Today was a special day. In Chile, there is a national holiday called Students’ Day, and in my school, it is celebrated a lot. We were all allowed to come to school in normal clothes. A lot of people had planned to go over to someone’s house, sleepover, and get drunk at like 6 in the morning so they could come to school drunk. I arrived at school to find about half the people normal like I was, and the other half completely hilarious and crazy. A few of the girls were twerking on the wall of the classroom at 7:45 in the morning. Before school, Sebastian Gonzalez, the teacher I had chosen as my senior, came to find me and give me a present. It was a framed picture of him and his seniors (me and 2 of my classmates). It was the cutest gesture, and felt so special that he had thought of me. All the students got together in the gym for a big performance that the teachers had planned for us.
When we walked downstairs, it was kind of weird weeing them all dressed up in uniform, but I guess I should have expected that. They were still the same cool guys I had met before, and after we said a quick goodbye to my parents, we had a great time talking and laughing in the car on the way to Santiago. When we arrived at the base, I was a little nervous, because this event seemed really formal and I wasn’t sure I knew how to behave appropriately in English, let alone Spanish. Nicolas was really cool about it though, and kept making jokes about how he didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing either. We walked around arm in arm, and he presented me to his friends and a few of his superior officers. I just had to smile and say hi and that I was an exchange student from California a bunch of times. There were probably about 200 people there, all of them air force people in uniform and their dates. There was a toast with champagne, and then we stood around talking and drinking champagne while listening to saxophone music. It would have been the most boring thing ever if it hadn’t been for the great company we had. However, Sally and I are very inexperienced drinkers who hadn’t eaten a single thing since lunch (because we thought the event included dinner), and we began to feel the champagne taking a little effect, so we excused ourselves to go eat a few of the hors devours that were on the tables. We laughed at how stupid the two gringas looked over in the corner without their dates shoving mini empanadas into their mouths.