31 diciembre 2006

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Hola todos!
Just stopping by to wish you all a Happy New Year.....¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

I'm not sure what's up with my host family esta noche. Balloons are being blown in the kitchen, and I heard Ignacio with a noise maker....and knowing my family, it'll be fun and interesting. Apparently the tradition is.....a big dinner, going to see fireworks, and then me, Mauricio, and his friends going out to dance or something of the sort.
I'm hoping Freja will be able to tag along too....but an old exchange student from Vermont is visiting her family, so I'm not sure.
Nothing of much interest going on around here. Went out the other night with Freja, Nata, and Frank....met a guy from the Bronx in the disco. That was fun and unexpected....I love meeting gringos, haha!
Happy New Year!!!!

27 diciembre 2006


Aiiight. I've returned.
Christmas was good. It didn't feel at all like Christmas, because obviously, the weather was nice enough to go to the beach(didn't do that though). On the 24th, I went to Jumbo, huge erm...store? supermarket? with Mauricio to buy things to make cinamon buns for my host family. Then we walked to a Japanese Park...it was gooorgeous. We just walked around....but there was a bridge, and fish and waterfalls...gah. Def. my fave spot in La Serena now.
Went back home and wrapped my remaining two presents and put them under the tree, then made the cinnamon buns. Parents, I had to make the dough and such all on my own! It was crazy, but fun.
We had dinner at around 10:30ish(yes, at night)...my host mom made a waaaay nice toast that kind of made me cry. But not because I was sad....I just was happy I guesss. I would say why, but I can't without sounding corny, so there. After dinner(Grammy....they used your napkins! They LOVE them!) we cleaned up and at midnight everyone hugged and drank colo de mono(it means Monkey's Tail...it's milk, coffee, and Pisco) and then my host dad handed out the presents to everyone. It was great. I got a waaaay sweet card from my host parents and some shirts from them and such, but the presents really don't even matter to me. After we opened presents, we stayed up until about 4 am just talking. And I took part in the conversation....it was great. We laughed about what I thought was way weird in the beginning and language misunderstandings and such, it was a good time.
My host family loved their presents too, which I'm glad for.
Basically...I had a great Christmas. It wasn't a huuuge deal, it just kind of....happened. But it was good. And now.
Pictures hurrah!Ignacio and his box of presents.

Papá wearing his Red Sox hat and shirt.
I'd put more. But...i'm lazy, and don't want to stretch out the page....?

24 diciembre 2006

Just Stopping By.

Just stopping by to say: ¡Feliz Navidad!
or here it's ¡Feliz Pascua! which actually means Happy Easter. Mauricio told me something about Chileans getting confused and saying that.
I'm not actually sure.
Pictures soon!
I promise.
But...I actually have a life here now.
soooo...it's kind of hectic and busy.
and such.
chao chao.

22 diciembre 2006

So This Is What I've Been Up To:

Sorry I've been away quite awhile.
Last week...I don't recall which day. Wednesday, maybe? Went to Ovalle con Freja y Maureen....twas fun. We got the urge to get pierced during the day, but were to lazy to see if there was a good place in Ovalle, so when we got back to La Serena, we went to El Centro, where we knew there were two tattoo/piercing places. We checked them both out and asked about prices. One place was $10.000 each ear, the other was $8.000. We were leaning towards the cheaper place, but I didn't like it. I checked them both out thouroughly, parents, saw the autoclave and such, asked questions. The paco were in the cheap place, one of them offered to pierce my ear with his gun, holding out a bullet to my ear, haha. But...I declined. He showed me the tattoo on his arm though. They were nice. Both places had someone who spoke English, but we ended up going to the more expensive place. It just was nicer. The guy continually asked if we had questions, and made sure we knew what was going on and such, and it just looked cleaner. Plus, the name is Monkys. How could we not? haha....I went first since Freja and Maureen dubbed me "the brave one" because I was way excited to get a hole poked in me again, haha.
This place was awesome. Better than where I got my cartilage done in the US....cleaner and more professional, and a lot friendlier. The girl who pierced me is named Natalia...way nice with loads of tattoos and piercings herself. She understood most English, but couldn't speak it, but the other guy was right there if we needed him, so it was all good. I saw her clean down the place and disinfect everything(plus, we watched two tongue piercings and one bellybutton beforehand so we saw how they worked). She opened the needle in front of me, so I could see it was new....told me what was going on and what to do(the place in the US didn't at all...I really had no idea what was going on). It was a prick, and that was all. I talked with the guy afterwards and asked(out of curiousity about my freakish slightly tied tongue) if it was physically possible to pierce it, and turns out it is! Hurrah! He suggested I get that and not my ears, since all piercings there cost the same($10.000 pesos, about $20 US) but I didn't. Oh well. haha And now I have my second holes! Hurrah!
We went back the other day with Maureen to get her ears pierced too(the first hole) for the third time. I def. love this place....so much for that stereotype that South America's way dirty, right?
Mauricio came home. I went out with him two nights ago..him and two of his guy friends. It wasn't awkward at all though....I can actually take part in their conversations and I feel more at their level maturity wise. Chilean boys my age just like to light things on fire. haha
Freja slept over last night and hung out in Mauricio's room(Gabi's room) and watched TV, played cards, and listened to him play guitar. The cable in my room is mysteriously not working, so we had to watch TV in there. Except DVDs....we watched Hide And Seek in my room...gahhh scary! haha Freja and I finished up some Christmas shopping today...but I've run out of paper so I have two presents left and I'm set for Christmas!
No new pictures(Maureen has a pic of me getting my ears pierced though) yet, but Christmas is coming, so there should be some then! Hurrah!

12 diciembre 2006

Cookie Day!

So yesterday.
Freja and I met up at the mall and wandered a bit, before heading over to Jumbo to buy materials for our Christmas Cookie Making Extravaganza! We didn't know the words for cookie cutter or sprinkles, so we had to ask for help by pointing to pictures on the cookie mix box we were buying. BUT. During our cookie cutter confusion crisis, an American woman stepped in and helped! She was from Las Vegas originally, but had been living in Chile for six years! Craziness! anyhoo, she helped us find some cookie cutters, and we were off. Came home, took tea....and played cards.
We played a lot of cards. We weren't tired at all, so we continued to play cards. We had a bit of an outside dance party when the sun started coming up, and sat and played solitaire in the kitchen until my host dad came in to get his lunch box and head off to work. We said hello, and then wandered zombie-like to my bed room where we promptly collapsed.
Slept till 3 today....had some food and went online to read our palms. My life line says I have a lot of health problems. Hurrah! Then....the cookie making began.
It was quite fun, and only took about an hour and a half-two hours. It was exciting. We ate some while we were decorating, but the ones that survived totalled 98. Not bad.
And tomorrow is...Gringa Meetup! Aka all the La Serena girls are getting together. Hurrah!

10 diciembre 2006

"Estamos libre"

So....for those of you who don't tune into the news, or incase this didn't even make the news.....former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet died today. I got an email from...someone who's email address is at the state.gov site(leading me to believe I got an email from the government itself....p.s. how do they know I'm here again?) warning me about demonstrations in the Santiago area. People have been drinking wine and champagne and dancing to celebrate saying things like "Estamos libre!" which means "We're free!". My host parents are kind of eh about it. I mean, they talked about what happened when he was president and how crazy people were getting over his death(and the Colo-Colo fútbol game) but said no matter how horrible he was, his death shouldn't be celebrated.
I knew I liked them for a reason.
So...otherwise, nothing new. I only regret that I wasn't placed closer to Santiago or in the city itself so I could see it first hand(now there's an experience!) and bring you some exciting pictures. Oh well. For now, I rely on news reports, because I can actually understand them(hurrah!)
An exchanger from Los Andes came up to La Serena for the weekend. We saw a movie together. It was really nice...just the two of us though, but I got to know her better than I did at the orientation. My host parents tonight suggested contacting an exchange student in another town...they could come here for a week, I could go there for a week, together. I didn't know that was possible, but now that they've suggested it, I guess I'll look into it. I guess they can see I'm getting slightly bored here. But I'm so tired lately it's all I can do to wander zombie-like around the house. I don't really have the motivation to go out lately, even though I'm sleeping something like 12 hours a night. Ah, well.
Was reading my Exchange Student Handbook today, and realized that I've barely had any of the....things(don't know the word any more haha) they say all exchange students should have. No culture shock, no real homesickness, I'm actually really excited for the holidays, not depressed. Huh. I don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. i suppose good, seeing as it means I've settled here really well, but still. The only thing that's bothered me since day one is the fact that I'm now introverted and have a hard time initiating or keeping up a conversation. Gar.
Anyhoo. besitossss

07 diciembre 2006

I Hate Water.

So today. Was fun.
Minus getting up ridiculously early, aka about 9 am.
Anyhoo. Counselor picked me up, we went to Happy Land, which is this arcade type place where Alyssa and I were given cards(instead of coins) by the Rotarians and told to go off and play with the kids from the poor school Rotary was hanging out with all day. It was quite fun and I learned that I absolutely suck at driving and should never be given the license to anything. Atleast.....I suck at video game driving(those poor, poor onlookers....)
Then, Alyssa and I went with the club president to Coquimbo to go on a boat tour(the kids were on the bus). It was cool....and he talked to me. But only me, and I felt kind of bad for Alyssa....but at the same time, I think maybe she has a hard time understanding people....? I don't know. Anyhoo. Boat tour. 'Twas fun, even though a kid behind us threw up and the guy giving the tour decided he would speak to us ONLY in English(us being me and Alyssa)....which made me want to die. Because I'm not here to speak English. Thank you for assuming that I don't even understand your language while I was clearly listening to you talk about Coquimbo's first prison or that new school on the rocks or those stinky sea lions.
We saw sea lions, by the way.
Then....lunch at the club. Alyssa and I rode on the bus with the kids and spoke English since they laughed at us in a cruel-ish way when we spoke Spanish, and seem oddly intrigued by our English, and all leaned in closely to listen. They seemed amazed by my hair too(one girl later caught me off guard by randomly touching it. Yes....this color hair really does exist outside of Hollywood....)
After lunch we went to HomeCenter....which is this big store. We went to the pet part and got to see some pretty cool critters....and I held a tarantula! Yes, I, Kelsey Edwards, the girl who will not sleep in the room if there's a spider present and runs screaming at the sight of a Daddy Long Legs, held a tarantula. In my hand. Crazy. Sure, I was kind of shaky, but it wasn't all that scary. And I'm quite proud of myself for doing it too! I think my subconscious was telling me I was ready to....I had a weird dream last night involving giant bugs taking over the yard, haha.
Anyhoo. A good time was had by all and I got some great pics, some new friends and some awesome videos. Hurrah! Now, on to the goodies:
Fotos: Alyssa holding the spider(LOVE her face in this one) and me holding the spider. Then video of my counselor...doing something....(I think he was trying to say "How was the boat tour?" without words) and some random fun on the boat tour(during some rocky waves. And also, a message in French for dad from Alyssa). Chaoito! besitos a todos!

05 diciembre 2006

Oh Rotaryyy, Oh Rotaryyyyy

....that title should be sung to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree", by the way.
So last night I went to my first Rotary meeting in my entire life.
My counselor and his wife came and picked me up and we drove to the club in Coquimbo. It's a real nice place...they rent it out for weddings and baptisms and such and use the money they get to fix it up(I heard the kitchen was a disaster at one time). I was complimented on my Spanish....when the president of the club asked if I spoke Spanish and I said, "Más o menos" which is pretty much a little bit, my counselor's wife(can't remember her name) said "No, arto!" Which is, "No, a lot!" yaaaaay! She said my Spanish is a lot better than before and I speak a lot more now. Hurrah!
Alyssa, from Canada came too. She's the other exchanger with the club. It was her 18th birthday yesterday too. We sat down at these three tables, that are connected in a U shape, for dinner. I sat on the side of the president of the club, and Alyssa sat on the other side of me. They had a cake and a present(some chocolates) for Alyssa, and we sang Happy Birthday in English and Spanish.
I'm really really happy with this club, actually. I've heard stories of kids in different countries whose clubs don't really notice that they exist, but I highly doubt that will happen here. There's a total of 18 members in the Rotary Coquimbo Club, only 11 showed up last night(and that's typical, apparently). They invited us to a thing on Thursday....we're going on a boat tour and a few other places with a poor school in Coquimbo. And I think I'm going to go on a four day retreat type thing for Interact(they invited us to that too! Even though we're not members) in January. And I like the size of the club too, because I'll actually get to know the members, and they'll get to know me. So yeah....I'm excited.
Gave them my banner too. Hurrah! But I didn't get to wear my blazer. Oh well. Maybe later in the year.
Pictures! The first one is of Alyssa and her cake. The second is of me and Alyssa with the club president.

03 diciembre 2006

¡Deck the Halls!

So...today. I am real exhausted lately...I'm not sure why. But...I slept until just after 2, which is slightly late for me(usually it's one. woohoo!) Anyhoo. Woke up, and went to take a shower, and see that my host family is getting the Christmas tree out and ready. Hurrah! So I hurried up and got ready, and was fairly excited, despite the fact that "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" was stuck in my head, which reminded me of Christmas back home. *le sigh*
Decorated the tree......it was quite fun. And I took pictures! Hurrah! They'll be up on my Yahoo site today(http://photos.yahoo.com/ksitter9). And some video!
It's different here....real different. A fake tree for one thing, but I'm excited nonetheless. I have a stocking hanging on my door, and I'm going to put up the Christmas lights you sent me, madre, later. I'm pumped. And I was able to share what it's like back at home(aka, we all fight. And one year John filled his room with multi-colored lights and played surf music. hahaha). Anyhoo, onto the goodies:

02 diciembre 2006

This is short. Eff why eye.

Just stopping by to show you my new fave piece of clothing(next to that hawt Rotary blazer, of course). Bought it with Freja the other day. Nothing new here....chilling at home...still no Christmas decorating as of yet(holy chipmunks it's December now, isn't it??!!). Saw a movie, The Guardian, in English....not bad. I recommend it, if it's still showing at a theater near you, that is. Anyhoo, onto the scandyy pic.
Found this shirt in Ripley, and it was pretty much the only non-sexual one there. Oh, Chileans. They have this weird thing about buying shirts in English even though none of them know what it means. I saw one that said this(and yes, the spelling mistake is on purpose) "The world is pretty ammazing ago." yeah, I don't get it either.
p.s. Parents! Can we arrange a chat soon? It's been awhile.
and others! Yes, that means you! Wanna leave me some lovin' in the form of a comment? ¿por fa? I feel like I'm talking(er, posting) to a brick wall...