...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Classy

A month into the semester here, and I´ve finally got my schedule nailed down. After much soul-searching and weighing of the pros and cons, I decided to drop my Contemporary Church History class. PRO: it would be interesting to be in a class taught by a nun. CON: if I go to a Jesuit seminary for graduate school, I´ll probably have plenty of classes taught by priests and nuns. PRO: I´m interested in church history. CON: but mostly post-Vatican II church history and North/Latin American church history, not 17th and 18th European church history, which would be the focus. Plus, since it wasn´t about Latin America it wouldn´t transfer to LC for Hispanic Studies credit. Plus, again, seminary: plenty of time for church history. PRO: my friend Ronald is in the class, along with many other friendly Ciencias Religiosas people who I know slightly. It would be a good way to get to know them better and become integrated into that community, since they seem like they´re all friends. CON: I have two other classes with Ronald and the Ciencias Religiosas people, and I don´t want them to get sick of seeing me. PRO: I did well on the reading test we had last week. CON: but the readings have been pretty boring and long-ish.

What won out in the end was the fact that I had to cancel all my plans for Saturday night to stay in and study. I need more time to study during the week so I can take advantage of the weekends to have fun with my friends and family, and since I didn´t bring my laptop and my host family doesn´t have a computer, I need a large chunk of time free to type papers in the computer lab here at the university. Dropping Church History means that I don´t have class until 3:30 on Tuesdays, which gives me time to do group work and readings.

I hate to have todrop the class because it feels like I´m admitting thatI´m not up to it. But on the other hand, I need to know my limits so I don´t go crazy. Ididn´t come to Chile to study all the time or kill myself with schoolwork; I do enought of that in Portland. Even though I know I´m making the right choice, I feel like I have to keep justifying it to myself and others.

So. As it stands, my courses:

Monday
3:30-6:50: Literatura chilena e hispanoamericana IV

Tuesday
3:30-6:50: Brasil: Universo de magia y diversidad

Wednesday
11:45-1:15: Moral de lo Social
2:00-3:30: Globalización e identidad chilena

Thursday
10:05-11:35: Modernidad y problemas sociales
11:45-1:15: Moral de lo Social
2:00-5:10: Globalización e identidad chilena

Friday
11:45-1:15: Introducción a la nueva teología política

That´s all for now; I hope the semester is starting out on the right foot for everyone back home. ¡Chau!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Photocopies

I sense that this is becoming a pattern. By far the most frustrating thing about being a university student in Chile is the photocopy system. I don´t know how Chilean students work it--I literally don´t know. I am baffled at how anyone manages to do the reading here. In Chilean Literature class last Monday, the professor said that he was putting all of the reading for today´s Control de Lectura (reading test, basically) on Bibloteca Agora, their underused, in my opinion, version of electronic reserves. I check Agora a few days later. One of the articles is there--the shortest one. Mariah goes to the library to look for the books; they´re checked out. But then the next day I run into Waleska, a Chilean friend/aquaintence in the class, and she tells me that all of the reading is being held at Fotocopiadora 12 de Febrero, across the street. We go there; the woman working there tells me that she gave the books we need out to a kid and doesn´t have any of the articles. Back to the library, books have recently been re-checked out. We meet Waleska on Saturday to photocopy her photocopies at a place near the Plaza Anibal Pinto; it takes two and a half hours. Two and a half hours! That´s an hour and half more than the photocopy woman told us it would take (you don´t make your own copies here, you just hand over the article or book to the worker and they do it for you while you wait). Plus, I don´t know if the woman, like, fucking shuffled the pages before she photocopied them, but she presented us with a stack of over 150 sheets, all mixed up, originals with copies, which we had to sort ourselves, which took for-freaking-ever and was incredibly frustrating, not least because the page numbers had been cut off so we had to go by context and sentence structure. By the time we had them sorted into distinct piles, the shop was ready to close for the afternoon, because it was after 3. The icing on the cake was that it cost over twice as much as it would have at 12 de Febrero or any other fotocopiadora near the university--1360 pesos or something like that, which is less than three dollars but exhorbidant for photocopies. We asked if we could get a discount since it took so much longer than she said it would and since we had to sort them ourselves, but she said no, because--this was her reason--she let us use the counter to sort the copies, and we took up a lot of space.

Oooh, we were angry. We left calmly and then exploded in the street. Oh, and this particular reading was 134 pages long. It was an entire (short) book. So, I stayed in Saturday night and read all 134 pages of it. It was a blast.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I´m just like Che Guevara!

...At least, inasmuch as Che Guevara rode a motorcycle in South America, and I, too, have now ridden a motorcycle in South America.

I know, right? I feel like now I should get a tattoo or start a revolution or something. The day before yesterday, I was trudging up the hill off of Agua Santa that leads to the apartment complex where I live when this guy on a motorcycle pulled up beside me. I was startled and by the time I realized it was Carlos, my host father, the first thing I could get out of my mouth was ´´Hey, how´s it going?´´ In English. Smooth, genius. Carlos was like, ´´What? Get on the bike, I´ll give you a lift.´´ And before I knew it, it was Zen and the Art of Riding Your Host Dad´s Motorcycle.

It was fun, and I didn´t die. Next time I´d want to wear a helmet, though.

***

Last night around 12:45 Carla and I were standing, talking, on the corner by her house, about a block up Agua Santa from Cafe Journal, the main bar for foreigners and students in this area. A Chilean-looking guy passed by us, then stopped, turned back, and asked us in accented English, ´´Do you speak English?´´ We couldn´t really deny it, because we had just been discussing something in English. ´´Are you American?´´ he persisted. Great! I thought. The typical Chilean pendejo who wants to use his fifteen words of English to harass the gringas. ´´I´m Australian!´´ he continued. ´´My parents are Chilean, but I was born in Australia. You have no idea how wonderful it is to hear people speaking English!´´ He asked if we were heading down to Journal, but we had just come back from the Piedra Feliz and were done for the night.

***

Last night Ambar and I were talking and I told her that I often feel embarrased using Chilean slang--your ´´po,´´ your ´´huevón,´´ your ´´cachai,´´ etc--because I don´t know if I´m using it correctly. She told me that I should try to get over my embarrasment and that if people laugh when I use slang words, it´s not that they´re making fun of me or that I´m using them incorrectly, it´s just that it sounds strange to hear them come out of a gringa´s mouth. Then she mimicked me, with my accent, saying the rough equivalent of ´´Hey, motherfucking asshole!´´ and I have to admit, it did sound pretty funny.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Love song to Aubrey R. Watzek

Man, if you want to get really confused and frustrated, come down to Valparaíso, enroll in the university, and then try to do the assigned class reading. First, you will have to figure out what the reading is. It´s not printed on the syllabus. One of two things will generally happen, leading to a flow chart of possible misunderstandings. One: the professor will hand a photocopy of the reading off to a student, who will leave it in one of many photocopy shops across the street, and you will have to find the specific photocopy shop and pay for copies of the reading. This is the best-case scenario. Far more difficult is Option Two: the professor announces, or writes on the white-board (best for those whose Spanish is not quite up to snuff), for instance, ´´pg. 46-79 La Iglesia en la época del absolutismo.´´ Since books are so expensive in Chile--they´re taxed like 25%, I heard--students don´t buy their books; everything, including complete novels and dictionaries (!), is photocopied. So, now forty students all need to make photocopies of one chapter in one particular book of which there are four or so copies in the library. So, you go to the library...or you head to the library, but you stop by the international student office to ´´check your email´´ first. Two hours later, you leave and head downstairs to the libary. The library closes at six in the afternoon. D´oh. But it says in the student planner that the library is open between nine in the morning and one in the afternoon on Saturdays, okay. So you get up early on Saturday, take the bus from Viña to Valparaíso, only to discover that the library is, in fact, closed. The hours printed in the agenda don´t actually go into effect until September. You have thirty pages of reading in a language you don´t completely understand for an exam on Tuesday, and you have plans you can´t break all Monday night. You are frustrated and angry at yourself for not going to the library first thing on Friday, so you head downtown with a friend who has also been foiled by the library to eat cake, drink coffee, and complain.

You wake up at the crack of dawn on Monday, haul yourself down to the library, which is now open. But, all the copies of the book you need are checked out and won´t start coming back until the next day, the day of the test. You try to call your friend in the class, but his phone is off or something. You get frustrated again and spend an hour reading McSweeney´s Internet Tendency and checking your friends´ blogs. Finally, you walk over to the Instituto de Ciencias Religiosas in hopes of running into someone from your class who will help you out. Success! You borrow a classmate´s photocopies just before she runs off to class and make your own photocopies, then leave the first-generation copies with the Instituto de Ciencias Religiosas secretary. You spend the rest of Monday, when not in class, trying to make sense of the reading and thanking Aubrey R. Watzek for benefacting a twenty-four hour library.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Varig provides mediocre service

I don´t know what the title of this post means--the computer suggested it in one of those drop-down boxes before I typed anything, which was convenient, because this is just one of those odds and ends posts. Feel free to make the title a metaphor, though, and God DAMN but this keyboard is going to drive me crazy, not because of the Chilean keys but because the t is incredibly sticky.

Speaking of typing, one thing I´ve observed is that Chilean students aren´t taught to type with all their fingers unless they go to secretarial school. I was working on a group project with some girls from Modernidad y Problemas Sociales the other day, and one of my group members, Carina, was hunting and pecking as we told her what to write. I was trying to be patient but after it took her fifteen seconds to find the q I asked if I could type--she and Liza were impressed with how fast I could type, although they had to help me with the grammar, of course. I think typing was one of the few useful things I learned in middle school--I just haven´t had the opportunity to shoot anything with a bow and arrow, I´m afraid.

Ryan asked in the comments of my last post how late the other guests arrived at Yasna´s party. I think Maris, another exchange student, came about fifteen minutes later, another Chilean girl a few minutes later, and then most everyone else within the next twenty to forty minutes. The Latin American concept of time is very different than the North American concept, which is confusing, sometimes. I´m not a very punctual person, like, at all, so it´s nice to not have to worry about it so much, although I still need to be in class on time. Afer Yasna invited me to her party at five, I asked Ambar what time I should really be there. She was like, ¨Well, you better get there at five. You´ll be the first person, but at least you can help her welcome the guests and meet her friends.´´ The first week I was here, Ambar, Carlos and I had a discussion that went something like this, around 8:50:

Ambar: Everybody here arrives late to everything.
Carlos: If someone tells you ´ten,´ they really mean eleven-thirty.
Ambar: North Americans are all obsessed with time and being on time for things. I say, relax!
(pause)
Ambar: So, what are you doing tonight?
Me: I´m going to a tango class I found out about last night at the Piedra Feliz.
Carlos: You know, the tango is a very sensual dance.
Ambar: Don´t listen to him. What time is your class?
Me: Oh, at nine.
Ambar: ARE YOU CRAZY? IT´S ALMOST NINE! YOU DON´T WANT TO BE LATE OR YOU WON´T BE ABLE TO FIND A PARTNER!

It was pretty funny. Tango continues to go well, though, and on Monday Mariah and I are going over to our instructor´s house for dinner and conversation. Fun!

I tried to link to Carla and Kristin´s blogs the other day, but I realized later that both links were broken. You´ll probably notice a pretty sharp decline in the amount of links on my blog, just because I have a hard time writing the HTML on these keyboards. Anyways, here they are: Kristin´s blog is http://www.kristinboehne.blogspot.com, and Carla´s blog is http://www.soylagringa.blogspot.com. I highly recommend this article on FameTracker (http://www.fametracker.com/blue_moons/misc_longoria_t_shirts.shtml)--it made me laugh out loud in the international student computer lab. Amy, I meant to tell you the other day that ´´Hichabod Duff´´ is hilarious, and will now be my permanent name for No-Neck Hillary Duff.

There´s a big-band music festival this weekend in Viña that sounds pretty fun, and we´re going to go to the concerts tonight and Sunday. Saturday night we´re watching the Chilean movie Machuca, then Mariah and I have tango at eleven pm. I´m going to go to a yoga class for the first time ever tomorrow, then church on Sunday and then lunch with an organization that aids Peruvian immigrans in Valparaíso that Yasna, Kristin and I are going to volunteer for. It´s nice to be falling into a schedule.

Peggy, I hope you have a safe trip to Russia and a wonderful, crazy semester there. I´m thinking of you and sending you love. Post your address on your blog when you get the opportunity, okay?

This keyboard really is driving me crazy, so I´ll stop here. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

´´So, what did you do over the weekend?´´ ´´Oh, I went to Argentina.´´

Or I would have, if it hadn´t started snowing in the Andes and the stupid carabineros had to close the freaking mountain pass and we had to turn around and go back to Valparaiso.

Cucha. La Ica was angry, but more frustrated. Carla was, too. Even more frustrating was that Julia (from Grinnell), Mariah, Carla and I were leaving Valpo on Saturday to meet our friends who had left Friday for Mendoza, Argentina. We arrived at the cordillera after about two and a half hours on the bus--it was actually a pretty pleasant ride through the countryside and wine country, with gorgeous snow-covered mountain views, even if the volume on the on-bus movie was turned to eleven--found out that the pass was closed, and had to turn right around. Carabineros weren´t letting anyone through; it wasn´t safe. And just like that, our plans for the long weekend were shot. Even more frustrating was that we had no way or getting in contact with our friends who were already there, to tell them that we wouldn´t be able to make our pre-arranged meeting time. I had my cell phone with me (I have a cell phone now; call me!) but it wouldn´t make an international call. The only good thing I could think of was that of my two Chilean friends, both had invited me to do things on Monday that I had to turn down because I´d be travelling. Suddenly, Sunday and Monday were wide open.

And as it turned out, I´m glad it happened that way, because the weekend ended up being great--the perfect blend of time spent with North American friends (don´t you dare say ´´American´´ to indicate that someone is from the United States--South Americans are Americans, too), my host family, and Chilean friends. Saturday afternoon, by the time we got back to Valparaíso and got our tickets refunded (at least we got a full refund, and incidentally, it costs less than 20 dollars to travel to Mendoza from Valparaíso--wow!), we didn´t want to head right home, so we went out to lunch. We had a great conversation, lots of laughter, and made plans to meet out later that evening at Ritual, the crazy artsy mosaic bar. Sunday I spent with my host family at Hotelería Copihue, a little mountain getaway inn in the peaceful, provincial pueblo of Olmue about half an hour from Viña. I played with Lisu and her little friend Valentina, whom we had invited, in the heated swimming pool for an hour and half, enjoyed a delicious four-course lunch with my family in the out-door restaurant, and then layed outside and read for over an hour. Bliss.

Monday, Carla and I spent a couple hours walking around Valparaíso with my friend Ronald (he´s the one whom I incorrectly identified as Ronan a couple posts ago), who had offered to give me a tour of his favorite places in the city. We walked over to Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre, following the Paseo Yugoslavo, and talked about religion, liberation theology, and ecumenism. We passed by some of the murals of the Museo Cielo Abierto (Open Sky Museum), an incredible, permanent public art display that spans probably a couple miles of Valparaíso. After walking back to the Cathedral, where Ronald was going to Mass to celebrate the Ascension of the Virgin (it´s a national holiday, which is why we didn´t have class on Monday), Carla and I went out for coffee and continued our discussion. Finally, Monday evening, I headed back to Valparaiso--Cerro Baron, this time--for my friend Yasna´s birthday party. It was supposed to start at five; I arrived forty-five minutes ´´late´´ and was the first person there. She, I, two other gringas, and half a dozen of her Chilean friends spent a happy evening watching a movie, singing along to Chilean folk and popular songs busted out on Yasna´s guitar, and discussing politics, Chilean slang, and religion. It was past midnight by the time I left.

So, I guess in conclusion, it wasn´t the weekend I expected, but I´m happy with how it turned out. I met some great people and did a lot of fun things--I wish all weekends could be as nice.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Well Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain´t love then tell me what is, uh huh

I confess that, as much as I love it here (and I do), I really miss Portland and Eugene. I miss the greenness of campus, the trees, walking down the Park Blocks, that one coffeeshop in South East Hawthorne that DeAnn and I went to with our book group a couple times, Fox Towers movie theater, Thai food (it´s the official ethnic food of Portland!), riding the bus without feeling as though I´m seconds away from a grisly death, the Saturday Market (both the Eugene and Portland versions, but mostly Eugene´s), Sakura´s, Allan Brothers´, Smith Family Books, and Powells, oh my God, Powells. I miss going into a coffee shop and being able to order an obscenely huge latte that will last me half an hour--maybe I´m just not ordering the right thing, but most of the coffee here is served in shot-glass sized cups--I´m pretty sure it´s just straight espresso. I don´t think they have the same sort of blended, foamy milk espresso drinks that we do in the US, which is okay, it´s just that...I miss them.

Walking around Cerro Concepcion on a sunny day helps me forget things that I miss in the US. That, and dancing around the living room with Lisu and Mey, who´s started to call me ´´Ica,´´ since she can´t say ´´Jessica.´´ (I love the way hispanohablantes pronounce my name--the hard J sound doesn´t exist in Spanish, I think, so it ends up being like Zhyeh-see-cah.) Mey toddles around the apartment, and when she sees me, she stops and says, ´´¡Ica!´´ with a big smile on her face. ´´¡Si, Mey!´´ I say. ´´¡¡Ica!! ´´Aqui estoy, Mey.´´ ´´¡¡¡ICA!!!´´ Somethimes when Maria´s cooking or something and Mey´s bothering her, she´ll tell Mey, ´´Corra y busca la Ica´´ (Run and look for Ica).

By yesterday afternoon, I was absolutely exhausted. I think it was the culmination of not getting very much sleep for a couple nights in a row, as well as the fact that now that classes have started, getting through the day socially and linguistically takes much more energy than it used to. My feet still hurt a little from walking all over Santiago on Saturday (writing all about what we did would take a long time, but you can read all about it on Kristin´s blog), so I decided to skip tango. I fell asleep around six, woke up in an irritable mood around 7 to Lisu and Mey running around and Ambar arguing with Carlos, while two of the three TVs in the apartment blared, listened to some music, then fell asleep around 8. I woke up in a better mood around eleven-thirty, just in time to watch the finale of ´´La Granja VIP´´ with Ambar and Carlos. ´´La Granja´´ (The Farm) is the most popular reality show in Chile--it´s kind of like Big Brother in structure, I think. The idea is thataA group of people (all Chileans except for one Uruguayan woman and one Spanish man) live together on a farm and do farm stuff. It´s on every night, and once a week, viewers nominate one person for elimination and the contestants themselves nominate another. The next night, the two contestants up for elimation participate in some kind of feat-of-strength challenge (that has absolutely nothing to do with farmwork, as far as I can tell) and whoever loses has to go home.

The two final contestants were Coca, one of the Chilean men, and Javier, the Spaniard. Both Carlos and Ambar, along with most of Chile, were rooting for Javier. They had to crawl through this maze thing, grab a wooden mallet, crawl back through the maze, climb up a ladder, and ring a bell. Personally, I like the ´´Survivor´´ style finale where the past contestants vote for whoever should win--it seems more fair than leaving it all up to some weird contest. Plus, all of the challenges I´ve seen have been based on brute physical strength, which seems like it would favor the men. In any case, last night was actually pretty exciting because Javier was way behind but then he made a huge comeback and won. Ambar was so excited! Today while I was walking to the university I passed by one of the many newstands and a headline on one of the gossip magazines caught my attention--it said something like, ´´¡El español Javier conquisto la Granja!´´ (The Spanish Javier conquers la Granja!) It was kind of funny that of the three final contestants, almost all the Chileans were rooting for either Vicky, the Uruguyan woman, or Javier, the Spaniard. Carlos told me that soon a Survivor-style Chilean reality show is going to start. I´ll have to watch that one from the beginning! I guess you can take the girl away from reality TV, but you can´t take the reality TV away from the girl...or something like that.

Plans for this weekend are shaping up in an exciting way, but I don´t want to write anything about it until it actually happens. Until then, ¡chau!

Well I lost my heart, it didn´t take me no time
That ain´t all, I lost my mind
In Oregon...


--´´Portland, Oregon,´´ Loretta Lynn.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Political Theology will either kill me or be one of the best classes of my college career. Maybe both.

Today I had the class I´ve most been looking forward to, Introduccion a la Nueva Teologia Politica--Introduction to the New Political Theology, but I bet you already figured that out, since the names of all my classes are composed entirely of cognates. (Seriously. Modernidad y Problemas Sociales? Take a guess.) I thought that, of all the Ciencias Religiosas classes, that was the one most likely to be about liberation theology. And it is! It´s pretty much all about analyzing and contextualizing Latin American liberation theology. There are only six people in the class, including me, and I´m the only foreigner. Intimidating! I won´t be able to hide in the back and keep my mouth shut, even if I wanted to, because a) only six people in the class and b) evaluation is based almost entirely on participation and discussion.

One of the guys in the class is Ronan, who´s also in my Moral Social class. He seems super amable--he recognized me and rememberd my name, and introduced me to the rest of our classmates. They all knew each other already because at the universities in Chile, students follow one carerra from the beginning and pretty much only take classes within that discipline. The other students all seemed friendly and not too intimidating. In such a small class, it would be great to get to know each other. I think back to Seminar in Early American Religion, last spring, where by the end of the semester the five of us in the class had, like, class-related inside jokes. I don´t know if that´ll happen again in this course, but it would be cool if it did. Ronan and two of the other students look about my age, and then there´s a 30-something man and a 30-something woman who I think is studying/training to be a nun. I´m just judging based on what she was wearing, but it doesn´t seem to far-fetched, considering that this is a Catholic university and there´s a nun in my Moral Social class. I think she´s actually an initiate, or noviate, or whatever you call a nun-in-training, because she wears a black and white habit but her wimple doesn´t cover all of her hair. Or maybe that´s how her order does it. I really know next to nothing about what nuns wear, so I´m just guessing.

The Political Theology professor wasn´t too difficult to understand, although he was the tiniest bit intimidating to me. He lectured pacing back and forth in front of the white board, and when he stopped to make a point he would stomp his right foot.

I think it will be a great class.

Before I sign off, 2 eProps to my girl Sarah--I got the package you sent the day before yesterday, and it totally made my day. The collage is hanging above my mirror, so I look at it every day. Thank you!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Seventeen days in a foreign country and culture without crying? I´m impressed I lasted so long.

Saturday afternoon, I had my first real homesickness experience. Carlos was at the beach, surfing, Antonio was out, Ambar had taken Lisu to gymnastics, and Maria was putting Mey down for a nap--I thought it would be the perfect time to call my family in the US, since I hadn´t since I first landed in Chile. I got myself all psyched up to talk with the fam, and then the stupid phone card didn´t work, like, at all. I was rerouted to customer service seven times, no exaggeration, and each time the operator put me through, and then I got the same error message, I got more and more frustrated and disappointed. After forty minutes of trying to call, I gave up and cried a little, mostly out of frustration. Then I made myself some tea, found a pudding cup of flan and two sopaipillas (fried squash cakes--pretty much the best thing ever), buried myself under some blankets and watched ´´101 Reasons Why the 90s Ruled´´ on the E! channel, subtitled and narrated in Spanish. (Sample reasons: American Gladiators, Furbys, Lorena Bobbit, Ricky Martin. I only watched about twenty reasons, but that still equaled a good hour of television.) (And by the way, since when has Hilary ´´No-Neck´´ Duff been a cultural commentator? That´s only slightly worse than Kathy ´´Second Fiddle to Brooke Shields´´ Griffith.)

When Ambar came home and asked me how I was, I thought I had it all together, but for some reason some tears slipped out. She was so sweet and understanding and took me to the corner market to buy a new phone card, and told me that I could always count on her to help me and that I could come to her with whatever I was going through. Last night we had a long heart-to-heart.

I had my first class today, and it went pretty well. It´s through the Ciencias Religiosas (Religious Sciences) department, and is called Moral de lo social--Social Morality, basically. I´m the only foreigner in the class, which is great, because it means that the professor is teaching to the Chileans, not to the foreigners, as I´ve heard happens in some of the popular foreigner classes, like Modern History. I didn´t understand everything he said, partially because there were a ton of people making noise in the hallway and he spoke quietly, and partially because of the language barrier. Sometimes the entire class would laugh in reaction to something he said, and I would laugh along with them, even though I totally missed the joke. What I understood, though, seemed really interesting, and right up my ally--it´s about the social doctrine of the Catholic church with regard to culture, politics, economics, and human rights. I hope I´ll be able to keep up. After class, I asked the girl sitting next to me whether we had any reading for class tomorrow, and she said she didn´t think so. I asked another girl in the bathroom a few minutes later, just to double-check, and she also said that we didn´t have reading. Then she asked me what my name was and where I was from and we kissed on the cheek and talked for a few minutes. Her name is Jenis, I think--I had to ask her to repeat herself like three times, because I didn´t understand her. Anyways, she seemed really nice, so I hope we can get to know each other. In addition to wanting to make Chilean friends in general, it would be really nice to have a friend in my classes who can help me understand things.

Tomorrow I have Moral de lo Social again, as well as a class called Modernidad y Problemas Sociales, that I think´s about globalization. I´ll write more soon; until then, besitos and ¡chau!