Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cambia de Casas

We're finally changing houses next week! I'm kind of split on feelings for it though.
I haven't always been the happiest in this house, but I think I'm really going to miss it. I've been spending a lot of time with Sofia and Javier and Matias lately and now I don't want to leave them. Sofia made me cry today because we were writing notes back and forth and it was the cutest thing ever. Matias and I have gotten so close that it's going to be really boring without him. And Javier! It's hard to explain, but I love him so much! I also live right next to all of my friends and it's really easy to get to downtown Talca.

On the other hand, my new family is so sweet and nice. I think I will learn a lot there in terms of Spanish and cooking and probably just any and everything. They're the kind of family that will help me with those kind of things I think. The house is really cool and it's in the middle of farm land and you can see this big volcano and it's just pretty. There is a little sister, too, who is 12 years old and really nice. They don't have stable internet though, which will probably give me Facebook withdrawls and make me really homesick. It'll be better for my Spanish though. Oh, and we're going to La Serena for three weeks in February! It's a super nice beach up north.

Just so I never forget....The other day I was playing "Would You Rather" with Javier and I was translating his questions for him. The question was: Would you rather have two harmless bats in your room for two nights OR five pigeons in your bathroom forever? And he said he'd rather have the bats for two reasons. One being that he didn't want them to poop on him and the other being that they might think his you know what is a worm. I couldn't stop laughing.


Friday, December 25, 2009


Christmas 2008 consisted of 3 feet of snow, a successful completion of 2 seasons of Weeds, no presents, a major lack of brothers, and a cup of noodles dinner. I didn't think I would ever have a Christmas to top that one. But then, of course, I came to Chile.

Santa Clause/El Vejito Pascuero/Papa Noel comes at night when all the kids are not at home and then when they get there, they have like 8 billion presents. Unfortunately, that was as close to Christmas-y as the day got, because the rest of the day was spent listening to poorly chosen 80's music, swimming in the pool, and eating Popsicles. The extended family came over, but I always find that uncomfortable because they all talk about Pancha and how much they miss her and want her to be there with them. I understand that perfectly, as I would much rather be with my family, but they don't understand that I have the same thoughts as them so it's like I'm some gringa alien. Although they did manage to awkwardly make me part of the family by taking pictures and giving me presents. It was just when they would say "Oh, I wish Pancha could be here. We miss her sooo so so much" and then look at me and reluctantly add "Oh, but now we have Emily." That's just uncomfortable. Needless to say, I was incredibly homesick on the 24th.

Christmas Day might as well have been any day in July. We woke up late, ate breakfast outside, and never once said "Merry Christmas", or rather, "Feliz Navidad". It's like it ended when we went to bed the night before. But for me, it was still Christmas Day, and:

I spent Christmas Day swimming in a lagoon. Now, how cool does that sound?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Patagonia was AMAZING! We visited the National Park of Torres Del Paine, went horseback riding, ate glacial ice, watched sheep get sheered, toured a Chilean cemetery, took a three hour boat trip to icebergs and glaciers, swam in the Strait of Magellan, walked inside a giant cave named after ancient Chilean bear/dinosaurs, and saw little land penguins. I was sick all week, got almost no sleep, and broke my camera, but all the same, had the BEST WEEK EVER. (Thank you, again, Daddy!)

Not too much has happened since that, just a sleepover with the other Talquinas (Exchange Students from Talca), a Christmas chorus concert at the Cathedral, a long night at the airport to pick up Pancha who got back from Brasil, and getting a package from home full of food and presents!

Today, Sofia came into my room with a tray of origami things she made. She showed me a cat, a dog, a house, a boat, a tree, and adorably in between all those seemingly normal things, a piece of rolled up red paper, that she casually pointed out and named "el jamon" which means the ham. I almost died of laughter. It was the cutest thing she has ever done. I'm going to keep her rolled up ham forever. I mean, honestly! What kind of a child makes ham out of origami!?

(Swimming in a glacial river after jogging)

(Swimming in another river (in clothes!) after horseback riding)

(Swimming in the Strait of Magellan after jogging)

Tomorrow is Christmas. Mama Bear is coming next week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It's so summery out. Think sun. And heat. And NO SCHOOL!!! Today was my last test and my last day! No more uniform! I most likely didn't pass the year, but hey- I don't speak Spanish fluently. It was to be expected...

Last weekend we went to Santiago. It was a lot better than I predicted it would be. We got there late on Friday night and then we went to the movies. Matias and I saw 2012 and the rest of the family saw "La Princesa y El Sapo" which is like "The Princess and the Frog". We ended up going to bed at like three and then we were woken up at 8:30 for a day spent visiting any and every museum in Santiago. The first one was cool. It was a Chinese exhibit below La Moneda. But then, it was museum after museum and it was so boring. Luis even threw in a stop at the Chilean National Library. So entertaining... By the fourth one, only Luis went in and the rest of the family all passed out on a bench outside. Like, literally, we all passed out. He took a picture before he woke us up.

On Sunday we went out to lunch at a Chinese Restaurant with all the extended family and afterwards, Matias, and two cousins and I went to el Cerro San Cristobol and rode up in a little cart and went to the zoo! Of course, it was just like any other zoo in the world, but it was particularly cool because we were on top of a big hill and so there were giraffes and in the background, the entire city. We went to an aunt's house afterwards and had an "once" and then the whole family skpyed Pancha for like 2 hours. It kind of makes me sad that they ask her all these questions about Seattle and they never talk to me or ask me questions about Seattle.

On Monday, Anita and I went to "Partronato" which is this place in Santiago where they have really cheap clothes. It's like street after street of stores and then smaller booth things on the street. AKA, heaven. I bought some sandals, pants, a shirt, and a dress! The shirt was $3. Ahhhhhh! Afterwards, we went back to Anita's grandma's house and ate lunch and watched TV. She had her boyfriend and other friends from Santiago there and they were so funny. They watch Gossip Girl and Paris Hilton BFF so they know how to talk like annoying brats. I had to go home at like seven, and Luis told me he would come get me if I met him at Dunkin Donuts (Oh yes, Dunkin Donuts). I called before I left and then Martin (Anita's boyfriend) drove us there and when I got there I called to ask where they were and they just told me that they were at the mall and that I needed to take a bus and meet them there. lajf;lkasjdf;lkasjdf;lkajsdf;lkj I would like to know how on earth they expected me to a) know where to catch the bus, b) know when to catch the bus, c) know which bus to catch, d) not die on the way to the mall, or e) know when to get off the bus. I was really mad because they wouldn't even let me got visit my exchange friends in Santiago because it's such a big and dangerous city. But then they just casually tell me to catch the bus. So very, very inconsistent.
Anyways, Martin drove me to the mall instead and when I got there, Luis said, "We're going to do the jumpy thing". They had one of those slingshot rides outside the mall so we did it! It was so much fun! I screamed soooo much. We got back to Talca at like 2:30am.

Tuesday, I slept in, went to a lunch at our school with the family, and then I took Sofia and Javier to the movies to see "Los Fantasmas de Scrooge" (A Christmas Carol). Sofia was scared the entire movie and Javier didn't like it. A successful outing, obviously. I didn't like it very much either. I would have thought that they would make it funnier/lighter. Oh, it was in Spanish, too!

Wednesday, I woke up and went jogging and then went to my friends house. Except she is in Brasil for two weeks, so I went to hang out with her sister! Her sister went to Wisconsin last year and she's sooo sweet. We went swimming and then baked "Calzones Rotos" which are like little donuts with powdered sugar. DELICIOUS! I'm so excited I finally know how to make something Chilean.

Today I had my last final (which I undoubtedly failed), came home and ate some strawberries and now I'm sitting in my window in the sun thinking about going swimming in the pool before lunch. Nice, eh?

Our first Rotary trip is this Saturday! I'll be gone until the 19th, I believe.  Sooooo, hasta luego!

Friday, December 4, 2009

navidad en verano

Last week went by pretty fast. On Wednesday, Sara and I went to the centro and ate sushi (although mine was a picky-eater version of sushi). Then I met my friend Toto and we went to Jela's birthday party which was fun. On Thursday, I got my nose pierced...Sorry, Daddy! :) That night I also went to see Luna Nueva (New Moon) at the theater with Toto. I love how loud and obnoxious Chileans are. Whenever Edward or Jacob would appear on the screen there would be like groans and whistles and screams because all the teenage girls are in love with them. On Friday, I didn't go out at all. Sofia asked me if we could watch Hannah Montana on my computer and I told her it would be in English and she told me that was okay because she understands pretty much everything. Five minutes after the movie started, she was asleep. Saturday morning, Matias and I rode our bikes to San Clemente and then came home and swam in the pool. It's clean now!! That afternoon, we went on a car drive to this big hill in Talca and later went to a Exhibition that was really, really boring and then after I went to a small party at  a friends house. On Sunday, we went out to lunch at "La Viejas Cochinas" which translates to "The Dirty Old People".... It was actually dirty but apparently the food is like famous in Talca.  Afterwards we went back to the really boring exhibition. When we got home I went on a bike ride with Pancha and Josefina. We rode out to the vineyard and hung out for awhile and then we went back to Pancha's house and swam in the pool. I got a bloody nose!! It was weird. Then I stayed and  we went to the store and bought stuff to make tacos!! It was so much fun to make food with her family. I like themmm. Pancha is going to Brasil tomorrow. I'm jealous.

This week was all sorts of boring. I had a lot of tests. And I got sick from drinking the water from the tap, so there was some vomit, too. Yummy.

As it is December (although you would NOT know it by looking outside) we put up all the Christmas decorations in the house. There are snow men. Why do they even have snowmen for Christmas in the southern hemisphere? It doesn't make sense!! That's like us having snow men on the Fourth of July. Ridiculous. Everything is really pretty, though. Until you look past the Christmas tree, through the giant sliding glass doors, and outside to the blue sky, swimming pool, and leafy trees... That kind of ruins it. I like to go into the living room at night when the curtains are shut and pretend it's winter. Ha. This year is going to be weird....

On Wednesday, the school had a Nativity play. It was kind of weird to have all the Christmas songs in Spanish. I don't have anymore school! Well, I have to go for two hours on Thursday to take a test, but other than that, SUMMER VACATION!! (again!) I'll be going on our Southern Trip with Rotary on the 12 of December. I'm excited!! We're going to Puntas Arena, Torres Del Paine, and some glaciers. It's going to be freeeeezing. Maybe that will make it feel more like Christmas...

Today we're going to Santiago for the weekend. I packed in one backpack and I'm proud. I'll be back on Tuesday, I believe...