So I haven’t written since december and the whole summer has passed by. Whoops.
I have done so much this summer. I got to experience chilean Christmas, and I changed host families. In fact, I only have about 3 weeks left with my current host family before I change again. I hung out in my city, Talca, in January; going to the movies, hanging out with friends and my host family. So far in February I have gone on vacation to Pucón, Chile with my host family (a lovely town by a lake in the south of Chile), where I got to visit many street stands selling chilean sweaters and bracelets. After Pucón, I headed to La Serena, Chile (a large ocean-side city in northern Chile), where I am currently on vacation and relaxing on the sandy beach when i’m not out exploring the area. In about 8 more days I will travel back to Talca and start school again (same class and school as before).
I miss home but I am loving my experiences in Chile. I will be returning to the USA in June. Ahhhhh! That is too soon 😥😅
Also, in Chile we mostly say Chao, not adios therefore
Wow! Today I have been in Chile for 23 days! I am finally starting to feel like a true Chilean. Although my Spanish is still very poor I feel that there are other things that are making me feel as though this is my home.
As simple as it sounds, even just the way I cross the street now, makes me feel more Chilean. When I arrived I would wait until every single car was gone from sight to cross the street (the cars never stop or so it seems. They just slow down). Now I cross when there are speeding cars coming at me, knowing they’ll slow down enough to let me cross. Or I can be caught bounding across the street when I see that there is a gap between cars.
This weekend was very busy. On Saturday my school hosted an event on a field a little bit from my house. It was a blast! All of the younger grades performed traditional Chilean dances in the traditional clothes! It was very interesting. They also had all sorts of traditional foods for sale that the parents of different grades had brought to sell to raise money for their children’s grade levels. A generous friend bought me some sopapillas, that we delicious but I didn’t eat them the traditional Chilean way (with ketchup) although I did try it.
A sopaipilla, sopapilla, sopaipa, or cachanga is a kind of fried pastry and a type of quick bread served in several regions with Spanish heritage in the Americas.
This past weekend I also went to Santiago with my host family. We were there to visit my host dad’s brother, and celebrate his birthday. We never actually went to the city part of Santiago, since they lived on the outskirts. I had a great weekend spent with my host cousins or ‘primos’ and host family. One thing I noticed was that they put a solid candle on top of the cake! I am not sure if that is custom or they just didn’t have birthday candles 🤔😂
Anyways, I’m having a great time here in Chile. I miss all of you guys back home. Shout out to my best friends Leah and Hanna who are still keeping up with me even though I am 6000 miles away!
Hey guys 👋. Tomorrow marks the 2nd week that I have been in chile! Ahhhh! That’s crazy!!!! I’ve been going to school since the 3rd day of my arrival and it’s going great. I’m going to a smaller school in the city of Talca, called Colegio San Jorge. My high school building has 4 classes! 4! For 11th and 12th grade. And 2 are scientific and 2 are humanisty! Crazy right? My class specifically (3rd medio Humanistic) has 17 kids in it! That’s tiny compared to the average class size at Snohomish of about 27 students. And another thing: we stay in the same room all day. No moving around for every class anymore. On Mondays and Fridays school goes from 8am-1pm. On Tuesdays Wednesdays and Fridays class goes from 8am-1pm then lunch for 1.5 hours then 2:30pm-5:40pm. The school day is a lot longer in chile!
In humanistic I take classes that relate to the humanities with little math and science classes. The classes I will be taking until December (that’s when our summer break starts) include: English, Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, Math, History, Philosophy, Art, PE, Journalistic Investigation and Religion. So far I understand not very much but I am trying and I even got a 58% on my math test (imagine trying to learn math, which is confusing enough, in another language!)
I have experienced many new things in Chile. Today I went to the Chilean Independence Day Festival. They had all sorts of crafts and Foods it was so cool! Ponchos and blankets. Handmade jewelry and toys. I even saw a handmade rocking horse. Most of the food looks phenomenal I even got to try some . I’ve had churros before but I’ve never had Chilean churros before, and let me tell you: they’re different then the ones at costco, and almost better than the ones I had in Mexico. First of all they cook the churros in these ginormous rings and then they cut off pieces about 8 inches long each. Then they sprinkle them in powdered sugar and hand you a bag full of them this is for 2 mil pesos which is about 3 US dollars (usd). This is literally the greatest deal I have ever seen!!!
The Chilean life is treating me well. Thanks for cheating up on my adventure.
Hello. I have 1 day left till I leave 😱😱😱😱😱. I leave from The airport in Seattle on Friday at 10 am. After that I have a 4 hour flight to Dallas, a 2 hour layover, and then a 9 hour flight to Santiago and then a Youth Exchange Program camp in Santiago!!!
It’s crazy! I can’t believe it is actually time to leave. Right now I am just catching up on some last minute things I need to do before I leave and buying presents for my wonderful 1st host family. I actually finished packing about an hour ago, but since it’s so late I will wait till tomorrow to weigh my bag (and then inevitably switch some stuff around to get the weight down to 50 pounds).
I’m getting more and more excited. I’m am nervous but not about leaving my home. I just want to make it clear that I am soooooooo grateful for everyone involved who helped this happen. I also want to make it clear that although being an Exchange Student is a wonderful opportunity, it is not a vacation. It is going to be a lot of hard work. And to be honest I will probably get frustrated, and homesick, and even a little lonely. I am going in to this life changing experience with 1 year of high school Spanish. I am not prepared for this. But I will try my best. The next 3 months, will probably be the toughest months I have ever experienced. But I am ready.
I cannot wait to be in Chile 🇨🇱. And also thank you mom and dad for making my dreams come true. I will miss you more than you know. This time it’s not to the moon and back, it’s to chile and back. Come on, it’s only a little over 6,000 miles away. It’s not like I’m on the other side of the world or anything 😂😘🌎🗿❤️❤️❤️
Hey guys 👋 Last Friday I flew down to San Francisco to turn in my paperwork and get my visa. I flew by myself and it was great! We had to wait several hours to get it, but now I’m good to go. Kinda. I still have to send in some paperwork before I leave and also do some paperwork upon my arrival in Chile. After spending most of our day at the Chilean consulate, we went out to lunch, and then rode a subway back to the airport. All in all my day was pretty busy, but I got my Visa so that’s good. My next few weeks before I leave are booked solid but I can’t wait to leave for chile in about a month!
Hey Guys 👋. Summer is here and I have 1 month and 17 days until I leave for Chile!!! I am so excited to go travel to a new place and experience a new culture. Plus, I have been working on not forgetting any Spanish I have learned so far 😅.
An update on my progress with rotary: I have come to a moment of peace! Currently I am camping with my family and our family friends on the beautiful Orcas Island in Puget Sound. When I get back from camping I will meet up with a rotary member because they have some different blazers for me to try on (or at least see if the blazer we ordered for me fits). After that we have a scheduled meeting to go to the Chilean consulate in San Francisco on July 15th. I have turned in all of my paperwork to the visa and I will need to bring the original documents with me to California. The trip to the consulate is pretty crazy actually because I fly to California in the morning by myself (well, with other exchange students) and visit the consulate, and then leave in the same evening!!! I am also waiting to get either my FBI background check or my State background Chace back (there was a hold up at the FBI office and we were worried we wouldn’t get it back in time, so we also payed for a state background check). If neither of those come back by the 13th we will get a background check online done by the state patrol, and pray that they will let us use it! After that we (me and my parents) will be attending a meeting with the Mill Creek Rotary Club because they have generously sponsored me and another student to go on exchange! Finally, I will also be attending my 3rd outbound orientation on the 21st to say goodbye to the inbounds and be sent off with the outbounds! I am very excited for this orientation because we get our blazers, pins, and business cards (I believe. I’m not completely sure.)
My español is coming along slowly but my excitement is growing by the day! Watch out South America, here I come!!!