The week went so fast!! This was not such a good week for studying, but definitely a good week for having fun with my new friends. Monday evening the school hosted a small party, which turned out to be a long evening! I though I was signing up for a cooking class. I was sad to discover that my Spanish was really bad, and that we wouldn’t be cooking at all. Instead the staff put together a few snacks for us, along with about 5 different varieties of pisco sours (the typical alcoholic beverage in Chile). About 12-15 people came, and once we started imbibing it became really fun. There was mango, pineapple and other favors I didn’t recognize.
Some new students joined us this week, 3 of which were from the U.S. One older gentlemen was from Athens, Georgia. He is here for two weeks to brush up on his Spanish and see a bit of Chile. We got into a very long conversation about my dissertation topic. He has his PhD in something (education maybe?) and was keen to talk about my school, research, et. Anytime you put me together with alcohol and someone interested in my research topic, you are in for a heated (and likely long) discussion. But he seemed to enjoy the conversation!
We also had two Air Force officers join us this week. Seriously? I recognized them as soon as they arrived – in their button down shirts, khaki trousers and real shoes. They are here on behalf of the U.S Air Force (and why the Marine Corps doesn’t have this program I do not understand). If they maintain a certain level of language proficiency, the Air Force sends them abroad for four weeks every 1-3 years for a refresher. How cool is that? They are actually OK guys. I gave them a hard time initially (of course) but they are quickly integrating themselves into the larger group (no more khaki trousers or button down shirts). One is a fighter pilot and one is an acquisitions officer.
Wednesday I went on a City Tour with the school. Nothing spectacular, but I saw the sights you would expect. La Moneda (the capital building here) along with a famous restaurant (which has existed since 1873 despite earthquakes, wars, dictatorships, etc.) and some other famous buildings. I also got to have a coffee with our tour guide and talk to her for a while, which was fun. The afternoon wore me out though. It’s so hot here in the city. I compare the climate to Southern California. When you live on the coast (as in Valparaiso or Vina del Mar – my next stop) it’s actually very cool. But inland (just like SoCal), it’s hotter than Hades. So the afternoon outside in the sun and heat completely wore me out. Pictures below.
Thursday and Friday we just hung out at the house in evening. There is always wine – lots and lots of wine. I’m going to start taking pictures of all the different brands of Carmenere that we drink. It seems endless. 🙂 Every time I go to the store I try a new variety. It’s a lot of fun just spending time at the house. We have an outside veranda area that is shaded all day, and generally stays cool. There is always an open bottle of wine on the table, and people around. It’s a very welcoming and casual place and perfect for long philosophical conversations or loud music or heated discussions about the current political state of America. Another fabulous week, but not as much Spanish learning this week. Too many things happening in the afternoons and evenings! My goal for this coming week is more learning, less outings (though I am trying to balance it because it’s so fun). A few more dog pictures as well, because they are everywhere and most of them are pretty cute.Till next time!