One of my students and I have become fairly good friends over the course of the month that I taught her. Her name is Veronica and she is in her mid twenties and just a genuine sweet person. She is married to a guy from Wisconsin and they lived there for 3 years before coming back here to Chile. Her suegro (father in law) is in Chile visiting them and they came up to La Serena for a few days. So this morning Veronica and I went out to breakfast, just us girls, and I realized how extremely blessed I am to have a friend like her. We talk so easily about so much, in both Spanish and English since we are at about the same level in each of our second languages. When we go out though we speak in English becuase we can talk about personal issues and not worry about others understanding, nice huh?
An interesting note: in one of my guide books it warned me that making friends in Chile would be difficult because everyone has grown up together in small friend circles and are not likely to make new friends quickly. I have not experienced that at all. I have had no problem making friends here. Veronica on the other hand had a much harder time in the States making friends. She couldn´t fit in with the Mexicans, nor with the ¨whites¨. And although she didn´t say it, I heard it in her stories loud and clear, the people were not inviting towards her. She said she would give a girl her phone number and they would ¨plan to do coffee¨, but that the person never called. And this happened over and over for three years. I know we get used to having our friends, and we use the ¨plan to have coffee¨ deal more as a way to say that it was fun talking to them, but not really with the plan to call. But friends, please remember that people from other cultures don´t know that. And it is hard for them to make friends. So please, if you meet someone, especially from a Latin culture, invite them over to your house, and truly seek out their friendship. They for sure would do the same for you if you were in their country.