It’s been a lot better for me here in Chile since the last time I wrote. The initial shock of a different world, and the sounds and news faces are all becoming familiar. Anyways, I can always watch American movies on the about 6 English movie stations basic cable has around here; I’m watching The Chronicles of Narnia while writing this.
Unlike the movie it’s definitely not getting any warmer. There is no comfort zone to hope for when you’re walking anywhere in Viña because no place has heating. The cold is still affecting all of the CIEE students. Almost all of us have a cold, cough, headache, or a combination of any. Me, I have a cold and minor cough, so my home stay mom took me to a store and bought me a scarf. She called it her superstitious belief, but she says having the neck and feet warm will ward of any cold.
The past week has been mostly more orientation classes, which get pretty old, especially when they’re about the history of Chile. They serve a purpose, but most of us won’t be talking politics and history while we’re studying and hanging out. In addition to the orientation classes, we also signed up for our classes that start this Wednesday. I don’t have any classes on Friday! Vicky, my home stay mom, said that most of the exchange students use the 3 day weekends to travel, and a lot of us don’t have Friday classes, so people have already started planning trips throughout the semester.
Choosing my classes was a mess because of a time change for one of them, so I had to go back in for another day to fix that up. Here’s the final line-up: The history of the 2Oth century through movies, Spanish communication and culture of Chile, Globalization of Chile-which has a lot of excursions to the surrounding countryside, Literature of Spain, and 2Oth century Latin American History. The only reservation I have for these classes is whether or not I will get credits transferred to IU for taking them. The class periods here go for 1:3O hours with a 1O-15 minute break in the middle. I have 3 periods on Monday, 2 on Tuesday, 1 on Wednesday, and 4 on Thursday. It won’t be horrible because the school schedules a 45min for lunch starting at 2 o’clock.
Yesterday, or Saturday, the previous CIEE student that stayed in my house visited with her boyfriend. He had come down after her semester here and paid for them to travel around Argentina and Bolivia, and some other places for about 3 weeks. They’re leaving for the States tomorrow afternoon. After the family and chatted and looked at all of Abigail’s pictures, she took my and her boyfriend to a stand that sold Completos-a huge hotdog with tons of cheese, avocado dressing, and tomatoes spread all over. I liked it-the bun was really fresh, as is all the bread down here. However, avocado isn’t my forte. The also have empanadas here everywhere-it’s like pizza down here. Some of them even have Manjar, a really sugary spread, with cheese in them. I’ll bring a few jars of Manjar back to the States for everyone to try.
Today, Vicky took me on a tour to the north of Viña, to another two towns called Reñaca and Con Cón. Both of them lie on hills that go straight into the ocean-pretty amazing. We stopped for lunch at an empanada restaurant that the locals around the coastal cities all drive to. I tried one with crab, and it was actually pretty good [No, the restaurant wasn’t heated either]. She then took me to the more well-off neighborhoods in Con Cón and Reñaca to show me housing developments and where she would have liked to live when she had all her kids still growing up… It was nice, though.
Tonight we’re having a big send-off dinner for Abigail and her boyfriend, which should be a really good time and meal.
Also, I’ve started watching the Lost series off of the family computer here. It’s turning out to be a good investment.