Saturday, June 21, 2008

One month to go!

Here are some of my random thoughts for the week since I am procrastinating from doing my homework...

So I will be home exactly one month from today. Am I ready? Yes and no. Why? Its unexplainable.

I posted some graffiti pics. I forgot that when most people think of graffiti, you think of like vandalism. No, these are basically public murals. I have to do a presentation on graffiti next week so I went up in the cerros (hills) of valpo to take some pics. Enjoy.

Next week is going to be crazy with school work! On Monday I have an Econ quiz, Tuesday I have a history final exam, poetry group presentation, graffiti presentation, Wednesday or Thursday is my final presentation for my cultural class, and then 2 poetry papers are due Thursday, one is 5 pages the other is 1 page. So after months of doing no work, I have my work cut out for me this week. I think I like it this way though. Luckily on Thursday I am finished with all of my classes except for Econ. So then in July the first 2 weeks I just have Econ to worry about and can soak up Chile for the last 3 weeks I am here.

I miss having a living room. Well we have one in my apartment here, but in the 4 months I have been here, I have only seen one person sit in it! Its a very formal living room and there is no tv in it. Also since there is no heat except for our little heaters we have in our bedrooms, it is very cold so everyone stays in their rooms with the door shuts. I just think I could get to know my family so much better if we had more opportunites to spend time together. Even if we are just watching tv together, which we can't cause I would find it awkward to sit in their bedroom with them, am I right?

So we have new gringos here for the "summer." I feel like they are coming into my territory, my friends and I like to point them out on the street. You can tell they are new because they just have this lost look on their face. Excuse me if this is all mean, but its just so hard to relate to them because I have been here for 4 months and they are never going to understand Chile in the 5 weeks they are here for. My friends and I were talking and we just have this mindset that when we get home no one is going to understand. The experiences we have had here in Chile have bonded us and that we will never have with anyone else. Don't worry old friends, we still have special bonding times in the past and the future to come :-) (How sappy, I know.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What about class?

So I tell lots of people about my trips but I often hear the questions, "aren't you studying abroad?" and don't you ever go to class? But you have to know I am learning more about life and myself through each day here than I ever would at home in my own comfort zone. But now I will tell you all about my classes so you don't think I am just here getting free credits.

Economics: I am taking Econ to fulfill a Social Science credit. I don't really know how it is a social science credit but I thought it wouldn't be too hard. However, it being in Spanish and all the terms being vocab I never learned, its a little more difficult than I thought. Fortunately my professor is from the U.S. and so her accent isn't hard to understand. She also gives us quizzes in English to help with the vocab. However this Saturday, yes Saturday, we have our first test. We went over some old test questions in class yesterday and I can tell I have a lot of studying to do. The test questions are nothing like the quiz questions or anything we do in class. In class we talk more about the concepts but we aren't taught how to apply them which is what we are supposed to do on the tests. Oh well, all I need is a C.

Poetry: I am usually lost in this class. She talks about a lot of concepts in poetry that I could really care less about. Also I just don't understand poetry or like poetry in any language. So why did I take this class? Well I need a literature class and this had the best times. I know, not the best reasoning but I am pretty useless at 8am or on a Friday when the other literature classes are. Our grade consists of 4 papers and a group presentation. So when I write a paper, I just do more research online instead of relying on class lectures and notes from class. Also my friend Thea is in this class so she pretty much saves me from the boredom that fulfills this class.

History: This class only meets once a week at 8 am but its supposed to count as 3 credits (a normal credit amount for a class). Its the history of Valparaiso but we don't talk about Valparaiso too much. I also have a hard time paying attention at 8 am to a Chilean professor who I have a hard time understanding. I have 1 more class and then our final exam is at the end of June. Wish me luck! Also I have to climb up to this building at 8am!

Chilean Culture and Conversation: This class is my favorite because I usually understand and it seems the most useful. My professor however gets stuck on one thing and just goes with it for weeks. For about a month and a half we have been listening to newscasts and filling in the blanks of the script. Its quite difficult. Chileans speak really really really fast. But its good because we learn new vocabulary and become aware of current events in Chile. However we had a change in pace, yesterday we walked around the hills of Valpo to look at graffiti. I forgot to take my camera but I will go back and take pictures. The graffiti is really good here. However, I don't think its too cool that people just graffiti wherever and think everyone wants to look at it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is it love?

So I have been in Chile for a little over 3 months now and I still love it. However, I am not sure what I love. Do I love being in a place where until 3 months no one had ever met me and I could be truly who I am, almost start over my life in a way? Or do I love living in a big city and being able to walk everywhere?

Ok so I am just going to make list of things I love and you can tell me if its love for Chile or just loving the abroad life.

In Chile I love...

*walking out of the house wearing whatever I want and I know no one cares. No body really cares about their image here and its so comforting. No one cares about other people, but in a good way. I don't feel I am being judged at all, everyone has their own style.
*my host mom and practicing my spanish with her. She is so patient while I fumble with the different spanish tenses.
*going out here. Now I haven't gone out much at home like to bars and clubs because I am not 21 yet. However, I always have a good time when I go out. I love dancing, and there are plenty of clubs to keep me entertained every weekend. Also the clubs stay open till like 4 or 5, much different than in the states.
*taking trips. At home I go on like 2 trips a year or something. Its so much fun to change my location every few weekends. But I do know its because I had money for this and school isn't as serious at home. But it makes me think about all the places I want to go now
*there is ice cream everywhere and its cheap too!
*the ocean being less than 10 blocks from my house. Last night I just walked to the beach to see the sunset over the ocean and it was so nice to hear the ocean. Also the road that goes to school goes by the ocean and its so great to see it everyday.
*my friends here are so great! Now most of them are gringos but I have so much fun with them. I am going to miss them terribly when I go back home.
*reggaeton, its like their version of rap music here. I can dance to it all night long!
*the pda (public display of affection); i actually like it now. At first it was weird to see it everywhere, on the streets, at school, on the bus, every bench, the clubs, bars. But I think its nice now, to see people display their affection for each other and not care what other people think. I rather see people loving on each other than hatin, you know?

Now don't get me wrong, there are things I miss about the states but as I look at my countdown that says 45 days till home I get really sad. However it is possible that as I get closer to July 20, I will be more excited about going back to life in the states. Its just that I have built a whole new life here and I have to leave it and go back to a life that has not been held still, everyone at home continued with their lives. I have changed and I am sure people at home have changed. Its going to be unfamiliar territory when I arrive home which is ironic, don't ya think?