Today I had to wake up early because I volunteered to work in a campaign called Siempre Por La Vida, whose goal is to collect enough signatures to send to the congress to ensure that abortion never becomes legal in Chile. My group was stationed in the bus station in the more dangerous part of Rancagua. I got there around 10 and helped Mery blow up balloons for a while, and then when Coti arrived, she and I went out to start asking for signatures.
It was in a metropolitan area, so there were a lot of people walking around on the streets. I carried balloons and bracelets to give to the people who signed, and Coti had the pamphlets with more information and the clipboard with the signature sheet. She went up to people and asked, and I followed her around and smiled and said “gracias” to the people who signed. At first I was too scared to ask anybody to sign because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to explain anything or understand their responses, or that they would start a fight with me over the issue of abortion (sidenote: I really don’t have a clear view on the matter of abortion, but I actually think I am more in favor of abortion than against it… but I’m still glad I got the experience of doing this campaign). However, after listening to Coti give the same speech to people 82046123864 times, I got over my fear and started asking people too. If they are having fun, they won’t leave until they want to. I was pretty angry with their lack of consideration for me and what I need, but I couldn’t really say anything, so I just waited quietly until they came upstairs to tell us we were leaving. We arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house around 3 and I immediately went to sleep. It was a long day and I was really pissed at my family and I just wanted to sleep.
We walked all over, through street markets, through a taxi depot, into stores and restaurants, and through the bus station, asking everyone we saw for signatures. We only took one break to go buy some lunch, and when the campaign ended at 4:30, we had collected over 400 signatures. I was tired and my feet hurt a lot, but it was a really cool experience. I got to talk to a lot of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I got to walk around and see a part of the city that I didn’t know about. When I got home, I had about two hours to kill before my family would be ready to leave for Santiago, so I ate some leftover birthday cake, played Monopoly with Monse, and then walked over to the Jumbo to look at clothes and bought a new sweater for $10 (which was really shocking because things are usually way more expensive in Chile). When I got home, I packed for Santiago and waited for my family to be ready. We drove up to the house of one of Eric’s best friends, who was having a birthday party. Maxi, Monse, and I were the only young people there.
We sat outside and talked for a while, and all the adults asked me about my exchange and they were very nice, but Maxi and I got bored after a while and so we went upstairs to play GTA. We were up there playing until 3 am. I was actually pretty angry with my family at this point. Like I get that it is their culture to stay out late, but they knew that Maxi and I had to get up early the next morning to run a race, and I just thought it was inconsiderate of them to keep us out so late. I even asked them and reminded them around 1 that we had to be running in exactly 8 hours, but they didn’t seem to care. Maxi just said that they do this all the time. If they are having fun, they won’t leave until they want to. I was pretty angry with their lack of consideration for me and what I need, but I couldn’t really say anything, so I just waited quietly until they came upstairs to tell us we were leaving. We arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house around 3 and I immediately went to sleep. It was a long day and I was really pissed at my family and I just wanted to sleep.