27 November 2012

Gobble Gobble

My dear LC-ers prospective and present!
Hello and a very happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had an extremely restful and rejuvenating break that has left you feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to confront your next challenges. Or something inspirational like that….

Oh what’s that you ask now? What did I do for Thanksgiving all the way in Chile? Why thanks for asking folks! This year for turkey day I went to what I’m going to call a “confused gringo potluck”. All of us gringos here with CIEE (which if you don’t know is the 3rd party organization that coordinates our homestays etc) got together with a smattering of Chilean friends and host family members and had a Thanksgiving thing. It was a weird mix of American and Chilean. On the American side there was stuffing and apple pie (which I made!) and the sharing of what we were thankful for, but it was clear we were not in the good ol’ USA. For one thing we threw turkey parts on the grill a la Chilean Asado (grill out), for another we were eating outside under an avocado tree. Eating outside was weird enough (Thanksgiving is usually really cold but it’s now late spring here) but the mix of foods people brought was also pretty strange. None of the Chileans in attendance had really ever heard of Thanksgiving and were confused about what to bring. We ended up with loaf of Pan de Pascua (this weird Christmas fruitcake thing), about 10 bottles of wine, a (calm down everyone, the drinking age here is 18 and Chile has some fantastic wines!) and a chocolate fountain. Even though I missed having cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie (it is seriously impossible to find cranberries or a pumpkin here) and I could have done without the fruitcake, I now firmly believe that every Thanksgiving feast should include a chocolate fountain.
 preparing the chocolate fountain

It was kind of sad though to spend Thanksgiving here and made me miss Portland. I haven’t gone home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving for a few years now (it’s just too expensive to go all that way for a weekend) so I usually spend the holiday with my great auntie Evelyn and great uncle John (who live in Portland) and all of the family that comes to their house. Thanksgiving in college for me has always meant a weekend break full of cousins and babies and awesome food and sleeping 13 hours every night. It was a little sad not to be there this year but I’m glad I did something here.

It’s now basically summer here and it is getting HOT. It’s been in the upper 80s and lower 90s for the past week. It still weirds me out a bit that I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt in November. The great part of the heat is that when this past weekend I went with my host family to their grown son’s house who lives about an hour away we spent the whole day in their swimming pool. The not so great part of the heat is that my hour plus bus ride to class every day on the city bus is uncomfortable. Ah well, I’ll just enjoy the heat and sun before going back to Wisconsin in December…

I only have two weeks of class left here which is crazy. What that means is that over the next two weeks I have final exams! Ahhhh!! It’s going to be a lot of work and rather stressful just like finals anywhere. I am trying to stay on top of my work however and yesterday I finished my first final paper (10 pages). Please remember that all of my classes are in Spanish so all of my readings, tests, and essays are in Spanish. Now to write the two different 5 page essays and re read all my notes. It’s going to be a good time.
As my semester rather quickly comes to an end I find myself thinking more and more about coming back to the United States, and especially back to LC. As sad as I will be to leave the temporary life I have here in Santiago, I cannot wait to be back on campus. Something that this semester has made me realize is just how much I appreciate LC and how much I’m looking forwards to being back on the hill, to eating at my favorite food cart (E-San Thai food. You’ve got to try their pad see ew. It is so good) or just studying in Watzek library.

Getting back is seeming much more real because I am officially registered for classes! The registrar’s office helps all of us off campus persons to register because we can’t always be at a computer during our registration times. I’m happy to say I got all the classes I wanted and will be taking (drum roll please): Anthropology of Violence, Social Theory (a required SOAN-sociology/anthropology class), Western Art History; Prehistoric to Medieval, and Origins of Life in the Universe. It should be a fun semester. A lot of work (first time I am taking two 300 level SOAN classes at the same time!) but I am ready.
For now however I am still here and it’s time to get to work. These papers won’t write themselves and the sooner I finish finals the sooner I get to go to Peru!!

As always please send me you thoughts, questions, concerns, philosophies, jokes or cute cat pictures to smiller@lclark.edu