I stick out a real lot.
A boy, Adriano, set off the fire alarm, and everyone around him was dancing to it. Dancing! The inspector guy came over, looked at them, and walked away, and the alarm kept sounding for about 10-15 minutes. Nothing happened. It's crazy. And a boy, Felipe, stole alcohol from somewhere and set paper on fire. Again, no one cared.
Art was the best class. I sat with Christian and we listened to my iPod and wrote notes about what kind of music we like on a piece of paper. We like the same types of music, and since he studied in Boston for awhile, he knows a lot of the same bands as I do, which is nice. I kind of hate the blank stare I get when people ask what group I like and I answer "Dropkick Murphys". Oh well.
Rumor has it that tonight I'm going out dancing with Freja, Jenny, and a girl in my class. And a few other people I think. But I don't know. People here are last minute...so I probably won't know until at least 7ish. Dios mio!
Anyhoo. I'm off to finish uploading pictures to my yahoo page...so you can check them out if you want.
Love and miss you all!