School doesn't start for a month or so (thank you, earthquake), so Sara and I have been trying to get involved with all the volunteer organizations that have been going on. Through people that know people that knows a person that knows people we found an organization called "Yo Quiero Reconstruir la Region de Maule" (I want to rebuild the region of Maule) and we spent a few days collecting food to send to Constitucion. We were actually supposed to go with the group today, but at the last minute our host parents teamed up and decided it was too dangerous. Last weekend, we had a few Rotary things where we went to the towns surrounding Talca and handed out boxes. We still haven't really found any solid way of helping, though. I was hoping we would be able to do more hands on, interactive things. So far, its just been handing out pre-made boxes and leaving, which could easily be done without us. I guess I have to be happy with that, because my host parents are too scared of letting me do anything else. Hopefully, things will settle down and I'll be able to find something good.
The other day, I was on the bus going through downtown Talca and all of the sudden I looked out the window and there were giant black clouds of smoke coming from one of the buildings. Naturally, I got off the bus and went to check it out, but there were so many people that all I could do was take pictures, but everyone was staring at me because there I was, the gringa taking pictures at all the horrible things that are happening. I've found that Chileans really don't like when you take pictures of tragic things because they think you're laughing at them. Nonetheless, I've never seen a fire (except the one in the field just days before), so I wanted pictures.
On the news, they were saying that flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina are only $50, and so Jorge (host dad) is figuring out when we can go!! I'm so excited!
The most recent aftershocks were pretty scary for me. I had two of my exchange friends over at my house and we were woken up by the first one. It wasn't as strong as Rancagua (epicenter) but equally as scary! I freaked out because I thought that my little sister was home, so I ran upstairs screaming her name, but she was at a friends house, so I was upstairs during the earthquake for nothing. Then, 10 minutes later, another. And then another. I was a little upset. I think that they should stop now... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35821484/ns/world_news-chile_earthquake