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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Leveling Out

Ever since the retreat my life seems to have moved into yet another phase that will in the end, along with the others, make up the whole wonderful picture that is my experience here in Chile. The retreat seemed to center me and while I am still processing a lot (in my usual pensive, self-reflective way) it seems I have become more natural in my movement through life. If that makes sense? In less poetic terms I could say that I'm feeling more stable and level headed. Unfortunately, and this is something I know is natural, I still seem to struggle with feelings of loneliness. And this is something I will probably have to continue to work on.... I don't want this to make people believe that I don't have some of the most amazing personal relationships here. So maybe I should correct myself and say that I have more of a longing, instead of loneliness. Ya that is much better. I'm a full advocate for strong single women changing the world but I can't say that watching others around me start to pair off, get engaged, get married, have babies (At this point in my life the thought of all that anytime soon makes me severally uncomfortable...) doesn't affect me a little or that I don't sometimes dream about the day (if or when this day comes) that I'll get to travel around with my best friend :) Hopefully someone that can keep up! So all this to say... well I'm not sure what. Maybe just that, whatever role I end up playing, be it aunt, best friend, wife, mother, employ, boss, etc. that I hope I do it well, that in the end it makes someone's life just a little brighter, and (selfishly) the ones I care about most (mostly God) proud.

Monday found me still pretty wiped from the weekend but still just as happy as a clam. After class I had lunch with Madie and then headed up to have my wonderful always chill monday afternoon. It's a great way to start my week, blogging, catching up on hw, going on a run, watching How I Met Your Mother, etc. Tuesdays are one of my more long days because I don't usually get home until late. I don't have my test back from my Latin American Cultures class yet but I'm almost positive I rocked it and with the weather having been so nice all week I have throughly enjoyed my afternoons around Santiago. If only it would stay this way and not get any hotter.... sigh. As some people know I've been having big issues in getting my package that my mom sent me. This package is import because it has my replacement lens (I haven't been able to use my canon in 6ish weeks...) and the dress I ordered before I came to Chile that I wanted to wear for my bday. Madie and I spent the early afternoon working our way over to the Cento post office to try and track it down. After standing in the wrong line for what seemed like forever, being told we stood in the wrong line and sent to an empty window around the corner, we were sent away empty handed (with my minimal spanish I think she said I needed to have the letter telling me to come pick up the package and this left me pretty peeved) I headed off to volunteer pretty frustrated but hopeful that my package could still be received in time for my birthday. Volunteering was ok, we had planned on making bread (using the easy recipe that I used with the kids on sunday) but only 2 boys were home that afternoon so we played Uno (with some of the weirdest rules) and then played a little bit of hide and seek. Then it was onto dance class, which I was excited for since I had missed the week before due to the food poisoning. We did salsa, tango, and finished with a super fun dance from the Dominican Republic. Blanking on the name but it definitely had some sas! After class, a group of us went to get a after dance drink and I throughly enjoyed sharing a pitcher with some people in the USAC program that I don't always have the privilege of spending a lot of time with.

I love wednesdays around here, and this one this last week was what I like to call a TLC day. Well to be fair this whole week has sort of been me focusing a little more on taking care of myself in all ways. But it was my birthday week, I felt it was a good of time as any. After class Madie's conversation partner treated us to lunch. On our way we passed a group of protesters and came uncomfortably close to a tear gas cannon but drove through unharmed and glad to be heading away from that part of town for a little bit. We went to this cheap, and pretty bomb, sushi place and in hind site (because I had already eaten lunch) I regret not getting a role. We passed the beautiful afternoon enjoying each others company, poking fun, and busting up while reading a book about Chilean slang. A lot of it is pretty hilarious and some of it is pretty dirty. Madie and I topped off the afternoon with me FINALLY getting my hair cut and doing our toe nails. I don't have girly times like that very often so its nice to have Madie around to encourage it. I showed up at bible study feeling pretty stinkin' good and left feeling even better. I walked home with Janet (She suggested it instead of taking the metro home) and Keith joined us because he had a pretty uneventful day. While I was, and have been, very happy, there were some things I'd been chewing on and it was nice to talk a bit of it out with them as we strolled through the warm Santiago night. I talked about my feelings about being half way through my time here already and how I missed a lot of the people/things here before they're even gone. I shared the analogy about important people in your life being stepping stones and how that often helps me with goodbyes. I also spoke a little bit about my excitement and anxiety for the up coming birthday festivities. We also talked about whither we thought we were introverted or extroverted, what animal we would be if we could be, and different ways people learn. Loved it.

Thursdays kept the great day trend right on track. After class I met with me conversation partner Nicole and we lounged in the park talking about music. We then headed over to her "faculty" to hang out with her other friends (most of which I had met) and play some ping pong. Man I love ping pong! I even got to toss a frisbee around in the courtyard. Look forward to spending some more time with that group of Chileans because they are also so friendly and cool. Next week I think Nicole and I are hitting up a museum. So this is the part of the day that really gets fun :) Madie had chosen that afternoon to give me the surprise my mom and her had been planning. I honestly had no idea what it was and after I said goodbye to Nicole and hurried off to meet Madie I was pretty anxious. Was it a thing? Was it an activity? Are other people involved? I got off the metro and was greeted by Madie and 4 or 5 others belonging to the "some of my favorite people here" group. We walked about a block down and out front of a department store Madie covered my eyes and led me slowly through. When I opened my eyes I was standing in the guitar section! They got me a guitar! One of the guys, Jack, who is a music major and guitar lover helped Madie pick it out and I now have a guitar sitting in the corner of my room that I'm going to play as soon as I finish this :) After the surprise Madie and I went shopping because I now needed a dress to replace the one I was pretty sure wasn't going to come in time for my birthday. I also bought a shirt that as soon as I picked out knew I was going to buy and as soon as I picked out Madie wanted to throw something. Its the type of shirt she has been looking for since she got here and I only slightly regret seeing it first. I told her I'd let her borrow it.

After a much needed, and hilarious, coffee shop  homework session, her and I parted ways and I went to meet with my small group for pizza. This was so great! Laura's parents are in town and because they wanted to meet all of Laura's friends from church they treated us to dinner. We spent almost 3 1/2 hours laughing, eating delicious pizza, and sharing. I strummed a little bit on my guitar while people chatted and got lots of 21st birthday encouragement. Laura's parents were just great and you could see that hanging out with a younger crowd was bringing out their more youthful sides. I went to bed very late this night (late night phone call from friend worth taking the time for) and got up friday promising myself a nap. Never got it. Spent the afternoon with my host madre, she offered to come fight on my behave (which was awesome because she is fiesty and it got her out of the house) for my right to my package. Between stops into the post office I went and had lunch with her and her friend (middle aged Chilean women are fascinating) in this simple and typical Chilean restaurant that looked out onto Plaza de Armas. Very cool and very beautiful. After more time at the post and one of the head guys making about 20 phone calls, we finally tracked down my package, which got mislabeled at the airport and has been lost in the system ever since. We were told we may be able to pick it up at a different post the very next day. We couldn't... it now is looking like tuesday pick up. Didn't get the package in time for my bday but anything worth having is worth waiting for I suppose.

This now wraps up my week and puts us at the beginnings of my birthday weekend! A blog about all that awesomeness coming soon!    

Monday, October 17, 2011

Magnificent

magnificent |magˈnifəsənt|adjectiveimpressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking a dramatic landscape of magnificent mountains the interior layout is magnificent.very good; excellent she paid tribute to their magnificent efforts.
A word that comes to mind when I think about this weekend would have to be "magnificent". It seems to pop in and out of my life of late and it came this weekend in a moment I'll probably hold dear forever.
The retreat started off with me getting picked up at my house by a very sweet lady named Janis and her daughter Isa, whom go to my church. Janis was immediately warm and talkative, and it felt nice to talk to an adult in english after speaking spanish all afternoon with my friend Eduardo. It was interesting having to switch my brain over and not have to plan out all the things I wanted to say in spanish before talking. We were in the early arrivals group to help set up the center and man was it BEAUTIFUL. It was an open and airy red brick building that was made up of 3 connected squares with courtyards on the outer 2 and a chapel in the middle facing the main entrance. Very mission like with it's wide high ceilinged hallways. The grounds had plenty of space to wander (yet I didn't have much time for exploring) and I even had my own room tucked back in a quiet corner (close to the kid's classrooms of course). After helping Janis set out all the name tags grouped by first letter of last name, getting the briefing from Kathi for how kids sessions would be ran and in what rooms, and a few deep breath I prepared myself for the weekend to come. 
As people were trickling in before the first evening activities, Bryan showed up guitar in hand (he'd be helping to lead worship), and we took a little walk around the compound to get to know the place (It was supposed to be us running around in the rain.... it stopped raining as we ran outside... bummer) On our way back to the center, house, whatever it was, we encountered an interesting sight. It looked like someone had an easter hug hunt but instead of easter eggs they had used red paper hearts. They were tucked in the grass, floating in the drain, taped to flowers, stuck up in trees. As Bryan and I started to collect some we realized, oh wait maybe these are for something.... and immediately abandoned our hunt and returned sheepishly inside. Come to find out Kathi had no idea what the hearts were and they must have been left over from the group before us. 
Our first group activity was a get to know you game. We all were told to pick a picture that spoke to us from a bunch of pictures scattered about on tables (I had scattered these earlier so already had mine) We then stood in a group and shared what the picture meant to us. I had chosen a picture of a huge tree that looked like the valley oaks we have in Cali. It reminded me of my favorite tree in Humboldt that I pass every sunday on my way to church and of my childhood. We then played a bunch of name games. It was awesome to be in a group of all ages and mostly families after spending so much time with college aged peers all week. The really young kids were adorable and I so enjoyed creaking jokes with the older ones. The diversity was also really fun. In my church here, Santiago Community Church, there are people from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, etc. and kids that speak both spanish and english better than I. Haha kids with accents are so adorable, especially with names like Benjamin, Arthur, and all the sort of British influenced names. After the game we all gathered together for our first worship and it felt good to finally sing. I don't know many hymns but I make do and was quickly learning the songs familiar to my new church here. At dinner, the meals at the center were great, I got to know more of the older attends better and finally establish myself as a member of their church. I got to sit and have a chat with one of the oldest attends named Richard. Old guys and their stories are generally worth hearing. After dinner it was guitar strummin', twister playing, and drinking wine with the adults during a heated game of Taboo. I pretty much showed those older cats how it is done ;)
Now Saturday took off fast. After waffles, yes waffles!, I set right to work with the younger 2-4 year old kids. It always takes a little time to start up stuff because one must peel kids off parents and learn names but after the intro, and whipped away tears, we all sat down and talked about how we are all different but the same in God's eyes. How we are all an important part of God's body. We played a game where the kids got to stand up if I said something that applied to them and it is always cool to see a little kid get so excited about having blue eyes, or wearing a green shirt. We had them lay down and we traced their bodies so that they could color a life sized picture of themselves too! Now this is about the time that the kids get restless and we headed out for a walk. Little did I know just how handy those hearts would be! Scavenger hunt for hearts with a pack of kids = win. They had a blast. 
That day Keith and Janet had arrived for the Saturday sessions and it was so nice to have them around once I handed kids back to parents and sighed a sigh of relief that we all made it through in one piece. Watching kids all day is great birth control, I think I'll stick to cool aunt for a long while thank you very much. A highlight of my weekend was the afternoon free time, the field was right at the base of the mountains and the view up to the snow capped peaks made me pause more than a few times in awe, where I got to run around tossing a frisbee with Keith and teach little girls how to throw a flick.  They ended up falling in love with it! Seriously! Like ever time there was a spare minute they would ask, "Aubrey can we go throw the frisbee? You're coming right!?" I felt what it must feel like for a proud parents every time those girls had an especially nice flick or backhand. I'm fostering the next generation of frisbee players :D After yet another little spill, landing on the same places as last monday, I took it only a bit more easy. I was so exhausted by the time evening worship rolled around but I managed to get myself there and back out onto the field for MORE frisbee before dinner. Haha I loved the dinners. Bryan, Keith, Janet, and I were all so tired and so silly. We were creaking each other telling jokes and sharing stories. 
Since I was with the kids for the majority of the retreat I missed a lot of what the other adults had been up to in the main sessions. I was feeling like I hadn't quite gotten the retreat part of the retreat yet. The part with the deeper sharing and talking about God. That part came, ever so awesomely, that night, when Keith went off to do whatever it is Keith does lol and Janet had checked in for the night. Bryan and myself found ourselves wandering the halls, him strumming on his guitar and me walking too fast, and soon ended up in the dark pews of the center chapel. We didn't, as a church, spend time in this part but I'm glad I did. We each took turns strumming on the guitar while the other shared their testimony and when the guitar strumming got old I went and grabbed my Nutella and saltines out of my room so we could have a delicious late night feast while lounging in the pews. I'm not sure how many rules we broke but I figured if Jesus were there he would want a saltine with Nutella too. Deep late night talks are always something to cherish and it's one I won't forget. Bryan probably said some of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me and I realized that even when I may be totally unaware that God is using me in the lives of the amazing people I have the privilege of spending my time with, he really is moving in my life. This is the time of the weekend where the word "magnificent" is used and I couldn't have picked a better one to describe it now. Thank you Bryan for reading the dictionary! I'm going to be sad to see him go when he leaves for his next assignment sometime in the next few weeks. We then stayed in the chapel pews past lights out, luckily my cell phone has a flashlight, and I think we both went to bed that night muy contentos. 
Sunday morning was a bit more of a blur because I was pretty tired by this point of the weekend. After breakfast I had the kids again and we played a hilarious game I made up on the spot called "touch the tree." It turned into us making up easy obstacle courses for the kids to run and anything that helped them burn some energy was welcome. We also passed time coloring with chalk on the cement walkways outside our classroom.  I just realized this probably took place on Saturday because by Sunday the kids were a bit more grumpy and fussy. A highlight of this morning was making a throughly big mess while making the communion bread for the final sunday service. Toaster ovens are so handy. In the later session we made cards for those who are sick in the church and learned about serving the church by picking up litter around the compound. This wrapped up my job as children's leader and the sunday outdoor service began with me yawning and feeling incredibly blessed. I got to get up with the kids and shared a bit of what we had been up to over the weekend, and after some verses and more worship we all took communion together with the bread my kids had made. After service we all gathered together for one last lunch before people started packing up cars and saying goodbye. Bryan, myself, and a lot of the kids (we had a pack, it was awesome) ended up back outside playing games, running military  relays (Bryan is a US marine, and I got suckered into being a part of one of the relays... Bryan running while fireman carrying me on his back was actually quite uncomfortable....), and taking hilarious pictures of human pyramids, hanging kids, gangsta faced group shots, and all of us piled in a tree... was sad to see that afternoon end. But when I finally got home I was ready to shower and just relax (finally... haha) All in all I think my weekend at this retreat blew anything else I could have done out of the water (And it was free!). My life is really just too cool. I'm incredibly blessed! 




Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Bathroom, A Bible Study and A (Moto) Bike.

In my mind I pick weird times to blog.... but maybe that is because blogging is (and probably always be) a weird thing for me. It takes time, I don't regret doing it after the fact but I have to tell myself "it'll be worth it to write all this down" a lot, before the words actually flow. The fact that my friend Madie is the blog queen also puts a fire under by butt to at least write something. Sometime I wish I could just cop out and just paste from hers.... cause she has already done the work to write a lot of what I'm doing down.... but i wouldn't because it means more coming from me. I'll just be up a little early finishing up homework and i'll probably have to take a nap tomorrow. I don't worry too much about it because somehow I know I'll get stuff done just like I have for the last 20 (ALMOST 21!) years.

So I left off talking about how wonderful last weekend was. I seriously live for the weekends here. They are too epic, different, love filled, too really describe justly. That's the problem with blogging I suppose, I just can't fully make you grasp my life here because it is so much more than even I understand. I post a lot of pictures on FB and update my status but to dig deeper takes so much time. I logged off last monday coming down from another great weekend only to get hit with a unexpected low. Don't know what it is I ate, perhaps the sea food I ate with my host family on sunday, but whatever it was it decided late that night, right as I was about to crash, that it would rock me. No one wants details of nights spent in bathrooms but honestly I can't remember the last time I was that sick. My back is till tight from not being able to remove myself from the cold bathroom floor. But it is in these moments when you feel sick, cold, lonely, and like you will never be able to eat again, that other people start to shine in your like and humility grows. Imagine my frustration when I can't communicate how I'm actually feeling with my host parents (Hand motion vomiting is pretty universal tho) and my host madre gives me that look that makes me feel like a complete idiot. Or how I can talk to the people I miss the most on FB while camped out on the bathroom floor but that doesn't get me a hug from any of them. If you haven't realized this yet I'm a pathetic sick person, but I suppose most of us are. It's hard not to let other sides slip when the physical side is crumbling. Luckily, by morning the worst had past and I started to keep down some water, my host madre came in and out all day as I lay in bed exhausted, dehydrated, and incredibly humbled by her kindness. Never has watery rice and saltines been so good. By the time tuesday night rolled around I was stir crazy from being in my room all day and anxious to get back to my week. And man did I have a week ahead. With a paper, a composition, and a final exam I was stressed, weak, and wanting to feel ok again PRONTO. Wed. was supposed to be my day back to normalcy but funny when you think that things go kinda weird on ya. Somehow my alarm clock stopped, was wrong, I don't know.... but I got up an hour or so late. My host mom then wouldn't let me leave the house with a wet head and I strolled into class tired, late, with a sensitive stomach, and awesome blow dried hair. I only sorta remember that afternoon... oh ya I spent it with Madie :D We did hw at our favorite dessert and coffee bar, then tried to do some more at my house.... It then turned into us being our usual ridiculous selfs and her helping me write the words to Gus the Magic Drag Queen (to the tune of Puff the magic dragon that came about after a Chilean friend in my small group mistakingly misheard drag queen when someone said dragon) That girl and I laugh so hard sometimes, I think it's cause we are so awesome.

Wednesday night was Bible study and it always ends up being a highlight of my week. With everything that is always changing around here it is something in my schedule that stays constant and I look forward to the refreshment I receive from being with all the people there. I think I have spoken about this group before but it's worth mentioning here again. So far my time in Chile has been spent with a lot of college aged people like myself, some of the coolest people I know here fall under this category, but for any of you that truly know me, you know I can't do/be in one group for too long. I need different, diverse, and often unrelated, spheres of living, to truly thrive. Ever since I started to do that in Chile I have been far more happy. What is special about this small group is that it is filled with peers that are just a step ahead of me into the future. I now have friends that are showing me first hand what it is like to be a young adult, recently out of college, working and living successful lives in another country. It is such a blessing. And what is always great about small groups, and the body of Christ in general, is that we are all so different and unique. Our group really wouldn't be what it is without every single person that I have learned to love and appreciate there. Keith with his sarcasm and nonconformist adventures attitude, Janet with her more serious driven demeanor, Bryan with his similar sense of humor and flexible attitude, Sophie with her passion and wit, Ricardo with his awesome chilean accent and sophisticated air, Jorge the quiet and observant listener, Janet who is always just plan sweet as can be, and Kathi and David who hold us all together with their leadership and incredible knowledge of the bible. Long sentence? Maybe......

Thursday I got in that paper I had been quite worried about and felt a little bit freer. Plus I was suited up (How I Met Your Mother) and feeling like a boss. Oh and I was getting my appetite back finally! An after class lunch date with Madie is never a bad thing and people watching/ catching up on our weekends in a busy food court is alway a good time. Once I managed to get myself all the way home I took an obviously needed but unintentionally long nap and then hauled to get all my hw done so I could let myself out of the house for our weekly group viewing of Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office, at the marine house. Madie joined me, she has also been looking for some friends outside of school, and we really enjoyed our night. Like Madie said "They are good people." I felt awful for not inviting her sooner but now that she is in I know she is hooked.

Now Friday is where I start feeling like I'm not nearly cool enough to do all the stuff I did. I mean seriously. After my test one of my friends here took me for a ride up San Cristobal on his motercycle, and of all the ways i've been up that hill that was BY FAR the best. The rains the day before had left the city air crisp and cleaner. The view of the city and the Andes was unusually clear. I had to keep reminding me that it was indeed my life I was living. As the colorful city passed around me I knew that the weekend was going to be something special. Spending the afternoon with new company is hardly ever boring and after we ate cheap sushi in Bella Vista (one of my FAVORITE parts of town) it was time for me to say goodbye for the weekend and head off on my next adventure.

All week the thought of this weekend had been getting me through. This weekend was my church here's church wide retreat and I had offered to help out in return for a sponsorship spot. I figured I'd serve a bit, get to go for free, and otherwise have the relaxing weekend I had been craving. Little did I know quite how hard it would be and quite how tired I would be when I returned back to my room today..... I'm exhausted, sore, and yet incredibly refreshed in other ways. I wouldn't change A SINGLE thing! Now this part of my weekend will have to be the next blog because it deserves some time, length, and attention. Plus it is late.... I'm actually impressed I made it this far. Chao chao and goodnight to everyone whom I love so insanely much!



Monday, October 10, 2011

On The Move

So I'm sitting on my bed filthy (I slid head first down a mountain), too tired to shower, too unmotivated to do hw, and happy as a clam. So I thought after 5ish? weeks maybe I should blog? Haha random.... For those of you that have been wondering what the heck I have been up too I'll try to fill you in and I may be just as random as the time I have chosen to write this... Guess the easiest place to start would be today!

So got up early-ish and met two of my guys friends from church for a hike up Mt. Manquehue. Keith is a definite outdoor adventurer that pushes me (especially during our run up Cerro San Cristobal) and I appreciate him for that, Bryan is a chill US Marine that works at the embassy here and gets all my silly movie quote references (If you are reading this I'm going to miss you when you leave.... even tho nobody knows when that will be exactly). I enjoy just listening to the two of them talk because it's all stuff I don't know much about, like their travels, guns, Marine life, etc. The hike wasn't too long but at times steep. Loved getting to the top and looking out over all of Santiago. I've climbed up all the smaller hills closer to the middle of the city but it was nice to finally get up an actual mountain. I figure it made up (kinda) for not getting up my childhood mountain, the Sierra Buttes, this year. The view was still pretty stunning, even with all the smog, and some time to just sit and reflex on the vastness of the city was wonderful. The way down was a bit more intense then the way up and in my attempt at some faster fast feet I did I pretty good head first baseball slide. Some cuts on my belly, a bruised thigh, bloody knee, and a pinky hang nail, but I'm no worse for the wear. Some say I'm accident prone.... I think I just do some higher rick things than most? Haha either way I don't mind a cool bruise or scar anyways.

After getting down the hill we piled back into the white Marine armored SUV (I've gotten to ride in this a few times and while it may look pretty harmless the doors weigh a ton and the windows are like 2 inches think. You can literally feel how heavy it must be while you're it it) and headed for snacks then a movie at the Marine house. Leave it to me, in my quest for guy friends, to hang out at the US marine house. Haha I kid. It is a great place to hang out tho and I'm always joking with Bryan that I only hang out with him for his house, not true at all but funny. We finally watched Mean Girls, which we were SUPPOSED to watch saturday during waffle afternoon but Keith managed wiggle his way out of it. Not this time tho! The group of us definitely got a laugh. That movie never gets old. Four for you Glen Coco! After beating Bryan at 3 games of ping pong I finally pulled myself away and hopped on the subway for home.

This weekend just got better and better. Friday the USAC group hit the Ocoa Valley national park for some hiking. Its known for it's interesting microclimate, Darwin's studies, and some of the southern most palms in the world. I really enjoyed the hike with everyone! I wish I could calculate how much I have ran, hiked, walked, this week, cause it's probably the most in one week I can think of in a VERY long time. Feels epic! After a great night out on friday where I stayed up really late (early?) enough to get to watch the mountains around Santiago turn blue as the sky got lighter, I took it easy with waffles and a movie in the afternoon. Sunday was church and the usual sunday lunch at my host aunts house with all my host family. With all the good food (my madre makes empanadas as big as your head), good people, good weather I feel spoiled. I'm actually getting good enough at spanish to crack a few jokes and understand a bit of what is happening.

While it's been a good weekend it's been a bit more self-reflective than most. At times I just have to stop and ponder who am I, what am I doing here, I don't really deserve any of this, etc.... Now that I'm settled, all the more subtle things that come with living in one place for an extended period come out. It's hard to explain. After the shine wears off and relationships have been built. When the routine has formed and strays away from it can throw you off a little. Sounds funny but things still surprise me here. I'm settled in yet at the same time things still seem to change so much. It's cool yet takes some getting used too.... you think i'd be used to it but ah well. In the end I find it as reminder of how human I am. I feel blessed to have found such a great church and bible study (we are heading to our church wide retreat this weekend and I'm very excited!) filled with such a diverse set of people. Add it too all the amazing people in USAC and the Chilean friends I've made here and I've ended up very happy/well balanced. While I miss frisbee (I dream about my friends in Humboldt almost every week), I've learned to keep it in my backpack and through whenever I can. Skype dates with besties also help keep me sane :)

Well I'm going to chao because my host family is home and I want to go play with my adorable 2 year old cousin Emiliano. This is only a tiny bit of my life in Chile but hope you guys enjoy it! MISS YOU and LOVE YOU all very much!