Monday, August 30, 2010

Moving Along

Second day of school.  Sort of stunk.  I didn't really do anything.  I listened to music, read, and not much else.  During the breaks no one in my class really talk to me, a few but not much.  I started going to the other class with my friends from the party, they picked me up.  I am still trying to switch, but for some reason my mom doesn't want me to. Who knows, she said she will ask.

After school I went to get my ID and had some problems, nothing major, got fixed and went to the bank.  The atm charges me 5 bucks to get money out and I couldn't get out all I wanted after trying two machines.  And then it started raining.

I got home, messed around a little bit on the computer, at lunch, some other stuff and then it was off to the gym with three other exchange students.  The sun came out, my friends were great, and the gym felt good.  We walked to one house, dropped off a friend and then my Danish friend came over.  It was fun, just hung out in my tiny room.

Over all everything is settling down and slowing down.

It is strange, every time that I speak English with my friends it's broken and sounds terrible.  And many words I am forgetting.  When I get back to the US it is going to be terrible.  I'll pick up my English quick than I am getting my Spanish though.

I am hearing that my Spanish is awesome though, I left my friend's house and her parents that she should speak like me.  I must be doing something right.  I have been translating a bit in school and I started watchin videos on line, but I don't have that much time, I try to get out a lot.  The house is getting hard.
Soccer on Wednesday.  Oh, and I missed rugby, I slept in and my friend's phone wouldn't work.  I'm going to have to wait another week.  And maybe not even get to go, my mom doesn't think I should because it is dangerous and she doesn't think Rotary would approve even though my friend is already doing it.

Goodnight, school tomorrow, I hope it gets more interesting.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

To Much Thinking

I have been having problems sleeping since I have gotten here and its all starting to catch up with me.  Translating constantly in my head, constant movement, they gym, not eating as much as I should, and so much more are taking a toll.  No matter where I am sleeping is hard. It takes me a long time to fall asleep and I wake up at least twice a night.  Hopefully it gets better soon because I need a good rest to function and start learning faster.

Past that though, it is still great.  I've had still more busy days.  I went to school and loved it.  The people were all amazing.  All my classmates speak English pretty well, so it was easy to communicate with people and make friends.  The classes are boring because I have no idea whats going on, but the ten minutes in between each class are good, and the end of the day when we have some time to play soccer and do whatever.

After school I went and had a burger at McDonalds with two classmates.  Not much to say about it, it's McDonalds, the same thing as the US.

I got to go to my first party too.  It was a ton of fun, just at a friend's house.  It started slow, I was the first one there, just hanging out with him.  The other exchange students in my city came which was good for all of us.  The party started getting packed and soon we were all dancing and having fun.  The people at the party were from my school, but not in my class, so I had not met them before.  Really quickly though we all got to know eachother really quickly.  They were all really friendly and I think I did a pretty good job too.  By the end of the night they had convinced me to switch classes, I want to go to a party with my classmates before I actually do though.  There was supposed to be one tonight, the day after, but it got cancelled because the father at the house it was at got sick. 

Now, take the funniest person you know, and multiply him by ten, and I got to hang out with him.  He referred to me as better than Jesus and the rest of the party was calling me a god.  To much fun.  I couldn't believe how welcoming and open everyone was, but they were and it was great.  I can't wait for another. 

Today I went and saw my brother's soccer game.  They won 5 to 2.  The kids on the team are all around 13 and were pulling moves and playing like they were 16 or 17.  It was crazy to watch.  Both teams would have ripped apart any team their age in the US.  Anyways, my host dad seems to be loved by everyone.  All the adults who were their talked to him and a few told me how lucky I was to have such a great host dad.  He picked me up from the party at 2 so he must be awesome.  I can't wait till I can actually talk to him. 

After the game we went offroading a little bit, my dad just showed me the grounds of my schools fields and what not that are 15 minutes from the actually classrooms.  The he took me to the supermarket to get food for lunch.  We ate, I did some computer stuff, and then my dad gave me a bunch of party music to put on my computer and listen to.  The first cd I put in came up as a video and started playing reggatone dance music with girls in bathing suits grinding on guys on a beach.  It was kind of weird, but pretty cool that my dad gave it to me, and even cooler that he had it, with his collection of music.

After that excitement I went to my friend Kathy's house, I wish I had pictures.  It is in the nicest neighborhood in the city and the house was amazing.  Wood railings, tile floors, the whole shabang.  Her father is a game hunter and had boar heads and whatnot covering the walls.  Kathy and I hung out for a while, I showed her That 70's Show, watched soem friends, talked, and then the father came out and asked us if we wanted to shoot some guns, just small pellet guns.  Maybe later some bigger ones.  It was lot of fun and pretty cool.  Turns out I'm pretty good with a hand gun. 

Their family took me to their grandma's house were we ate a small dinner.  Their dogs, German Sheppards, hated me.  I petted one for a second over the fence and then it went nuts, almost bit me.  I got my hand out in time.  I think I'm more of a cat person.  They showed me their pool where I can go swimming this summer, and its really nice, I'm pumped.  The grandma's house was even nicer than Kathy's parents, it's crazy the difference in lifestyles here, just from middle to upper class.

Now I am home and I forgot to talk to my friend about going to another party, some big motocross thing.  Oh well, I had enough action for the week.  I need some rest. 

Seth: I understand why all your blogs from France were so long, there is so much going on and I want to remember it all. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's Going

Yesterday we left Santiago, saying goodbby to everyone was nice.  The trip was great and the family was amazing.  It turns out that my cousin's, Catalina, boyfriend (I almost wrote bolola, boyfriend in Chileano, because I am thinking in Spanish a bit), is back from the US and was there last year in Topeka.  It was arelief to hear some English again.  On the drive back I watched the sunset over the Andes.  the smog of the city made it beautiful, change the colors and making the whole sky turn orange, red, yellow, ect.  That was about the only good part of the five hour drive back.  I had some fun here and there for a bit with the family, but with six people in a five seat car, it was cramped, very cramped.  Not only that, but the door isn't properly sealed and cold air was blasting my arm, even with my sweatshirt blocking it.  With those two obstacles and a back that was screaming to be stretched I couldn't sleep whatsoever.

We got back and I did a few things and dropped out to sleep.  But, just like the car, my window leaks cold air.  Luckily I have a pluthera of blankets on my bed.

The day began as a bust, the policia de international worked and I got a few things there, but the post office people weren't working.  This meant that I couldn't get my ID card.  They were just sitting behind their desks, not doing anything, wasting time.  Also, I couldn't withdraw the money for my trip to the south of Chile with Rotary.  But that is all fixed now and I can do both of those things tomorrow. 

I met up with two other Rotary students, both from Denmark and we went to the gym.  The gym was pretty shoddy but, it has pretty much everything I need.  The guys at the gym were impressed by how much I could lift and made me flex a few different things for them, kind of awkward. 

With the guy from Demark, Alex, I am going to play rugby.  I chose this instead of soccer because I've never done it before, Alex is doing it too, and I might join a college club when I get back.  I have to pay for it though, and another bad thing about rugby is that on the first day the players must initiate us.  This includes taking out pants, putting them on our head, giving us a wedgie, rubbing out face in the dirt, and who know what else.  I'll post an update on that when it happens.  We start on Sunday, Alex was going to start on Wednesday but wanted me to be there with him for the initiation and we just have to work things out with my parents here and everything will be good. 

I am starting to really like it here. The city is rundown, but it is really interesting, and it is a city.  I only walked a few blocks but I already know I am going to love living in the city.  Walking and looking is great and everything is pretty close.  The only problem is that my parents seem pretty strict with going out.  Everyone I know is allowed to go out as long as they want on the weekend, I however, have to be in by one, maybe two.  It is pretty late, but I know I am going to miss out on a lot with my friends in the city and the night life.  I consider myself a pretty independent person when I want to be and their restrictions are going to be hard for me.  I had been planning on asking for another family part way through the year, but now I think that I will work a bit harder for it.

My Spanish, Castellano in South America, and sometimes referred to as Chileano in Chile because they have so many different words and saying, is coming along very good.  My Danish friends said that I speak as good, if not better than them and I've only been here for 6 days, or something like that, I have already lost tract over everything, while they have been here for 3 weeks.  I'm feeling good about just about everything, except my restictions.

A couple things I forgot about the other day are:

1. The bread.  There is fresh bread every day and I love it.  The bread is deliecious and I've always wanted a bakery near me in the US and there never has been, this is going to be great.

2. My school.  It is a Catholic school.  If you know me, it's going to be hard.  There are uniforms (I'll put up a picture at some time when I get one and figure out how to.   I can't have and earring, and my hair has to be above my eyes.  Alex, the Danish boy, said that at his school they don;t really care because he is foreign, but who knows at my school. 

Thats about all here.  I am fitting into the city pretty well and I really like my friends from Denmark.  I start school tomorrow and hopefully make some Chilean friends.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Santiago dia 2

Today was much better than the last few.  Another family breakfast and more people to meet with more names than I remember. I don´t even know who´s house I am staying in. It doesn´t really matter, until I have to figure out who to give the gift I brought with me to.

I went to the super market with my cousin, who is great, and I already lost my Spanish dictionary.  Luckily I got a new one when I was in the center of Santiago.  We also took my other cousin to the airport and said goodbye.  I sort of freaked out when she left because I started thinking about home and everything there, it was like living leaving all over again. I feel much better now and as my cousin said, she´ll be back, just like me. 

I went to the center of Santiago and saw all sorts of things like the first post office, their version of Wall Street, and Plaza de Armas, which was beautiful, interesting, and extremely busy. I wanted to buy a ton of stuff, but I´ll do that later.  The Catholic Church in the Plaza was beautiful, but similar to all the others I have visited.  I could spend my year in Santiago easily, there is so much to do here, and I could do it all twice.  Even with all the pollution that makes it hard to see even 2 miles, it would be worth it.  When I came out of the super market with my cousin, I looked up and saw mountains that were no their the day before, only two miles away because of the smog. 

I´ve been hanging out with the family around the house, playing videogames with my cousins and brother, helping my cousin with her English class, and teaching another cousin to play Starcraft. It´s been really busy and really fun all day.  But I still miss everyone and most stuff in the US

Now, less with the events of the day, and more about general things is Chile and how I am feeling.

1. I have to wear my shoes all the time, and if you know me, you know that I´m having issue with it.  My feet are sore, sweaty, and in pain.  I just want freedom for my feet. I need slippers, it´s rude to not wear shoes inside.

2. I can´t stretch at the dinner table but, I can blow my nose all I want.  How am I supposed to eat in happiness if I can´t stretch my stomach?

3. I have started thinking in Spanish a bit. Words here and there are taking over.  Estados Unidos-USA, o-or, mi/s amigo/a/s, my friend/s, and some others, it´s pretty cool.

4. My dictionary is my lifeline and my family thinks it´s funny.  Every time I pull it out, they snicker at me.

5. I still haven´t really settled down in my home.  That means it doesn´t feel like I´m on an exchange yet.  I am just visiting another county and staying in someone´s house. Hopefully that will change when I get to my home in Los Angeles.

6. I like all my family.  Cousins, uncles, parents, and brother.  My cousin and I are feeling a lot of the same things.  Her boyfriend left for the US a few weeks ago, and now here cousin/best friend has left her too.  She is sad and feeling pretty lonely and we have been bonding a lot.  I wish that she live close than the 5 hour drive to Santiago.

7. I´m not sure when I am being rude or not, it´s hard deciding whether I can do something or not.

There are some other things that I´ll think of later, but for now this is pretty long and I should get going, too much time on the computer. I hope Los Angeles is close to as great Santiago is, but from what I saw and was told by some of the people there, it isn´t.  When I get back I have tons to do in prepartation for school and my exchange, everything from my Chilean ID card taht registers me with the government to buying black shoes for my school uniform.  It is going to by another busy few days even when I get back to Los Angeles. Hopefully I can get some time to rest in the meantime.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Days

I don't thinks things could get much crazier.  Everything so far has been insane.  The flight over was a total of 21 hours. Marlee and I flew to Miami and met up with Kelsey and then met a guy going to Santiago to study.  We talk to him while we waited for our flight.  During the flight we watched the sunrise over the Andes, and what we thought was the Atacama, but was only clouds, with the Atacama under them.  Still, it was beautiful.  On the flight I was in a center row, but no one was on the plane and I ended up moving to a window seat and stretching out.  From Santiago we flew to Concepcion. We were met with open arms and a car to take us to Salto de Laja.  We stayed in a hotel that looked out on amazing waterfalls.

The 20th to the 22nd was a Rotary orientation with all the other students.  We spoke English the whole time and it didn't really feel like we were in Chile.  Everyone I met was great, and I'm really happy with my Rotary group. Even the Chilean exchange students in previous years that were there were great.

All the meals we ate were great, and seemed authentic Chilean.  I also think that the first few weeks are going to add some weight unless I do something about it.  During the weekend we went of a horse drawn carrige, played soccer, had a small dance, got to know eachother, and listened to a lot of music.  On sunday we met our families, except the exchange students who had been there for two weeks already (Denmark and Germany sent their students earlier for some reason).

My family is great, my mom speaks fairly good English and has been helping me understand a lot of what is going on.  My brother is nice and I have been doing a lot with him.  My father is nice, I have not spent to much time with hime, but once I'm back from being in Santiago I'm sure we will talk more, or try to. Also, my father's sister and two sons are living there. One is maybe 4 or 5, and the other is 12 or 13, like my brother.

I got my house, and they told me we were going to go eat at my grandparents house and then leave for Santiago, a five hour drive, turing out to be 6 because of traffic and stops.  My house is pretty small, what little I saw of it, and my room is tiny.  probably 4 and a half feet by 12.  I unpacked my stuff, as best I could (there is a bunch laying everywhere as I didn't have time to do everything I wanted).  I packed for three days and we were off.  My grandparents own a big farm and I ended up eating all food produced on the farm except some rice.  Chicken, fries, and some Chilean vegetable called castenllas, I think.  It was all amazing, and way to much. Saying no is hard because I feel like I am insulting people, but soon I'm going to have to start doing so because each time I eat I am getting uncomfortably full and it's makes me like the food less because of the association.

In Santiago I have been at my Aunt and Uncl's house with every one playing videogames, sleeping, eating, tyring to speak Spanish, and going to the mall. I wandered the mall with my little brother and cousin, playing games and trying to communicate.  Together they bought me a Chilean soccer shirt that has Sanchez on the back, Chile's soccer hero right now.

Altogether, I am completely lost and am saying yes to things that make no sense to me.  They could be saying anything to me and I am saying yes.  I'm not sure what else to do, I already make them slow down and say it multipule times.  I sort of gave up.  There has been so much going on that I haven't really had time to think about home, only in the car ride to Santiago has that happened, and it was really hard.  Being on facebook and writing this now is not so good either.  I miss everything about the US.  It is really delapadated here, and looks like a South American county would.  Shack on the side of the road, packs of dogs running around, and lots of construction because of the earth quake.  My city looks pretty trashy, but Santiago is nice.  As soon as I take some more picture and have some time, and figure out how to put pictures on facebook I will and everyone can see what I am talking about.  It is pretty cold at night and warm in the day.  My grandparents told me it is going to be a really hot summer which is not going to be fun as I've already had one hot summer.  I miss everyone, and hope that this post wasn´t to long.  Hopefully the rest won't be like this, but who knows, maybe my time here will be filled and I won´t have time to think of home or keep in touch.  Once I get back home I'm sure things will calm down and I'll get some time to talk to people at home.  In the mean time wish me luck with everything!

P.S. The computer I am using is in Spansh so everything I am tying is underlined red.  If it is wrong, sorry, there is to much to figure out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Day of Departure

Well, I'm off to the airport in a little bit.  There are just a few last things I need to get and pack, and then I'll be set to take off.  There was a last breakfast at Family T with the family plus Kelsey.  Definantly a good last breakfast, and no where near as depressing as most of my last activites.

Saying goodbye to anyone was a hard job to do, but it only got worse as the trip got closer.  It feels like losing appendages, guides, and brothers.  Even though it is only a year, it's still weird knowing that I'm not going to see things that have been so regular to me for so long.  Goodbye to everyone, and thanks for everything over the last few weeks and more.

Once I arrive and figure everything out I will put on my adress for those of you who wanted it.  My skype name is calebjsb if you want that too, just let me know if you want to talk and we can arrange it.  I am not a great writer, and hopefully my skills will improve as the blog goes on.  I'm bound to make mistakes, and I'm sure I'll hear about it from my mom on each one (as she just told me to do spell and grammar check every time). 

Wish me luck, and I'll be back in a year.