Tuesday, April 27, 2010

donde se fue el tiempo??

I checked my email today and it gave me that awful sicky feeling and that amazing burst of happiness all from one sentence. Im leaving Chile on the 5th of June and arriving in Seattle on Sunday, June 6th. I will be leaving my home and going home.
As Im sure youve all realized by now, Ive had a pretty amazing time in Chile. I still keep having these days (pretty much every day now) where I just get so happy to be here, and as bored as you guys might be of hearing about them, I really dont care! I truely never want to leave. But I am so ready to come home!! There really isnt a  lean towards one or the other. Its honestly split equally. Im happy though, because there will be no sadness. Ill keep being happy here and then Ill transfer right into being happy there. Its like the glass is always full. Ha.

Ive been keeping pretty busy. The weekend before school started, I went to Santiago for a Rotary District Conference. All of the exchange students were there and a lot of important Rotarians from different parts. The guest speaker was a guy from Arizona who had some huge position in Rotary. But it was mostly just fun because of the exchange students!

The next day, we woke up very, very early and went into downtown Santiago to run in the Santiago Marathon. I would just like to say, I ran a 10k marathon. Woooo! And in less than an hour, too! 59 minutes and like 37 seconds, ha! It was so exciting and we were so filled with adreneline that we never even really got tired.
(For every distance that you were running, 10k, 21k, 46k, they gave you a different colored shirt, and then separated us into sections to form the Chilean flag in the picture.)

That Wednesday, I started school. Finally! After a four and a half month long summer vacation, it was nice to finally start being with Chilean kids again and have something to do. At least for the first ten minutes. And then I kind of remembered how boring school is and how much I really dont like going. All the same, I have some new friends now and its crazy how much easier it is now that I can speak Spanish and everything. We get out every day at 1:30 and my school is like 1 block away from the plaza, so I get to go eat lunch or go shopping or walk around every day before making my journey back to the country side with the cows and the fields...

Last week, I went to Santiago for a night to go see Matisyahu in concert! It was so amazing and one of the top nights here. The next day we went to the US Embassy and met the Ambassador from the US to Chile, which was pretty exclusive, ha.

Marisa and Adriana are teaching me how to cook, finally! I learned how to make Estofado (Stew, basically), Tortilla de Zanahoria (Carrot something), and Sopaipilla (Fried bread made with some sort of vegetable that I dont even know the equivalent to in English). Im very excited because Im making a small cookbook and when I come home everyone is going to be so impressed by how domesticated I am and I wont be made fun of for being able to make just Mac and Cheese.

Lately Ive been having deep conversations with my grandma, Adriana. She is such an amazing person. While we were making Sopaipilla tonight, she told me epic life stories. Apparently she used to work at a mental hospital and was in charge of 8 patients, one of which was a schizophrenic, who once locked her in his room, took a butcher knife from under his matress, and proceeded to tell her that the devil told him to kill her! She then talked to him for 3 hours and persuaded him to leave the room by offering him a pack of cigarettes. And she told me childhood stories about how her and her siblings lit chickens on fire, buried live bunnies to see if they would dig their way out, and cut up a cat and hung it up but when it rotted it dripped worms into their water area and other such delightful stories. She also has had more than 200 boyfriends, but her sister beat her because she married young so her sister had more time. She was 19 when she got married! But among other things, shes been telling me secrets that no one else knows and Ive been talking to her about some things, too. I really like her and I feel like shes going to be the Chilean I miss most when I leave.

If everything works out like it hopefully will tomorrow, Ill be on my way to Easter Island next Tuesday for the third and final Rotary trip! I think this is the one that Ive looked forward to most, so those 5 days on a semi-tropical French Polynesian island should be well worth everything.

Let the countdown begin.

Friday, April 9, 2010

El Norte

And yet again, another amazing, amazing Rotary trip. Going to Northern Chile for 12 days with a bus full of exchange students was fabulous. The ridiculous amount of time we spent on the bus was just as fun as the warmly welcomed time off of the bus. I can’t think of a time when I’ve laughed so much. I learned so many jokes, stories, riddles, life stories, foreign slang, and random things to just barely tide me over until the next trip. We had so many adventures and crazy nights with only ten minute power naps in-between sleepless nights, that the entire time seemed like one very amazing and very long day. We sand boarded in a moonlit Valley of the Dead, got stranded in the Atacama Desert when our bus broke down, climbed ancient ruins, bought unbelievable amounts of artesian sweaters, bags, and jewelry, and visited what seemed like every plaza and church North of Santiago.

I can’t believe it’s over and I can’t believe that my countdown to come home has begun. I really feel like it was last week when I was saying how fast two months had gone by. I just hope that these last two months will take a freaking long time and that June 5(ish) never, ever comes.