Saturday, February 25, 2006

mi hermana de alma

I met a girl named Kari a few months ago. I had emailed a few times with her mom who is in charge of the missions group Service in Missions here in Chile. Their family lives in Temuco which is an 8 hour bus ride from Santiago. SO in November, when I was travelling, I visited the family and met Kari. Kari and I hit it off immediatly and basically spent 4 days talking nonstop. We discussed everything from psychology to politics to my favorite subject, the Bible. After our four days of bonding, I left to travel more but we promised we would see each other again. Her family went to La Serena for vacation in december. I knew they were planning on going up there, but I wasn´t sure exactly when or where they would be. I found Kari in the Plaza de Armas and we literally ran across the plaza to each other screaming. Yes, we acted like gringas. And we are not ashamed of it.
So I got a phone call a few days ago from Kari and she told me that she would be in Santiago today. So once again we hung out and it amazes me how there are certain people in life that you just immediatly are so comfortable with. When Kari and I first met, we got to the point by the third day that we were discussing some hard issues and we both we able to confide in each other. And today, it felt like we had known each other for a few years, not a few months. I wonder what it is that some people you can know for years and never really know them, and others you can meet and within minutes be as comfortable as family. Strange. But I like it. In any case, it feels like home with her. SHe would have loved my bible study at Cal Poly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

a truly blessed morning

The last few days, I have felt God moving in my heart, somehow changing me. In any case, I stayed up pretty late last night journalling to God (this is my fourth journal here in Chile!). I woke up at 7:30 this morning and practically jumped out of bed ready to start the day. I brought all the books and papers and drafts of my paper that I have been working on out to the living room. Between my Bible, the Gerstner book, www.netbible.org, and blueletterbible.com, I have been formuatling more and more of this paper. About an hour into the morning, my roommate came out and made us coffee. I sat with him at the table and enjoyed a cup of coffee over Hebrews 11. It reminded me of the days last year, those blessed mornings when I could go to Uptown coffee with Rach at 5 in the morning and just study our bibles together. I don´t think there is any other way I want to start my day. Those mornings, sitting with the sister of my heart, reading the Bible and discussing life and love and most importantly God, were truly a taste of Heaven. And I can't forget to mention the great foam that came on the cappuchinos! Okay, now I am just making myself homesick!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Technology

I love technology! Just imagine the song from Napoleon dynamite while you read this.
Yesterday I really needed to talk to a girlfriend. I needed someone who I could talk things through and who could keep me grounded on this planet. Thanks to gmail chat we chatted for 2 hours. And then an hour on the telephone with the same friend left me as blissful as could be. I don't think I could have survived out here being so far away wihtout these wonderful inventions. Thanks God!

Monday, February 20, 2006

¡Fotos, por fin! (Finally some photos!)

Hey everyone, sorry these have taken so long to come up. If I didn't procrastinate so much, maybe I would have remembered to pack my camera cable with my stuff and I would be able to get photos onto my computer in a more timely manner. But, I refuse to like in the "what if" world, so here they are, nice and late...

Birthday party for Cap!



VBS!!!

Here are some shots of a few weeks ago with Vacation Bible School...



A goodbye party for Mariano


I made him this cake for his last night in Santiago before he returned to Argentina. Here, rarely do people at home make cakes so he was really touched by my maternal skills.

Skype!

So I finally figured out the whole skype thing and went haywire this weekend catching up with old friends. Two of the people I was stoked to get to talk to are Annie and Danielle.
Besides catching up with old buddies, I have been glued to this book that a pastor here gave me to read. I have given myself deadlines for the dispensational paper I am writing. Yep, it will be done by friday. Who am I writing it for? Who knows. My nerdiness has truly come to a peak.
By the way, thanks to everyone who sent me emails about their thoughts on online dating. I have to admit that I was suprised to hear so many positive responses. Thanks you guys!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

7 DAYS!!!

There are seriously only 7 days before Carleigh, Rachel, and Erin come out here!!! I am buying diapers because there will be some major peeing in the pants next week!

Friday, February 17, 2006

EHarmony.com

Okay, you will probably have one of three reactions to this entry: worry, disgust, or laughter. I hope laughter wins. You know those internet dating services? Okay, I know the reaction is starting now. Well, i had a friend (you know who you are... Philly) who really met someone special through one of these things. So out of boredom and curiosity, I filled out a profile last night on eharmony.com. it was actually really fun. they asked about 40 mins of questions and then they did a "match" search. I was actually disapointed at the match profile they made for me. There were a things they said I would want, that is practically the opposite of what I want. Like they said that my match would be financially stable and concerned for providing for a family. hmmm... that sounds great but a life of orphans doesn't include that (mom, I know you are going to comment on this, I know money is a good thing to have and a bad thing to be in want of, but I don't want a life obsessed with it). Anyway, I did a "match" search and no matter how many times I wrote that I valued intelligence, they wouldn't listen. The first two matches were SO wrong for me! But the third was actually really interesting to read. He actually basically did sound perfect, except he lives in London right now.
I wasn't expecting to find true love, but it was an interesting experience. I really enjoyed the reflection aspect of the questions. It made me realize just how much we are all individuals. And as I looked at my profile, I was happy. i like what I have done, what I do, where I have been, where I have come, and in general, I just like who I am. I am not saying that I am this perfect person or anything, I am so far from that, but I like who God has made me. Anyways, if Mr. Right is reading this (Ashlee, who knows right?), you can pay eharmony.com $24.99 to check out my profile online, or just email me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

a good old fashioned birthday party!

Today is the birthday of my gringo roommate, but he didn´'t tell me until 11:30 tonight. I had known that his birthday was this month, but I didn't knowt he exact date. So after he announced to us that it was his birthday, he and Sebastian went downstairs to buy some beer and I did a quick style decoration of the house. Stramers went up, noise makers went out on the table, and balloons were spread out around the house. I even had time to start the TP-ing of the birthday boys room. When they arrived from buying beer, we busted out the beer and ice cream. We didn´t have a cake, so I placed candles in a piece of bread and we sang happy birthday. It was a good old fashioned birthday party. Pics to come very soon.

Monday, February 13, 2006

My Career

So today is a big day in my life, I guess. I was thinking about it yesterday and realized that since I am considering teaching English as my profession for the rest of my life, today would be the first day of my career. Today I began my first day of classes, well, paid classes. My first class is with a company called Louis Vuitton. Yeah, that´s right, the Louis Vuitton. I am teaching two of their executives a few times a week. So this morning I woke up, put on some makeup, and finally wore my new pinstriped pants. I got to LV and waited outside for 20 minutes before anyone showed up. When my students finally did show up, they cancelled class. They said something about having flown in from Brasil the night before, and quick as that I was back on a bus headed home. The beauty of the story is that these clients cancel often, or so I am told, and when they cancel the day of class, i still get paid. So basically, i just got $30 dollars for waiting 20 minutes and talking 5 minutes. So far, my first day of my career is going pretty well I would say.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I can´t fit in

So the church that I have been going to had a Vacation bible school, I have already mentioned this. But on Friday, after our last day of VBS, all teh volunteers celebrated by having a pool party at one of the moms homes. I knew beforehand that many of the families in my church are rich, but I didn´t realize how uncomfortable I am in that world. All the moms are so nice and many of them have only been here in chile for a year or two. Most of them have husbands who work for the US embassy or military. As we sat around the pool on Friday and watched the kids play in the pool. we ate tacos that were prepared by the peruvian house maids and talked about chile and life in general. One of the moms asked the group about how they handled their maids. Questions like: what time does she get up in morning?, do you let her take a break in the middle of the day?, and how do you set your own house rules with her? were asked. These women, these maids from Peru live and work for these families, and I just sat there shocked to hear this discussion. I am sure the moms are right and the lives of the peruvians are better here in Chile as maids than they were in Peru. BUT I still just cannot handle it. I don´t want money, or at least not more than what is necessary. I was thinking about it the other day adn I think I fit best in the lower middle class. Like the fact that I am going to work 15 to 20 hours a week (just enough to pay the bills) so I can volunteer the rest of my time at the program for the street kids... that is how I want to spend my time and money. I sat with these woman on friday adn defended their housemaids. The moms just thought I was adorable for caring so much, and they countered my concerns with their excuses. But I cannot, I will not feel comfortable in that world. It is just not me. I think i have too many hippie genes in me.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

California

So I went to the movies today with a girlfriend from South Africa and we saw a film called Dicen por ahí. I am not sure what it is called in english but it is with Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner. Anyways, it was such a sweet movie to see. Not because teh acting was expecially good, or the script was extremely interesting, although these things could be true of the film. But en serio, there were so many scenes that took place in California. Like the San Francisco, the wine country, and even Half Moon Bay! I sat there soaking in the beauty of each scene, knowing that I can always return home to it. Mom, when I finally come home to visit, we are so taking one of our road trips up to Napa like we have done in the past.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

all is well

The apartment is quiet right now. I just finished doing some research on the computer and I walked through the apartment wondering where everyone was. The doors to our rooms are generally kept open throughout the day to keep a breeze flowing through the apartment. As I walked through the hallway, I found all the guys in their rooms sprawled out on their beds taking naps to escape the horrible heat today and to make up for last night. It really is quiet precious to watch them, these grown up boys, taking naps. Just wanted to share...

Boys night out

A joke was started a long time ago that Sebastian and I are going to get married so I can get citizenship here in Chile. Well, it has become a part of our daily lives now and even when Sebastian has friends over, like female friends, I am still refered to as his wife. All fun and games, nothing serious. But last night we (the boys and I) decided to have a bachelor party. Now usually the bride is not invited to these things, but being la reina (the queen) of the house, of course I got to go. SO we went out to a bar across the street where the boys usually go, and then headed to a disco, which is a bar with dancing. There were the five guys and me. Yep, the only chic of the group. But the guys were so cool and I knew that no man could touch me without one of my five bodyguards saving me. We danced and danced, and eventually a group of chilena girls let me dance with them since dacing with my five guy roommates was getting old fast. At about 4 in the morning we got back home (yes, teh bars are open on the weeknights until 5 or so) and we were all up at 7:30 to go to work. It was so much fun and I realized that I am so blessed to have such awesome friends here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Some Amazing News and VBS

VBS- This morning i woke up early and put on my oversized shirt made specially for this week. I headed off to our church´s building where I, along with 10 other grown ups, ran a sort of day camp for 35 kids here. It was awesome, I was so in camp mode and I was able to really help out the other leaders. I think I might consider myself something of professional camp counselor.

Okay, now for the amazing news. Not only are some of my closest friends coming out here in 20 days to spend a week vacationing out here. BUT NOW... I can offically announce that Ashlee, one of my best friends will be moving out here for like 6 months! So I am trying not to pee in my pants from anticipation! How amazing is that??? Seriously, I cannot believe it! Ashlee and I have been buddies since freshman year. We spent a summer in New Jersey together which included a trip to New York. And later a trip to Chicago together. We decided that when we grow old, and our beloved husands have passed on, and we don´t have our own teeth anymore, we will be travelling buddies and we will travel the world together. We have been in Bible Study together since freshman year, and I am so excited to have that type of fellowship again. and she is one of the most amazing people in the world. Everyone who knows her, although she will be embarrassed for me saying this, but in verdad, everyone loves this girl. And I get to live with her here in CHile!!!

Superbowl

I am not a huge fan of many American traditions, but the superbowl holds a special place in my heart. I think my love for football started in the 9th grade when i played mud fottball during PE. So yesterday this guy from Germany came over to hang out and reminded me that teh Superbowl was starting at 8pm our time. So we went out and bought Lays potato chips, beer, and ordered some pizza. I of course was cheering for Seattle and was horribly disapointed, but it is all good. I have decided that when football season starts up, I will be watching... along with my chilean soap operas.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Where I belong

I spent today scrubbing tile floor on my hands and knees, elbow to elbow with a group of chilenos. We were cleaning the new building for the school program that I have written about in past blogs. It was hard work and we were all covered in dirt afterwards, but it made my week. I am so excited for this center to open. More info about the center to come, but for now, I just want to say that I am looking foward to this year with such great expectation!

Friday, February 03, 2006

¡Por fin, unos fotos!

HI EVERYONE!!
This is at the party after the elections.
Roommies!
Sunset view from my room.
Here is downtown Santiago from my bedroom.

My boys!
Mariano here is probably one of the most beautiful men, in so many ways. He is Argentinian, but looks Italian, he cooks, he is an obstetrician, and he has a great laugh. I am thinking that he is about as close to perfect as they can get.
Here is Sebastian, the chileno.
Here is my gringo roomie. He´s from Arizona, so he is a wannabe Californian.

I am so scandalous!

I am sure that at this point anyone who knows me is laughing, especially my mom who I could never surprise with my scandalousness. But, it is true. The old women avert their eyes and the old men stare in disbelief. I actually walk, the whole two blocks, from my gym to my apartment in just my bathing suit (a VERY modest one piece) and shorts. The worst part is, my hair is still wet from the pool and I havew no makeup on! Dear Lord! Really this whole thing is silly, but true. I tried to smile at an older woman as I walked home today from the gym and she jsut averted her eyes. She had been staring at me for a good 30 seconds or so. Oh well, I am a gringa, and I refuse to change somethings just because people stare.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I am tired of men... except for my roommates

So here is the update on the date... there wasn´t one. After recieving five phone calls from Marcelo the Argentino (the first one starting at 7 in the morning), I decided that I probably shouldn´t go on this date. I would have gone out for a beer with him IF others would have been there, but my roomates were being buttfaces (thats right i am regressing to the 3rd grade here) and they wouldn´t come. SO I turned off my phone and went to the gym instead. When i got home, my roomates and I decided to stay in and hang out at home. SO we got some beer and watched futból (soccer), good old chileno style. I will post some pics of us later as soon as I can.
I am just tired of guys staring at me when I get on a micro(bus) or walk by them on the street. I always think that my zipper is down or something. But no, just men staring at the blonde hair they love so much. My roommates on the other hand are amazing. Sebastian, the chilean, os moving out and buying his own apartment. I hate to do this to my landlord, but I think I am going to move in with Sebastian. Anyways, pics to come soon.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

a date with an Argentino

So Monday night I got on a bus at 11pm and headed towards Mendoza, Argentina. I needed to extend my tourist visa another 3 months, so a quick trip over the border would suffice. I sat next to a man named Carlos (not my date) who is Argentinian but lives in Spain as a musician. We both agreed that although the other person was fairly interesting, we wanted to sleep. At three in the morning we were woken up to stand in line for an hour going through customs at the border. Neither of us had brought a jacket on the trip since in Santiago and Mendoza it is warm all the time. But in the middle of the Andes mountains, it is not so warm. The hour finally passed and we were back on teh bus. i arrived in Mendoza at 6am, and since nothing is open at that time, I walked around the beautiful city and enjoyed the solitud of a sleeping town. I sat in a plaza for an hour and read my Bible. IT was one of the best hours of my week. I shopped a little, taking advantage of the amazingly low prices in Argentina and met a woman in her late 60´s who just moved to South America from Colorado, alone. I think she is one of the coolest Gringos I have met here. Around 2pm, 8 hours after I arrived, I got back on the bus to return to Santiago. The ticket guy on my bus started calling me pretty and from experience with these ticket guys, I knew it would be a long ride if I didn´t do something quick. So I found the nearest guy my age and started talking to him. Well, honestly, I smiled at him so he would start talking to me, and it worked. We talked for a while, and then slept for a while, watched the movie... at one point we were talking about jobs and I told him that I taught English. He said he didn´t believe me so I showed him my card and he kept it. As we were getting off the bus he said he would call me when he wanted English classes. He was only staying in town for 3 days so I knew there would be no classes. Still, 20 minutes later, he called. i didn´t pick up the phone. 2 hours later he called again. He asked me to go out with him last night, I said no because I was too tired. He asked about tonight, and instead of putting up a fight or being mean, I said sure. So tonight I am going out with this guy. Oh yeah, and by the way, his name is Marcelo. Anyways, it is all so wierd to me. I tried to convince one of my roommates to come with us, but they all refused. Men! I have offically decided that I have a curfew of 3 in the morning anyways.