...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

Friday, September 09, 2005

Being sick: it sucks. (But making friends is great!)

When I went to bed Sunday, I had a tender throat, a sick taste in my mouth (I always know when I´m getting sick because I get a certain taste in my mouth, maybe from the bacteria or something), and I´m pretty sure a slight fever. When I woke up Monday, I felt slightly better but still kind of sick, and my throat was really inflamed, so I took it easy and drank a liter of orange juice. But then Tuesday, I still felt sick. Wednesday I was feeling better and it barely hurt to swallow, but then by Thursday afternoon I had a stuffed-up nose, hacking cough, and runny eyes (hot!), and I was starting to lose my voice. Today, I sound like the love child of a frog and that old woman from the Truth commercials a couple years back who had to smoke through a hole in her throat.

I like to let my body try to work these things out without outside intervention, but today I finally cracked and went to Cruz Verde, one of the major pharmacy chains here, to buy some anti-inflamitorios and something for my cough. Let´s hope it helps--I´m starting to worry that I have strep.

Edited to add: Two things that don´t suck are the keyboard I´m using (no sticky keys! What are you doing in the PIIE computer lab, keyboard?) and what happened about ten minutes ago. I left the library computer lab, where I wrote the first half of this post, and hurried to Political Theology. The professor came and announced that class was cancelled, because all the Ciencias Religiosas students are supposed to go to a presentation put on by the Department of Catholic Education (DEC, in Spanish) to talk about their futures. On the one hand, it sucks that class is cancelled a lot, and without warning, but on the other hand: free time! But what made it really good is that I started talking with Juan Carlos, this guy in Politcal Theology and Moral Social who made me the photocopies of the reading we need for the Moral Social exam on Wednesday (long story, but he has a connection somewhere who lets him make copies for free). Juan Carlos is really friendly and as we were talking it came out that he´s from Punto Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile. He asked if I had travelled south and I said no, that I only knew La Quinta Región (the fifth region--Chile is chopped north/south into thirteen? regions, which serve the same purpose as states or provinces). He asked how long I was going to be in Chile and when I said January, he invited me to come visit him and his family in Punto Arenas after the semester ends! He told me, ´´La casa es pequeña pero tiene un corazón muy grande´´--´´The house is small but it has a big heart.´´ He told me I can stay with them and that he´ll show me around Punto Arenas; I can even spend Christmas with them if I want to.

I´m so, so excited about this opportunity. I want to travel with my North American friends, of course--I´m thrilled that it looks like Mariah, Carla, and Julia are going to be able to come to Buenos Aires with us. But I also would love to travel with Chileans, or with a mix of North American and Chilean friends. Plus, I just love being able to visit people in their houses, to get to know my friends on that level, to meet their families and see how they live and what their lives are like. On Sunday, Carla and I went to have lunch at Ronald´s house in Valparaíso with his family. The food was delicious and the company, lovely. We met his mother, father, aunt, sister, sister´s pololo (boyfriend), and friend of the sister´s pololo, and spent about three hours talking and watching the fútbol game between Brazil and Chile, which Chile lost spectacularly, 5-0. I think when I look back on my study abroad experience, six months or however long from now, it´s experiences like that that I´m going to remember most fondly.