Tag Archives: food


27 Mar

Well now that school is starting to get into full swing (and in true fashion I am writing this blog to avoid doing homework) I thought I’d give you a run down on what classes exactly I’m taking:

[all of these classes are in Spanish, but I will just write everything in English for the people who are reading this]

Poverty and Social Exclusion- This class is exactly what the title says…I wish it focused a little bit more on the specifics of the current Chilean realities and less on concepts of what is/what causes poverty, but I think we’ll eventually move into that.  If nothing else it has been extremely interesting to be taking this class at La Catolica, a university with highly conservative students in a socially conservative country.  The last class period the professor asked for examples of how Chile’s society was conservative only to be met with blank stares from the class.

She then offered the example of the recent ban put on offering the Morning After pill in municipios [community centers where the poorest populations used to be able to access it for free/reduced cost] and how now it is only available to the rich at pharmacies because you need both a prescription and about $35 to buy one pill.

A young man in the crowd quickly shot up his hand to say that he doesn’t believe that’s conservative, but actually liberal because the government is helping defend everyone’s liberty and right to live.

I’m definitely a long ways from Madison, WI.

Public Projects- This class is essentially a service learning class where every group got paired with a city agency to work on a project.  I am working with 2 other girls to write a proposal for programming, etc. for the Senior Center they are opening in a comuna by my University.  We get to visit other senior centers, do research, and interview abuelitos to figure out what would run best at the center.  We also need to find funding for the classes, explore the idea of an internship program, and find a way to migrate all of the pre-existing clubs into the center.  I think it will be a good way to learn more about Santiago.

Spanish for Foreigners- Enough said. [No, actually I think it will be really helpful because my teacher discusses a lot of grammar points!]

Seminar of Latin America in the 20th Century- A history, geography, and political science run down of modern Latin America…I think it will be good.

I think I got really lucky with my classes because they all seem interesting so far and they haven’t been a ridiculous amount of work up until this point.  In fact, I didn’t have to stand in the photocopy line until today for the first time!  No one here buys books for classes, instead you get everything photocopied, so some people spend about 2 hours everyday waiting in this line.  If I had to do that I think I would pull my hair out.

Random fact: Group work here seems to be a much larger part of their learning environment.  In every one of my class we have small group projects, and in 2 of the classes the group project is the bulk of the work for the semester.

And a random post script for Aunt Melanie:

I ate piñones for the first time when I was in the south of Chile.  They’re little plants that you boil and then shell in order to eat the center nut type thing…they were good, and tasted strangely like chicken.



A Conglomeration of Sorts

24 Feb

As my English is beginning to fade there is a high probability that I am using conglomeration incorrectly in context– Miss Emily?

Anyways, a few entirely random points:

1. If you have a blog and you list me in your sidebar PLEASE take a second to change my link from nomadlife to here.  I´ve been getting ¨Why aren´t you blogging?!?!?!¨messages, and nomadlife won´t let me add anything to my blog so I can´t even list my new address.

2. I mentioned in my previous entry that I am going to start a ¨Wall Art of the Week¨entry on my blog.  I should alert you that I am also going to start a ¨Most Fabulously Ridiculous Hair Style of the Week¨ entry.  I´m alerting you because you will need to mentally prepare yourself.  The men´s hairstyles here are growing on me all too quickly.  I accidentally exclaimed yesterday: ¨That´s the most fabulous mullet-rat tail that I´ve seen yet!¨ Lisa quickly reminded me that I had just used the words ¨fabulous, mullet, and rat rail¨ in the same sentence.  I didn´t think it could be outdone, but today I saw a mullet-rat tail that was dreadlocked.  Point, Santiago.

3. The next time you drink a glass of water and then leave your house to go to the, oh, say neighborhood Target, grocery store, restaurant [fill in practically any public place here], and then you use their public bathroom, CHERISH IT!  Smile and think wow this is just so convenient, what a great law that the United States mandates that public areas have public restrooms.  Then realize that if you happen to be stopping by Santiago to visit me [which you should be] that you will casi nunca (practically never) be able to enjoy this same convenience.

4. Even though I don´t have internet at my house yet (I feel totally overwhelmed every time I sign online- so I apologize for how scatterbrained I´m sure I sound) I completely lucked out with my house.  The duena of my house is so fabulous: super chatty and helpful with my Spanish and correcting my homework, with directions, with any questions that I have.  Every day I come home she asks me how my day was and how my class was.  From hearing stories from other kids on my program I realized how lucky my living situation is, I´m really happy with the house.

5. Please also appreciate www.pandora.com  The licensing agreements ban it from being used outside of the U.S., qué triste!

6. For clarification purposes about my current and future whereabouts (after receiving a concerned comment from my cousin Kristen who is getting married this fourth of july), I am flying back into the States on July 2nd.  I am going to Kristen and Matt´s wedding on July 4th.  I applied for a grant, which if I get I will use to return to Colombia (Bogotá this time), leaving a few days after the wedding and coming back for fall semester at Madison a week before school starts.  The grant I applied for is to work with an Institute in Bogotá that does research on educational methods and curricula…I would work specifically on their nonviolence education programs that have been created to counteract the effects of children growing up in a state of violence.

7. FOOD!  This particular point is for my Aunt Melanie.  Aunt Melanie, you will be happy to know that today I went out to lunch, and even though I was tempted by the grilled cheese listed on the menu I opted instead for a spinach crepe!  The cuisine here is very bread heavy and non-spicy…if you know me you know that this is working out quite perfectly.  I´ve found it fairly easy to eat vegetarian so far while I´ve been here, I even went to a vegetarian restaurant with my roommates.  So as not to offend people I´ve taken to eating things like tomatoes and onions, can you believe it?  The fruit and juices here are much fresher and delicious than in the U.S., the cheese is considerably less delicious here as compared to Wisconsin.  I don´t feel as if the food here is too exotic, it seems to be a lot of what we have in the U.S. just in different forms or packaged differently…or a LONG time ago.  At the supermarket by my house, as well as many other locations I´ve explored, practically everything is expired.  I´ve taken to aiming to buy food and drinks that were packaged in 2009 and ruling out 2008s and prior.  Sometimes I pretend like I don´t understand the way they write the date here, which is normally day-month-year.  While I clearly know that there are not 16 months in a year, it somehow makes me feel less horrified about the true packaging date of the item I´m buying.  I´ll be on the look out for more exotic things to try and keep you updated Aunt Melanie, in the mean time I´ll just be thinking about Grandma Hanick´s Valentine´s cookies that I missed!

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