Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friday, July 11

Today was the last and most important day of the alianza. We started by watching the “flash mob” of each alianza, which was just a dance in which more and more people added in. Then all the girls had to go to the classroom to change our clothes and get ready for barras.
Our theme was go karting, so we had the outfits of the girls who wave the checkered flags at the beginning. We went outside and practiced the dances and our positions in each one a few times, and then it was time to go to the gym for the performance. Everyone was nervous, because although this was just a school competition, we had worked for a long time on this and barras is by far the most important competition in the whole alianza. We went into the bathroom and painted our lips black with paint. It was really disgusting and the paint got all over our teeth and we had to keep cleaning our teeth while we waited for the paint to dry on our lips. Our alianza was the first to go, so we put up our scenery and lined up at the back of the gym. Everyone was jumping up and down and yelling and nervous and excited and the atmosphere was great. Before we went on, they said, “guys let’s do this for Alex because today is her last day at school” and it was just the cutest thing ever. First Isi, the queen of the alianza, entered on a motorcycle, jumped off, and waved a checkered flag. Then Felipe, the king, entered in a go kart. He got out as all the senior girls and guys were entering. We did this sort of call and response dance between the boys and girls, and then the boys went off the stage and the rest of the girls came on and we did the rest of the routine. The guys also had another dance and participated in the lifts. We went through the whole performance without any major problems. We all danced full out, smiling and enjoying the performance the whole time, and all of our lifts and pyramids (the thing I was most worried about because I really just didn’t want anyone to fall down and hurt themselves) went off without a hitch. At the end we all yelled a cheer about “Alianza Gris” and ran off. The whole routine lasted about 10 minutes. We were so happy and amped up and proud of our performance. It was a really great feeling. You guys can watch the performance here: Barras Alianza Gris Then we watched the other two alianzas, which were also really good, but we were pretty sure that we had done the best, which was surprising because we had never really expected to win barras. After barras, there were a few more tests to watch, like a parade of cultures where people had to come out dressed in clothes from other cultures and a teacher-student partner cumbia dance. Pablo, Stefano, Isa, and I sat in the gym watching them. Then the bell rang and I had to go back to the classroom to say goodbye to Lila before she left. I was planning on seeing the rest of my class at the school party that night, so I only needed to say goodbye to Lila and Angulo, who weren’t going to the party. They both gave me gifts, and I hugged Lila for a long time, and she was the first person to make me cry. We cleaned up the disaster zone of a classroom (just the 3 of us because everyone else ditched), and then walked out of the school together. I tried not to think about the fact that this would be the last time I saw Instituto Ingles, at least for a while. When we had to part ways, I hugged each of them and tried not to cry too much. I walked down to the big stoplight to get a collectivo, and I let myself cry. Just as I crossed the street in front of Instituto O’Higgins, I saw Katie outside with one of her friends, also crying, because today was her last day too. We just saw each other and hugged because we understood exactly how the other one was feeling. With promises to visit before Katie left the next day, I got into the collectivo. That was the last time I saw Katie, but it’s really okay because I think goodbyes are overrated anyway. I got home around 2, said hi to Manuel, and then went up to my room to put the finishing touches on all the suitcase packing I had to do. Everything was overweight and nothing fit and I had to try 7 million different combinations of things to get everything in and fitting and the proper weight. I had to keep taking unwanted clothes out of the suitcases to leave in Chile. Around 6, I changed clothes and got ready to go over to Cata’s house. She was going to take me to the school party later. Manuel dropped me off at her house. I walked in and said hi to her, and she led me into the kitchen. There was a sign there that said “Alex te queremos” and suddenly a bunch of my friends jumped out to surprise me. It was a surprise going away party for me.
They all hugged me and laughed at how surprised I had been. We ordered pizza and talked and played Just Dance and Band Hero and had a lot of fun.
Ica, my other blonde half

I was the third person of their couple

Cata's family was definitely my third Chilean host family

Pablo is basically just awesome
I realized how much I absolutely love these people and feel so comfortable here in my life. We had to leave Cata’s house around 11, and nobody wanted to go to the party, so we ended up going over to Nico’s house. I did feel pretty guilty about not going to that party to say goodbye to all my school friends, but at the same time, I was surrounded by my best friends and the people whom I would truly miss, and I decided that was much more important anyway. We talked and played word puzzle games at Nico’s house until like 1:30 when Manuel came to pick me up. I tried not to make the goodbye incredibly sad, I just hugged everyone goodbye like I normally would, thanked them for the great party and for being such amazing friends, and walked out the door. I went home and went to sleep.

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