Nuevo Departamento, Nuevo Vida
I haven’t blogged in a long time because (a) laziness and (b) my computer was broken for casi 2 months! So I was even less motivated! But now I’ve had my computer back for about a week, and it has been glorious to be reunited!
Trekking en Parque Nacional del Torres del Paine en marzo
I have really become more acclimated to my life in Santiago. I have a steady group of friends, and I moved from my host family into an apartment downtown. It’s awesome because I’m getting to experience both types of living during my time abroad. Now I live with 3 other foreign girls, but our language at home is still Spanish. I am a lot happier living here because I feel less isolated, but I also miss getting to experience the traditional Chilean customs that I was introduced to during my time with my host family. But we still stay in touch, and are planning to meet up when my mom comes to visit in June.
Un póster en campus San Jaquin, Santiago
My classes are overall going well - much less frustrating now than at the beginning. I actually know what’s going on now, like what the processes and expectations are. And I’m getting pretty good grades! I still don’t know exactly how to equate to an A, B, C system, because here everything is on a 1-7 grading scale. But I know I’m passing, so that’s all that matters! For one of my classes, Women in Chilean Society, we began our Literature section last week, and I really love the new professor. Hard to believe we have a month left (plus finals) of classes! Time flies. I think it has flown because my life here is much less chaotic than in the US. I’m not hyperly involved in student activities, I’m not working, and as an exchange student, I have the ability to take classes less seriously. It has taught me the value of CHILLING. I think my blood pressure is significantly lower.
Parapente en Mendoza, Argentina en abril
I almost don’t want to leave at the end of July. Class ends in June, and I have a friend from Texas coming to South America to travel with me for a month. But I have gotten more of a routine here, and it feels like as soon as I have gotten comfortable, I have to uproot and leave. Story of my life. I feel a constant need to travel and be unsettled while I’m young and uncommitted, but I find myself wanting more and more to have a home with my own furniture and stay in the same place for more than 6 months. I guess that’s what graduation and adulthood are for!
Cerro San Cristobal, Santiago en abril
It also hurts my heart a little bit to know I will not get to see my Chilean and international friends everyday, maybe never again. It’s so strange to just come in and out of each other’s lives briefly. But it’s awesome to know that if I want to go to Germany, Boliva, Australia, Mexico, Singapore, etc. I’d have friends there waiting for me! And I also get excited when I think about reuniting with my friends in Texas. While it will be a different life when I return, because many people my age just graduated, I really do miss funky little Austin and all the good people in my life there.
Manifestación estudiantil sobre la educación en Santiago, mayo
Another good thing is that I feel like I’m actually able to understand Spanish, and find myself taking less time to respond. The words are coming more naturally to me now. I don’t want to leave and give that up! I am seriously considering teaching abroad after graduation, and Chile has a high demand for native English speakers. Even if I don’t come back to Chile with all its modismos, I would love to come back to South America and explore more all this continent has to offer. In Texas, I need to take more advantage of Spanish-speaking opportunites, because I know they exist. But before I avoided them!
La playa, La Serena, mayo
In July, I plan to travel with my friend in the north, because it will be too damn cold in the south! My tenative plan is Atacama Desert (Chile), Machu Pichu (Peru), La Paz (Boliva), Iguazu Falls (border of Argentina and Brazil), and Buenos Aires (Argentina). I may throw in Colombia and/or Brazil if I can work it out, because I have random connections from people I met in Texas in those countries. And it’s always better to know people!
En catamarán, La Serena, mayo
I’m really excited for what the next 2 months bring for me in South America, and am really going to try to “aprovechar”, or take advantage of and appreciate every opportunity. ¿Cachaí?