Today I woke up around 9:30 to get ready to go to Techo Para Chile. Juandi picked me up at 10 and we went to the headquarters, took the micro, then walked the long walk over to the camp. They were fumigating in the camp today so we took all the kids over to the meadow nearby and let them play for a while. There was this one little kid with crutches who had his birthday that week, so we put some candles in a snickers bar and we all sang to him. I figured out that he was turning 17. He looked about 7. It was pretty sad, but it made me happy to see how happy he was at all the attention he was getting from everyone. I was playing with the kids when this other volunteer that I’d never seen before came up to me. She asked me where I was from and I told her California. She burst out laughing and said “woah what a small world I’m an exchange student too and I got here two months ago from Texas.” We started talking for a while and she is with AFS and also here for a year. She was at Techo for the first time today with her host sister and cousin. We all sat around in a circle and talked for a while (in a weird mixture of spanglish), and I had a great time. Sarah is super cool and really funny, and talking to all of the other volunteers made me feel like I was finally being accepted into the Techo family. Sarah and I made a plan to get a group together with all the exchange students from Rotary and AFS and hang out. I really love exchange students because we all understand each other and it’s so easy to make friends with them. When I got home, my family was eating lunch, so I joined them, and then I showered and packed. My family was going to stay in Santiago Saturday night to go to my dad’s friend’s son’s 5th birthday party, but I was really fed up with never being able to go to parties with my friends because I always have some family commitment, so I asked them if I could stay over at Katie’s house and go to my friend’s birthday party instead of going with them. They gave me a lecture on party safety (never leave your drink unattended) but they let me go. I went over to Katie’s house, and then we went to our friend Coti’s house to get ready with Coti, Lorenza, and Gabs. Katie and I came in pretty normal clothes because that’s what you wear to parties in the US. The other girls laughed at us and told us to borrow Coti’s clothes because we weren’t sexy enough in our jeans and tshirts. We got ready, then ate some pizza for diner and danced around Coti’s room. Around 10:30 we left for the party. It was super far away in the country and we had to drive through dirt roads and we actually only found the place because we heard the music from far away. When we got there, my friends clapped for me because I finally broke out of the house and got to go to a party (they have been inviting me to parties like every weekend since I got here but I’ve never been able to go because I’m always busy with my family). talk to. There were a lot of seniors there whom I don’t know, and I had a great time meeting them. The guys were super flirty as usual, but it was still nice to talk to people.