Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thursday, June 12

Today we went to school in normal clothes because we had a long day of university tours scheduled. We drove up to Santiago in busses through the pouring rain. I had chosen to go to the Universidad de Chile to look at a career in medicine first. I really just wanted to go to the university because I remember that my mom had once read a list of the top universities in South America and it had been high on the list.
We got there late and only had 50 minutes for a tour and presentation, but I still definitely got a feel for the place. It was super old and very ugly, with white walls, white floors, and white ceilings. It all would have felt way too sterile if it hadn’t been for the communist and liberal political posters lining every single wall. This university also has a reputation for being very left wing politically, and it was obvious.
There were posters everywhere about the education movement and other big social issues in Chile. It was a pretty cool experience. Then we got back into the bus and traveled toward the Universidad del Desarrollo. While we were on our way there, it started to snow. Snow in Santiago is not a common thing, and everyone was excited and taking pictures out the window.
They laughed really hard when they saw how excited I was about it, and a lot of my friends started singing Christmas carols in English. Apparently one of my friends who went on exchange to the US the year before had been asked in Chileans change the date of Christmas to June so they can have white Christmases too. Gotta love Americans huh? Anyway, we made it to the university and got out of the bus all bundled up.
Pablo walked through the snow in a t-shirt... When I asked why he just responded with "cause yolo" in English
This university was the most normal. It wasn’t that gorgeous, but the type of people I saw around the campus generally looked nice, happy, and not super stuck up and rich. I went to a presentation about the career of law. Then we all got back on the bus and traveled to the last university on the list, La Universidad de Los Andes.
This one has a reputation for being the most gorgeous campus in Chile, but also for having the most stuck up, perfect little Catholic people (it’s a private Opus Dei run school) in the whole world. Admittedly, even through the clouds and rain it was absolutely beautiful. We got a tour through the buildings and then went up to a laboratory where they were doing cancer cell research. On the walk up to the lab, we could see the whole city of Santiago under us with new rays of sun hitting it as the rain clouds parted. It was a really amazing sight.
Anyway, around 6:20 we left for Rancagua. Mery and I were going to meet Katie W, Katie H, and Sally at the movie theater to see The Fault in Our Stars on its premiere night at 7:15, but the bus was so late in leaving Santiago that we didn’t even get to the school until 7:50. We arrived at the movie theater at 8 and Katie H ran outside and passed us our tickets. We ran in soaking wet from the rain and panting from running and took our seats to watch the movie. It was such a great movie. I loved that it stayed true to the book. Katie H, Sally, and I were sitting together, and it left all 3 of us in tears. We went outside to meet up with Katie W, Mery, and 2 of Katie’s Chilean friends that had gone with her. Katie is leaving on Saturday, so her 2 Chileans would have to say goodbye to her here. I was still sad from the movie, and watching Katie and her friends crying and hugging made me realize not only that Katie was leaving soon (and honestly Katie has been one of the most important people for me during this exchange) but that in one month I would have to hug all my friends and say goodbye to them just like she was now. I broke down crying and hugged Katie and told her how much I loved her. Then Manuel came to pick Sally and me up. While we were driving toward Sally’s house to drop her off, she hugged me and I cried and Manuel and Lilian left me alone. I never used to be so emotional, but I guess exchange has made me more sensitive. It was just a lot to handle realizing that I was so completely unprepared to say a permanent goodbye to the incredible life I have and people I love here. By the time Sally got out of the car, I had composed myself. We got home and I took a quick shower while Lilian made once (I thought it was the cutest thing ever that they had waited for me until 10 at night so we could eat dinner all together). We ate and then I went to sleep.

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