Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yesterday was yet another productive day at school. I showed up not getting the memo that I didn't have to wear my uniform, whatever I'm an exchange student! I also didn't know how big of a deal the day was for the Bicentenario. Every class had a little booth set up that represented certain years of Chile or different aspects to the culture and people. So we spent the morning setting up the booth, listening to music, and taking pictures. Then we had to travel to all the stations and get stamps on this piece of card - this was for our mark in school. I didn't really learn anything, everyone was just really concerned about getting all the stamps and taking pictures on my camera, it was a good day! We were supposed to get out at 1:45 but everything was done with at 1 so we got to go home a little early.

I went home, took a siesta, woke-up, got ready and headed back to school for 5. I then went to a friends house to get changed and ready for our schools Bicentenario Celebration. Luckily I was able to borrow an outfit fairly last minute, including a ruffled blouse... so attractive! It was so cool to see everyone in tradition Chilean clothing, and at least everyone wore the same things, although it was way more funny to see the gringa wearing it! My class's dance went pretty well, I like performing (the cheerleader in me), but I swear there was an excessive amount of people taking pictures where I happened to be... maybe I was the first gringa to dance at this school?

My class - 3° Medio

Every Chilean knows the cueca

A famous actress showed up!

After some more pictures with friends I had to head home, get changed, and then go to my first Rotary meeting. My clubs meeting is at night, I think we arrived at maybe 9:45 or so. Also we were served dinner! I haven't had real dinner in a month! It was also their meeting celebrating the 18th of September so we had empanadas for starters and then after the meeting some Rotarians danced a little cueca! Also here Rotary is more of a couples thing, so both husband and wife go to the meetings, and we didn't have a speaker or presentation. I was also asked if I was from Australia... it's nice to be thought of as something else than American all the time. We left around midnight and I headed straight to bed because I had one more day of school before the holiday!

I got to school today and only two other people showed up in my class. Luckily they were two of my good friends but still... this is the worst turnout I've ever seen in my life! I mean compared to the lack of students at Southwood before Christmas vacation or the last day of school this is nothing! Even my teacher asked me why I was at school - I'm an exchange student, enough said. So everyone ended up in the computer lab, on Facebook, watching a pirated version of The Karate Kid dubbed over in Spanish with Chinese subtitles and the teachers gave us snacks! We were supposed to leave at 1 but we left early and me and my three amigas headed to the Alto Las Condes Mall. It was cool because you could see a lot of Las Condes from up high. Then two of my friends went home and I went with Cony to the Parque Arauco Mall (which is the giant Americanized one) and we walked around a bit, I ate KFC for the first time in many years, bumped into Stephen randomly (the guy from Ayr), and then we went to the actual park. We just sat and talked, listened to music, and basked in the sun in the middle of the park. I love how they have parks everywhere in Las Condes. It was a good ending to my last day before the holiday!

Things I notice:
  • There is graffiti everywhere, but a lot of it is more like art than vandalism
  • A lot of people smoke - On my first day in Chile my host mom smelled my clothes and said they smelled like Canada, because in Chile everything smells like smoke
  • Most kids bring lunches to school that you warm up in a microwave - I'm getting really good at fighting for a spot for my containers!
  • Some places have these mini workout gyms outside, I thought they were a joke until one day I saw tons of people using them
  • Sometimes if you miss your bus stop because the bus is like a sardine can and you can't see outside, the next one could be a long ways away, so you elbow your way through to make sure you get off the next time

By the way, today is the one month anniversary of Chile and I!

1 comment:

  1. Hi I'm from Australia and going to Chile beginning of next year!
    I was just wondering, is it safe to drink from the tap or did you have to always have bottled water?