Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wednesday, August 14

Ok so I know I’ve been really bad about posting on my blog in the past two weeks, but I can explain (kind of). Whenever I’m at home with my family, I always want to be hanging out with them, talking to them, or at least sitting there and available to talk to. I never want to be sitting alone in my room typing on my computer. Even late at night, they stay up watching TV until like 1am, so I stay with them instead of writing. Today, however, I had a reality check that I really should be writing everyday so that I don’t forget everything I’ve done. So here we go. I’m going to TRY to post everyday, but we’ll see how long that lasts. No promises on the quality of the writing, but at least I’ll be able to look back and remember my exchange. Today was the last day of school this week because tomorrow is some religious holiday (they tried to explain but I didn’t really get it). Cristobal went to school today to say goodbye to all of his teachers and some of his classmates. It was weird seeing him in school. I didn’t know this before, but we hang out with the same group of people at lunch. I think school is getting a little easier. I still can’t talk much, but I can understand more of what they’re saying, and I feel like we have a little more to talk about now than simply getting to know each other. I just hope my Spanish improves fast because I want to talk to them more! During one of the breaks (there are 2 15 minutes breaks before lunch), we heard some commotion outside the classroom. One of the students had come to school with hair longer than the dress code permits, so a teacher took him outside and was cutting his hair. Everyone was laughing and taking pictures. I guess that’s private school for you! 
After lunch, we had a test in English class. I am taking all the tests here, even though my grades this year don’t count for anything, just because I want to be a normal student. I have had a philosophy, history, and biology test and I haven’t understood anything, so I was excited for an English test that I could actually pass. It was on the book, The Secret Garden, which was about 50 pages long (with pictures). I read it the night before in about an hour. Throughout the day at school, people were reading the book and studying and they kept coming up to me and asking me to explain words. I felt great because I actually understood something! We took the test, and it was actually a little difficult. I didn’t remember the last names of the characters, and there was a very difficult crossword (ex: “to cast a spell on someone” answer: bewitched), but I still think it went a whole lot better than the other tests I’ve taken.

                After school, I went with Cristobal to the hospital so he could get his Hepatitis vaccine. I know that sounds really weird and boring, but here nothing is boring. I love seeing all the new places and realizing how different everything is here. In the hospital here, there are different desks that you have to go to depending on what you want (we went to the vaccine desk), and then you have to take a number and wait your turn to be helped. Then, they just take you into a room and vaccinate you (even though Cristobal in only 16 and didn’t have a parent with him).

                We walked home from the hospital, and then we had friends over. I got to meet Sally Rohan, another exchange student from California who came to Rancagua about 5 days ago (what a coincidence right?) and her host sister Fran, who is going to the United States in about a week. It was so fun to talk to Sally and share stories about our experiences so far. We laughed together about all the differences we’d noticed, and talked about all the exciting things that were in our future this year. I felt like she understood better than anyone else what I’m feeling and thinking, and she was also really sweet and hilarious. Fran didn’t talk much but she was super nice, and she told Sally and I that she would teach us how to dance before she left (because both of us are clueless). We spoke in English the whole time, because I understand like almost no Spanish and Sally understands even less than I do (considering the fact that she’s only had 2 years of high school Spanish she’s doing incredibly well). I liked being able to have a normal conversation with someone, but at the same time, I felt guilty that we should be practicing Spanish. Whenever I talk in English for too long (or write in my blog for that matter) my thoughts change completely to English and I find it a lot harder to speak Spanish again. When their parents came to pick them up, my parents invited them in for coffee, and they became really good friends. They said that whenever we wanted they would drive Sally and I to each others’ houses to see each other. There is also a system of busses and taxis (they have a set route; they don’t just go wherever you want) that I want to learn so that I can get around without bothering my host family all the time. After they left, I went to bed feeling happy that I finally have a real friend (and another person who is as confused as I am) here.

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