Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19

I woke up this morning really tired from yesterday. I have to wake up at 6:45 for school, and we leave at 7:30. I thought wearing a uniform would cut down the time it takes to get ready in the morning, but putting on the tights, socks, undershirt, skirt, button down blouse, tie, sweater, sweatshirt, and shoes takes me a long time! I save time on my makeup though—I don’t wear very much to school. Barely anybody at school wears any makeup. It was weird at first, but now I really like not having to try so hard to impress people. First thing in the morning, we had a school-wide mass (remember this is a private Catholic school) to commemorate that holiday that gave us Thursday and Friday of last week off. The whole school gathered on the patio in the freezing cold, and we listened to a short sermon. Then everyone recited a prayer (that I didn't know or understand) and we all went back to class. Later, I had a test in PD4, which for me is Spanish. Everyone told me the tests in that class were a total joke and everyone just cheats (sidenote—the people here are very creative cheaters. They write on their hands, on the desks, use their phones, steal tests out of teachers bags, and take pictures of tests for other classes to look at), but I wasn’t expecting such a weird test. Yes, there were a lot of questions on language where we had to read a passage and respond, but there were also math word problems. I understood the math better than I understood the Spanish, but it took a lot of solving. When I finished, I looked around and noticed that lots of people had calculators on their desks! I guess I missed the memo that you’re supposed to bring a calculator to a language test.

After lunch, we had physical education (I can’t say PE because there is an elective class called PE where I have algebra), but I didn’t go because I had to go to the Registro Civil to get my Chilean ID card. Everyone (even babies) is required to have an ID card and to carry it with them at all times. I am kind of officially a Chilean citizen now!

After getting the ID card, Nancy and I went to the Jumbo to run some errands, and then we went back to the school to pick up Maxi. I’d just like to reiterate how much I love talking to Nancy. With her, I can have like real conversations where I understand everything she says and she understands (I think) what I’m trying to say. After we got home, I organized all my government papers into a new binder that we got at the store, and I finally decorated my room with photos that my friends gave me before I left.

Then, I decided to go for a run. I haven’t done any exercise at all since I got here because I didn’t really feel comfortable and there was never time, but today I decided to get off my lazy butt. It is typical for an exchange student to gain a lot of weight during their year abroad, which I totally understand now because all the food is so different and so good and you just want to eat it all. I am going to try to run more often so that this doesn’t happen to me! In Chile, it is not common for people to run along the streets, and if you do, the men will whistle and honk at you, so I just ran around the neighborhood (it is one loop that is probably smaller than a football field) for 50 minutes. I think I might be a little sore tomorrow, but I really needed to get back into the rhythm of exercising everyday. It felt good to be alone with my thoughts and to allow myself to think completely in English for once.

After I finished showering, I helped Maxi and his friend with their English project, and then Monse tried to teach me some Spanish that she was learning for homework. Then, we all ate dinner (here dinner is calld “once” and it is like a snack instead of a meal because the big meal of the day is lunch). After, I dried my hair (I still wasn’t wearing any makeup, but I think I feel comfortable enough now with my family to walk around the house without makeup). Then, Maxi showed me all the books they have in their library. I took out a few that I want to read—Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia in Spanish—and we looked through the Guiness Book of World Records in Spanish. It was really nice to spend some time with Maxi because we don’t really talk very much, and now that Cristobal is gone, we are each others’ closest company. I really like him and I hope we get to be really good friends. I think we’re both making a big effort now that Cristobal is gone.

Eric arrived at home around 9, and Nancy cooked some more food. We all sat down to eat another snack while Eric ate dinner. Then, we had to wait until Cristobal was ready to Skype. The whole family was really anxious to talk to him and hear about the flight and his new family and home and everything. He didn’t get online until around 11:30 at night, and when we talked to him, he was so tired that he barely said anything. I totally understand that feeling after not being able to sleep on the plane and being completely overwhelmed by everything new and different and in another language. It’s fricken tiring! He seemed happy though, so I think everyone felt better after talking to him. When we hung up, it was midnight and I was super tired, so I went right to sleep.

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