Monday, April 27, 2009

Too Much English

Yesterday, I decided to go to church with Hanna because she always went with me to Catholic churches during our February vacation. I think it was a Non-Demoninational church. When we entered the church, a man handed a book with all the hymns and said, "good morning" in english. It took me by surprise. I asked Hanna why they are talking in english and she told me that it's an english service. For some reason, I felt really uncomfortable. Being here, I'm trying to get as far away as possible from english. Afterwards, Hanna introduced me to some of her friends of the Church and we spoke in english. It was just too much english for me. In the afternoon, I went to an art museum called Bellas Artes. I went with Arturo, Hanna, and Brittany. Arturo is absolutely hilarious. He always is full of energy and always has something to say. After the museum, we got banana and honey ice cream that was absolutely delicious. After dinner, I finished my reading for my Poverty and Development class. This morning I went for a run, and realized that I really like running past smokers because it's like I'm making sure they know that smoking is unhealthy. Sometimes I just want to turn to them and ask them, "Why are you doing this to yourself?"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Poloin'

Last night, I met up with my group of gringos because during the past week it was three people's birthdays. We just went to a pub and I talked to Arturo for awhile...he's a part of the exchange program, but he's from Mexico. Afterwards everyone went dancing, but I didn't because I was feeling a little under the weather and I had a game the next day.

Today, I had a wopo game at 3pm at el Estadio Nacional. We played the Chilean selection team again, so it was pretty much just a scrimmage. Amanda W. and Liz came to see the game. Afterwards, we went to Bravissimo for ice cream. I had an amazing sundae that had a delicious Sunday in the middle. I'm still feeling a little congested, so I'm not going to do anything tonight. I hope it passes soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

First Tests

Wednesday was my first test this semester. It was for my modern philosophy class. The test focused on three works written by Rene Descartes. I think I did alright. I studied with my Chilean friend, Natacha, before the test. The teacher came in the class, read off three questions, and then we had an hour and a half to right three essays. I ended up writing a total of three pages. It was a little rough, but not too bad. I think I did better on my state test Thursday. I understood the questions better, and I feel I knew a lot more. The test format was the same. I wrote three and a half pages for this test. After my philosophy test Wednesday, I bought an as from school. Yes, it's spelled right. An as is like a philly cheese steak with avocado, mayo, and tomatoe. It was so good. It's definitely my favorite Chilean fast food. For $1.50, I got an as that was as big as a subway footlong roll and juice...can't get better than that. Wednesday night at water polo practice, we played in the outdoor pool that we usually do, but now it has a huge globe over it...thank was getting cold. Yesterday, I planned a trip to the north of Chile with a friend who also goes to Loyola in Maryland. We are going to Iquique, San Pedro de Atacama, and Antofagasta between May 21st and May 25th. We got an unbelievable deal on the plane tickets. This morning, we went to the bus station and bought our tickets, so we can travel between the cities up north. This afternoon, I got my haircut. I don't know. I think I like talking to the hairdressers here more. In the states, sometimes it's just awkward.

Last Sunday, a sophomore from Loyola in Maryland was killed in a hotel room in Towson. Her parents and little sister came down for the weekend, and it is suspected that her father killed the whole family and then himself. He is suspected to have been involved in illegal scandals with his clients. He was a lawyer in New York. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Stephanie. I just want to say to all my family and friends that I love you and that I really, really miss you. What I've learned from this is to not take anything or ANYONE for granted.

With All the Love I Can Give


Monday, April 20, 2009

I Love Speaking Spanish!!!

I spent the whole morning in the library studying for my two tests this week. Before class, I met David and Fabian, who are in my Philosophy class. They are both Jesuits, and really nice guys. We had a great conversation, and they invited me to study with them Wednesday. After class, I went with my Chilean friend Natacha to a philosophy presentation. At practice, I met Xander, who is from Holland. He's a really great guy. It's kind of nice to have another gringo on the team. After practice, I took the metro home with Carlos. We had an awesome conversation about school, water polo, and more water polo.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Burger That They Served on Noah's Ark

Well, hello there. Thursday was nothing special; just another day of class. At night, I went to my friend Esteban's house to play Madden 08 until 3am...he beat me in all 7 games. Friday, I read literally all day until my head hurt. At water polo practice, we worked on ball control and anticipation on defense. Then, we scrimmaged for about an hour. Afterwards, I went to Esteban's to watch the end of the Brewers/Mets game. The Mets won in the bottom of the ninth. Esteban was bragging about how latino ballplayers are really good...which is true. We played one game of Madden, and I actually won. It was like a miracle because he's beat me the last 20some times. I was the Ravens and he was the Vikings. Saturday, I went to Santa Lucia to study for a bit. There was a really cool, young religious group there singing some pretty cool songs. Unfortunately, I couldn't find Corinne's name at Santa Lucia....she wrote her name on one of the rocks there when she studied in Chile during high school. After studying, I went shopping and bought two jerseys and a sweater. One jersey is of the Chilean National soccer team and the other is of la Universidad de favorite professional Chilean soccer team. Soooo...the sweater. You might think it's ridiculous, but I absolutely love it....judge for yourself. And yes, it will stretch out. I need to soak it in water. It's made up sheep's wool. At about midnigt, I had second dinner with a few friends at the Break House. I had a really good burger called the Noah Burger. It had lettuce, tomatoe, pickles, chili sauce, and mayo. It was surved in a plastic container that looked like Noah's, just kidding. Today, I went to 9am mass, and then studied until lunch. At lunch, I called my grandmother a liar...we are close enough that I can do that...because she said that she saw on tv that a boy ate a seed of somesort, then it somehow got into his lung, and then it grew into a plant. Guess what? She was right. We saw pictures of it and the article on line. We also watched a video of Susan Boyle, the lady from British Idol. In the afternoon, I sadly watched la Universidad de Chile lose to Colo Colo...a team that I think of as the Yankees. Not fun, when most of the city cheers for Colo Colo.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Soccer and Jesus

Saturday morning, Brittany told me that the University of favorite team...had a game that night and she really wanted to go. We went to the stadium at 10am to get tickets for the game at 6:30pm. We talked to a few fans in line and they told us that the game that night against Santiago Morning...which Brittany and I called Sunday Morning...would be an easy win for the U. Well, we went to the game, but the U didn't play too well. They had some chances, but couldn't capitalize. Every good chance Sunday Morning had, they were able to put it in the back of the net. The U lost 3-1. The one awesome thing about the game was that everytime Sunday morning scored, the U fans would cheer even louder to get the U back in the game. After the game, I went to the Easter Vigil with my family. For Easter, it was just like any other Sunday. My family didn't do anything out of the ordinary. At night, I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar with Rob, Eli, Laura, Hanna, and Pia. I forgot how much I loved this musical. It was absolutely phenomenal. Even though it was in spanish, the music and rhythm were exactly the same as they are in english. The actors were really great, especially Jesus and King Herod.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Descartes in Spanish

Thursday, I spent the whole day in the library reading political theory and philosophy...worst day ever. At night, I went and bought theatre tickets for Jesus Christ Superstar in spanish. It's on Easter at 8:30pm. Yesterday, I went to the fish market with Eli, Mama Ana, Martina, and Brittney. We ate at a really good restaurant and I had a seafood stew...a little too fishy for me, but it was still good. Last night, I walked in a procession of the Way of the Cross. In the streets, teenagers acted out the stations of the cross.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where Have All the Years Gone?

To start off my birthday, Corinne and her roommates called me and sung happy birthday. I couldn't stop smiling. Then at breakfast, my host mom told me how great of a person I was...I almost started to cry. Then, I opened my box of goodies from my parents...peanut butter, sour skittles, butterfingers, tootsie pops, OLD BAY, gum, confetti, and a happy birthday sign. I never realized how much I love candy. At class, my good friend Natacha gave me a cool book about Indigenous groups for my birthday. For dinner, Rob and Laura came over, and we had mussels and clams with OLD BAY....I was in heaven. Then, I went over to Eli's house for some more sweets. I brought Mama Ana some Old Bay. She loved the smell. The pastry she made was kind of like pancakes with melted caramel. It was really good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


4:30-5:50pm Philosophy
8:00-10:00pm Water Polo
8:30-9:50am State
10:00-11:20am Poetry
4:00-9:30pm Service
3:00-4:20pm Estado
4:30-5:50pm Philosophy
8:00-10:00pm Water Polo
8:30-9:50am State
10:00-11:20am Poetry
3:00-5:50pm Poverty and Development
8:00-10:00pm Water Polo

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Surprise in the Japanese Garden

Palm Sunday was the day of the Santiago Marathon. A few of my friends ran in it, but I didn't. Starting in May, I'm going to train for the Buenos Aires Marathon on October 11th. Before church, I walked in a Palm Sunday procession with a few friends. It was really nice. PS Chileans use full palm cool. After church, we planned to have a small picnic...nothing special. However, when we arrived at the Japanese Garden, 20 or so of my friends popped out and surprised me. It was a surprise birthday party for me. I had no clue. It was great. We stayed at the park for a few hours just eating and playing football. After the park, I went over Esteban's house and watched the Phillies-Braves game. Braves won by hitting four homers in the first two innings. Monday at wopo practice, we had "evaluations." This consisted of swimming one thousand meters for time. My time was 16:19. After practice, I came home and rehearsed with my group for the play we had to act out for today. Then, I went to Esteban's to watch the NCAA Championship Basketball Game. Today, our teacher was really impressed with our play. We received a perfect score of 7. At service this afternoon, I talked with Carlos for about a half on one. It was really great. I was able to practice my spanish and we actually had a pretty decent conversation.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wine Festival

Friday night, we threw a party for Fernando. Fernando is from Uruguay and the host cousin of Hanna. He has lived with Hanna's host family in Santiago for one and a half years, but is now moving back to Uruguay to be with his girlfriend and because he got a really good job. The party was very nice and calm. Afterwards people wanted to go to a bar, but Fernando is not the bar type. I was going to go home until Fernando said he was going to go, so I went so he could have someone to talk to. We talked for about an hour about stereotypes, South America, and the US. Fernando is a really nice guy, and is very easy to talk to. He's...I would say...28. Today, I went to a wine festival in Pirque, Chile. It was very nice. They even gave us glass wine glasses to keep. They also had a rodeo there, but I couldn't watch because the cowboys were cruel to the calfs. All in all, it was a nice relaxing day.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Wednesday night, Chile played Uruguay in a World Cup Qualifier. I watched the first half with my grandmother, and the second half with my friends at a restaurant. The game ended in a 0-0 time, which isn't bad for Chile because apparently Uruguay is supposed to be really good. At the restaurant, I met Richie and Juan Pablo. Juan Pablo was a really nice guy and is studying medicine in Santiage. Richie...umm...was a bit different. He's in the Chilean navy and is a boxer, but he is on medical leave because he has problems with his man parts...he told me this before he told me his name. Yesterday's classes went pretty well. I was able to completely understand my state class...woohoo! After lunch, guess who called? Richie! He wanted me to meet up with him at mall that's pretty far away, so that didn't happen. He invited me to a party was having, but he needed my last name and the full names of my friends that I would bring...I'm not giving out people's that didn't happen. After my 3pm class, I worked on a play that we have to perform for poetry class with a few friends. After dinner I tried mate (maatay) for the first time. It's like opening a teabag, putting it in a cup, pouring hot water in the cup and using a straw to drink the liquid. It's kind of between a coffee and a tea. I think it's really good. It does give you energy, so it's probably more like coffee. At night, I met up with Stefani, Rob, and Eli at Plaza Brasil and we went to a cumbia concert. There, we met up with almost 10 other people from my class. I've never heard music like cumbia before. I can't describe...look it up online. It's fun and crazy...I can't think of any other words for it. I'm still a little confused by it. On the way home, I took a taxi and had a really good conversation with the driver about Chile, Obama, Argentina, cumbia, mate, Chilean food, etc.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's Just the Way It Is

Monday was just a normal day of class. At water polo practice, we practiced with the Chilean selection again. They left for the South American Cup in Argentina Tuesday. Yesterday for my state class, my teacher came late, so he sped through his notes. I didn't get much of what he said. In poetry, we had a paper due on racism in Chile. I interviewed my family here to get an understanding of the topic. The indigenous people in Chile, the Mapuche, are not liked because some Chileans are just ignorant of their culture and also because some Chileans feel that they are just different and shouldn't be in Chile. Most Chileans don't like Peruvians or Bolivians because there is a history of border conflicts, which Chile has won. Currently, there are disagreements of Pacific Ocean ownership. At night, I went to Cerro Navia for service. When I got there, I found out that one of the boys of the population I work with had died. I never met the boy, Christopher, but the social worker I work with, Ximena, had known him for two years. Apparently, everyone knows who killed him, but nothing will be said because it was a close friend of all the boys, even Christopher. I was told this all occurred at a party, where everyone was really drunk. The social workers told me that that's how life is there. It's just a really complicated situation. When I got back to the foundation after walking around with Ximena, I taught an english class to some of the neighborhood kids. They were extremely obnoxious, but fun. Today, I went to the Argentinean Consulate and Embassy. Both places told me that I can't get a student visa, unless I study there for at least two years. They told me to go as a tourist.