Week 2: An intensive course, unbelievable facts about dogs and bread, and nuestros cumpleaños!

***Reminder to click on the title and open this post through the website, instead of reading it via email, because the formatting is much cleaner!***

Hola hola! 

The last time I posted, we had just returned from a salsa dancing class and I was procrastinating writing a lesson plan. Since then, I continue to procrastinate but have managed to teach three classes since, so something is working out! The salsa class we attended was very close to Universidad Católica, which is one of the oldest universities in Chile and one of the best in Latin America. I really liked walking around that neighborhood because there were so many young people – and lots of people selling food, including vegan empanadas, so I’ll definitely be back. This salsa class was almost entirely foreigners, which was a slight disappointment, since I really need to be speaking Spanish. But the person teaching the class only spoke Spanish, so that made it more authentic and fun. Once our English-teaching class is over in two weeks, Jordin and I plan on going to dance classes more frequently.

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7am view from Providencia

Jordin and I are in school together for the first time in 5 years! The course is an International English-teaching certification course to receive the TEFL/TESOL certificate. So far we absolutely love this class – there are six students in total, and we get along very well. Our teacher is amazing – super friendly, welcoming, hilarious, and also happens to be a fantastic English teacher. The course is really intense, with lots of reading throughout the first two weeks, but the reading is lightening up now because we have more papers and teaching sessions. We’re all required to teach six hours over the course of four weeks: six one-hour lessons. I’ve taught three times so far, and while I’m definitely improving, lesson planning doesn’t get any easier. In each lesson, we teach one of the following: Grammar, Vocabulary, Function, or Pronunciation. Function is by far the best – it’s teaching something that the students can apply easily, such as apologizing, encouragement, or asking for repetition. Lesson planning is SO TIME CONSUMING – I’m constantly thinking about how appreciative I am of my favorite teachers (some of whom are following this blog J) and how so much of what they did in the classroom was conducive to academic and personal growth. THANK YOU, TEACHERS! I’m complaining about having to teach twice, as in for 2 hours total, in one week, when they teach almost every hour of the school day. Already, I have learned so much in this course –how to be a good teacher, and how to teach English, specifically. All in all, the course is really intense, and we don’t have much time to do fun things outside of class during this month, but because of our fantastic class and teacher, I’m enjoying it tremendously. Our students are Chileans who get to come for free because we’re not certified, and they’re all awesome. I would say most are in their 50s and want to learn English either because of travel or it’s just an intrinsic motivation. They’re all super nice and friendly, and it’s also a good opportunity for me to practice my Spanish with them after class.

IMG_3341.JPGOn Fridays after class, our class has gone out afterward for dinner and drinks – for 4-5 hours. We have such a fantastic dynamic – we’re all from the U.S., but come from very different backgrounds and experiences. Among six of us, Jordin and I are the youngest, and then their ages are 24, 28, 30, and 42, so it’s quite a range. A six person group is perfect, as it’s enough that we switch up partners in class and get to observe five other beginner teachers, but small enough that we’re really close as a group. Two of the others are staying in Chile for a while after the course ends, but two are going back to the U.S., and I’m already sad for the day we all have to part. Two weeks in, and two weeks to go!

There is an unbelievable number of dogs in Santiago – and I’m not talking about the men (more on that later). Almost every house has a dog in my neighborhood, and all of the IMG_3330.jpghouses are gated, so the dogs stay by the gate and are outside all day. Our dog, Ita, is not allowed in the house, so she’s outside in the driveway 24/7, and it doesn’t have any grass. It’s really not a good life for her, or for many dogs here. I think most people have dogs as guard dogs of sorts, even if they’re small (like ours). But there are also an incredible number of street dogs, and they’re everywhere: walking around, sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk, and even taking the metro and busses around. I didn’t believe it until last night, when I saw it happen. Right before I got on the bus, a dog jumped on. These dogs know the public transportation system better than I do!

 I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but our host family does not speak English. This is ESSENTIAL for our language immersion because we’ve been speaking only English in our class and almost all the time with our classmates, so talking with our host family is our only Spanish-speaking time right now. Even though Jordin and I often use an online dictionary to look up words we don’t know, it’s really helpful for our family to describe new words to us in Spanish. Their pronunciation of my name is really funny – I told them Raquel is how it’s pronounced in Spanish and I like that, but they insist on calling me my name in the way it’s pronounced at home. But for them, it’s “Reach-el”. The same with Jordin – even though I pronounce it the way it would be in Spanish, “Hor-deen”, they pronounce it like I do in English. Even though I’d rather be called Raquel to make it simpler, it’s pretty cute the way they pronounce it.

Chileans loooooove their sweets – everyone in the family puts 2-3 teaspoons of sugar into their coffee and tea, and they’re always surprised we when don’t use it in tea or oatmeal. They like to tell us that Chileans like everything a little sweet. However, while I always take fruit for breakfast and often at once (the evening meal), they never do. But after meals, they ask if anyone would like a dessert, meaning fruit – it seems like they only view them as desserts or snacks. Jordin and I both were eating an apple and peanut butter the other day, and our host sister Javiera told us that an American who stayed with them in the past would make sandwiches of peanut butter and banana, and she thought it was gross. We told them how popular peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are, but it’s not a thing here.

Some other interesting tidbits:

  • Coffee in Chile – the most popular form is Nescafé, which is instant coffee. There are coffee shops (Starbucks is here too), but Nescafé is by far the most widely used. Our host dad and sister drink it at every meal, so I asked them why it’s more common than purchasing a coffee maker. Their main reasons were that it’s very quick and cheap, which is valid. They also said that the view of people going to Starbucks is that the person is “quica”, which is a Chilenismo that means snobby. Granted, Starbucks here is just as expensive as it is in the U.S., and instant coffee is incredibly cheap.
  • Chileans eat 90 kilograms of bread every year – THAT’S ALMOST 200 POUNDS OF BREAD PER PERSON PER YEAR. And it’s not even my mom’s incredible homemade bread – it’s plain white. Just let that statistic sink in.IMG_3358.JPG
  • There are a ton of parks in my neighborhood, and almost all of them have exercise equipment that anyone can use! It’s what I’ve been doing after running, and it also is inviting and intriguing to anyone passing by. I love that it encourages exercise outdoors, for free, and in a beautiful place.
  • I didn’t realize how bad the catcalling situation here was until a few days ago, while I was running. I’ve been running as often as I can in my neighborhood in Ñuñoa, trying to get back into my running rhythm, but never had I received so much attention on a run before than I did last Thursday. It was around 6pm, which is rush hour, but when I’m in class all day, that’s the best time for me to go – it’s still light out, and it’s before we eat dinner. I’ve gotten used to the occasional honk from passing cars, but when it’s rush hour and cars are waiting at a red light, they clearly have nothing better to do than stare at me running by and honk incessantly. This even happened with multiple busses. If there are 3 or more men on the sidewalk ahead of me, I now cross to the other side of the street or move to the edge of the sidewalk so I am as far from them as possible, since it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll say something. Groups of men shouting things are even worse. I know it’s part of Chilean culture (and it’s constant in the U.S. – but of course that’s just “locker room talk”, right?), but it is absolutely infuriating to me that men here think it’s okay to shout their thoughts about women’s bodies and appearances whenever and wherever they want.

On a more positive note, thank you thank you thank you to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes! I received so many messages through all forms of social media, and it made me feel very thankful to have such wonderful friends and family thinking of me. (FYI: I have my phone and can text through iMessage, but I prefer Facebook messenger IMG_9426.jpgbecause it’s quicker and more reliable. And email is great.) I feel super old! Jordin and I went out on both Friday and Saturday nights with friends, talking for hours, and had a blast. Our host family got us a few little gifts, and one of mine was a very colorful Chilean fannypack. Now, before you judge, fannypacks (called a banano here) are really hip among the young people, especially students. It’s perfect for carrying a wallet, keys, and a phone right in front of you, and since petty theft is so common here, I guess that’s why fannypacks are too. Even though the only person in the U.S. who actually uses one every day is my grandma, maybe they’ll come back in style right?! I’ll defer to my fashionista sister on that one. But the best present was probably when we skyped with our family and they brought some of our cats to the screen. I may or may not have teared up a bit thinking about cuddling with them. #CatLady4Ever

This week’s Chilenismos (I learned each of them OUT of context):IMG_3334.JPG

  • Caña = hangover
  • Al seco! = “Chug!” (as in a drink)
  • Flaite = ghetto (adjective)
  • Cuico/a = snobby (mentioned above)

Please respond/send an email/facebook message to keep me updated about your life while I’m here! I would love to catch up more. Besos y abrazos!

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Week 1: Chilean food & drink, school, and exploring Santiago

**Same reminder as the beginning of the last post: if you’re receiving this by email, the post and pictures look significantly better on the website, so please click on the title and it will direct you there!

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Host baby Leonardo

I cannot believe we have been in Chile almost a week already – it feels like we’ve been here for much longer than that. Things have improved significantly since I last posted, mostly because our school has started, which means I’ve been in other parts of Santiago besides Ñuñoa! I do like living in Ñuñoa, but it’s very suburban, and I like to be around lots of movement, things to do, and places to explore.

 

 

The climate in Santiago is very temperate – it is spring right now (I LOVE smelling the blooming flowers), but the temperature fluctuates constantly, so I bring layers everywhere. I’ve had many instances where I go back and forth between feeling warm and cold, but luckily I packed in layers (capas). During the day, I am usually in a t-shirt and shorts, which is funny compared to everyone else on the metro (the subway) or in the streets, as they wear coats and pants. By nighttime, the temperature drops significantly, and I go to bed in sweatpants and a fleece shirt, sometimes adding my fleece jacket onto that.

CHILEAN MEALS – the food culture here is totally different than in the U.S. in many ways. The two foods at every meal are white bread and mashed avocado (palta). Chileans eat a lot of the same foods that the U.S. does, but meals are set up totally differently.

  • Breakfast (desayuno) is usually eaten between 10 and 11am, and it’s
    pretty light. There are toasted bread rolls (always white), jam, butter (vegan for us!), peanut butter, mashed avocado, tea and coffee, and leftover cake if there is any. We told our host mom Aly that we eat oatmeal (avena) for breakfast, so she prepares that for us every day. I know living abroad requires flexibility, especially with food, but since oatmeal is easy to buy here and is much healthier, I’m very happy that we have it.
  • Lunch (almuerzo) is usually around 2pm, and is the main meal of the day. It often has multiple courses – here was one of ours:
    • Tea or coffee
    • Artichoke (alcachofa) and a lettuce salad
    • Soup of poroto, which is another word for beans (instead of frijoles) – I LOVE this dish.
    • A stir fry of rice noodles with corn (the Chilenismo is choclo, instead of maíz), carrots (zanahorias), and peas
    • Strawberries in the juice from jarred peaches
  • Dinner – Chileans don’t eat a “normal-sized” dinner – instead, it is called once (pronounced “ohn-say”, like the Spanish pronunciation of the number eleven;
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    Baby avocado! A real paltita

    because I’m in Chile, where people drop the s’s on almost all of their words, it is usually pronounced without the s). Once is essentially an evening snack, with tea and coffee (of course), bread, butter, jam, peanut butter, and mashed avocado. There is sometimes some sort of deli meat on the table with breakfast and dinner for the rest of the family. Occasionally, Aly makes Jordin and me a vegetable dish, while the rest of them “tomar once” (to take once): last night was grilled vegetables with tomato sauce of many other veggies, spices, and carne vegetal (vegan meat substitute) – it was delicious.

 

 

IMG_9341.JPGIn my first post, I mentioned that Chileans add “ito” or “ita” to words even when the object isn’t small, which the ending usually means. Well, I only realized a few days ago that our host cat, Pancito, is named after pan (bread)…pan + ito = Pancito. How I interpret this is that our host family needed even more bread in their lives because there wasn’t enough already, so the cat needed to be named after bread to fulfill it.

On Friday night, Jordin and I went out with one of his friends from Tufts who is studying abroad in Santiago this semester, and three of his Chilean friends. We ended up going to a bar called “St. Patrick’s Day Bar” – definitely immersing ourselves in typical Chilean bar culture! Even though we only spoke in Spanish and the bar actually was filled with Chileans, it reminded me of a bar I went to in Vietnam called “Local Bar” (in English), and it was only foreigners. Here in Chile, I ordered my first pisco sour, which is a popular Chilean drink. It is made from pisco, which is a brandy-like drink made from grapes. I only found out afterwards that the drink usually contains egg white (oops), but I also read that Chilean pisco sours often don’t use egg whites, so I’ll have to ask next time.

On Saturday night, Jordin and I had absolutely no plans (#nofriends #yet), so we had a fun night in with Aly and Sergio. They made us “terremotos”, a popular Chilean drink (the word also means earthquake): pineapple ice cream (pineapple sorbet for us, though Aly told us it’s usually made with this), Pipeño (a special type of wine), and grenadine. Over drinks, we talked about all sorts of things, and I felt like it was a bonding moment with them. Afterward, Sergio put on popular Chilean music, and we talked about dancing and music in various countries, among other things.

On Sunday after breakfast, Aly and Sergio took Jordin and me to a farmers market (called a feria) in the nearby neighborhood of Peñalolén (it’s far enough from Ñuñoa to drive there, but is only about 15 minutes away). This market was a long line of produce stands, as wellIMG_9333.JPG as stands selling household items and clothes. Aly and Sergio bought lots of fruit and vegetables, and we got to taste many samples along the way. At one stand, the man working it made Jordin take a bag of lettuce and his reasoning was because Jordin is a gringo (a word often used to describe foreigners, especially a white person from the United States). We didn’t actually get it for free, but it was funny because then the man started talking with Sergio about Jordin being a gringo as if we couldn’t understand (I’ll be honest – I didn’t get most of it because it was so fast). It’s interesting for me to compare my experiences in Santiago and Buenos Aires, because when I was in Buenos Aires, I didn’t stand out at all. The result of decades of European immigration to Argentina is that much of the population in the city is white – it was only when I went outside of the city that people looked more stereotypically Hispanic. Here in Santiago, most of the population looks more Hispanic, so it’s much easier for Jordin and me to stand out.

On Monday, Jordin and I are started our English-teaching certification class to get our TEFL/TESOL certificates! We had our first day of school together for the first time in 5 years, since the beginning of senior year of high school. I am so excited to start having a routine and somewhere to go every day, because even though I like Ñuñoa, I was getting a little tired of being in the house with very little activity for four days. Our school is in Providencia, which is a business/financial section of Santiago. Our commute is 25-30 minutes, which isn’t much in Santiago: we walk 8 minutes to the metro, have an 8 minute metro ride (only 4 stops), and walk another 8 or so minutes to our school. Very easy! Our class starts at 10am, which is great for sleep benefits, but also because the busiest commuting hours are from 7-9am, and we leave around 9:15am (though the metro is still pretty crowded). Our class typically will end between 5 and 5:30pm, and rush hour in the evening is 6-8pm, so it will be pretty crowded for us at night. The class is six people, all from the U.S., and everyone comes from totally different backgrounds, schooling, and experiences – I like them all. The only problem is we speak in English all day, so we’re used to speaking that and often continue it when we leave school – we sometimes speak Spanish, but it’s so easy to revert to English that by the end of the day, I find myself longing to speak Spanish. I want to continue hanging out with my classmates, but I need to be really careful about speaking so much English – we all speak a fair amount of Spanish, so I’m going to try to enforce that more. More updates on school next time!

We got out of class early on Monday and Tuesday, which means we had time to explore, which I have been wanting to do since the day I got here. On Monday, we walked to the Costanera Center, which is a skyscraper a few blocks from our school, and it is also the tallest building in Latin America! It has a six-floor shopping mall (to be honest, I didn’t know there were many malls bigger than King of Prussia), offices, and lots of food. On Tuesday, we went to Cerro San Cristóbal, which is in an area called Bellavista – cerro means hill, and Santiago is full of them. The peak of this hill is the second highest point in the city, so it has fantastic views – we went yesterday because it rained on Monday night, which means the smog clears up somewhat. You can take a tram or walk up, and at the top, there is an enormous statue of Virgin Mary (I assumed it was San Cristóbal, but learned it wasn’t after some research), a small room for prayer below the statue, and a chapel for services. The views were incredible – it’s hard to realize how big Santiago is (and how big and beautiful the mountains are) before seeing this.

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You can see the Costanera Center (tallest building in Latin America) on the left!

 

A little more information on Chilenismos before I list some new ones I’ve learned – much of this localized slang has been adapted from language of the Mapuche, a group of indigenous people from parts of Chile and Argentina. Not only do Chileans speak incredibly fast, but they often slur their words, drop final syllables (“algo más?” becomes “alg ma?”; helado, ice cream, which should be pronounced e-la-do, becomes e-lao), and ignore the final s’s. I am slowly learning the most common Chilenismos, but I have many more to go.

  • Po –this is a suffix that has absolutely no significance; it’s used the way we say “so” or “well”, so it’s often placed at the end of phrases: “sí po”. There’s a popular party every Wednesday in Santiago specifically for extranjeros (foreigners) called “Miercolespo” (Wednesday + po). No real reason for the po, but that’s how Chileans do.
  • Pololo/a is used in place of novio/a, which means boyfriend/girlfriend. Apparently, using novio/a here means that you’re getting married – so they only use pololo/a.
  • Taco – no, not the Mexican food, but used to describe the morning/evening commute in the traffic: there is “mucho taco”. When we tried to take the metro somewhere tonight at 7pm, the ENTIRE station was filled with people in line to get down to the metro – think of an entire train station filled with people. You can’t move anywhere.
  • ¿Cachai? means “do you understand?”. Apparently Chileans often ask people they believe are extranjeras this to see if they really understand it, but I’ve yet to be asked. Another interesting tidbit: Felipe, the boyfriend of our host sister Javiera, told us that in Peru, this word means “to fuck”, so asking someone “Cachai?” means “You make love?” Good to know.
  • Additionally, when we were at the farmers market over the weekend, I happened to notice a handful of people wearing shirts with English phrases on them, the best of which I will give you the pleasure of reading now (as I did when finishing my blog posts in Argentina):
    • “You Make My Day”
    • “Limited Edition”
    • And the best: “B-ball is my favorite sport because golf, tennis, and baseball have small balls”
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Not my photo, but helpful (to me)!

I have to go write a lesson plan for my first class on Friday – I’m teaching prepositions of time. Even though we’ve only been in class 3 days, I feel like I’m getting the hang of things, so I’m not terribly worried about the teaching, but it requires mucha preparación! We just got back from salsa dancing, so I’m pretty tired – while I could’ve used that time to work on the lesson plan and read more chapters in the textbook, I’m going to take full advantage of living in this amazing country and exploring all it has to offer. Besides, I read the chapters for tomorrow earlier, and I have tomorrow night for the lesson plan – good to know that I’m keeping up my procrastination even though I’ve been out of college for 4 months!

Until next time! Besitos y abrazos!

¡Estamos en Chile!

*Disclaimer – if you’ve read Jordin’s email already, please know that we wrote ours separately but you’ll be hearing some similar things! “Twin telepathy”, I suppose – or just the fact that we’re living the same life right now.

*ALSO, sometimes the formatting of the pictures in the emailed version is a little messy, so if you want to see the post look more appealing, click on the title and it will direct you to the website!

Estamos en Santiago, Chile!!! After two flights, with a total of 18 hours of travel, we are finally beginning our 8-month-long adventure. After going through two sets of customs, waiting for 30 minutes in a room full of people with signs and taxi drivers asking us if we wanted rides, we finally spotted our host mom, Aly, with a sign with our names on it. After

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right before Mom tried to follow us through security

a bunch of emails sent back and forth in which she sent us an “abrazo grande” (big hug) multiple times, I assumed she’d be pretty friendly. Well, she was INCREDIBLY friendly – she greeted us both with a smile and a huge hug, and was full of energy as we walked back to the car to meet her husband, Sergio. We had a 30 minute ride back to the house in the neighborhood of Ñuñoa, where we pulled our 3 suitcases out of the car and loaded them into the house. Ñuñoa feels very suburban, as do many other sections of Santiago. Jordin and I have our own rooms, which is nice, and they’re small but cozy. Aly and Sergio have two kids, 21-year-old daughter Javiera, and 24-year-old son Cristóbal – and both of these kids have a 1-year-old baby! Javiera lives at home with her boyfriend and her son, while Cristóbal lives with his girlfriend and daughter in an apartment nearby. Javiera is studying psychology in university, so we talked about that (as one of my majors was psychology), and its relationship to public health. I like this host family already for a few reasons:

  • Aly and Sergio are extremely friendly, warm, accommodating, and patient. They address each other not by their names, but by “mi amor”, which is very cute.
  • Aly is a fantastic cook and is very open to trying new vegan recipes.
  • We have a HOST CAT AND DOG – if any of you saw my snapchat story the day I left home, or know my love for my cats at all, you’ll know how hard those goodbyes were for me. Our host cat is named Panchito, and he is super friendly, adorable, and fluffy. Our host dog’s name is Ita, and even though she moves about as slowly as a sloth (it looks like I won’t be walking her), she’s very sweet.
  • Outdoor/patio area – part of the house is a covered, almost enclosed outdoor area in which the family eats their meals in the nice weather. It is full of small plants, medium plants, and trees that grow through the roof. It is extremely peaceful to be out there.
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    Patio

     

  • The garden! They grow multiple spices: romero (rosemary), laurel (bay leaves), ajo (garlic), and more. They also have multiple trees: limón (lemon), palta (avocado – can’t wait for summer in Chile), durazno (peach), and damasco (apricot).
  • We also have a host baby!! Since Javiera lives at home with her son, we get to see the adorable Leonardo walk around and play while we’re at home. He doesn’t really talk yet, but he definitely understands what people say to him, and uses that to his advantage when getting attention. He also hasn’t cried much since we’ve been here (hopefully this doesn’t jinx it).
  • Our neighborhood is very walkable – so far we’ve walked to the grocery store, the bank, a phone store (for SIM cards), and the metro station.

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My first day in Santiago surprisingly reminded me a lot of Hanoi, Vietnam. Driving back from the airport, I saw a city that was extremely spread out, with lots of buildings only one or a few stories high, but mostly houses (we haven’t been into a non-residential area of the city yet). Santiago is situated in a valley between the Andes Mountains, and the sky is gray because of the smog, so the mountains aren’t easy to see (though when I saw them for the first time while walking around la comuna, or neighborhood, I was so excited). There are also lots of palm trees, which are strange to see with the mountains in the background. The houses are compact and cozy, ours without much “stuff” and without much trash, and they’re very close together.

Our conversations during meals on the first day covered the two major topics that I predicted we would discuss: veganism and the U.S. presidential election. Our host parents are totally open to cooking vegan meals and asking us about our preferences, recipes, and

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saw the word Vegan in graffiti and thought it was necessary to document

why we are vegan, and all throughout dinner we spoke all about our family’s history with vegetarianism and now veganism. Our meals have been delicious so far – and bread is always served (just like in Argentina – even after knowing Melanie’s bread-eating habits, it’s surprising how much bread people can eat here). The second conversation was about none other than Donald Trump and the presidential election. Many Chileans are talking about our election because of Trump and how loco he is (my host mom’s words, not mine), which I was expecting. In my first Spanish faux pas in Chile, I accidentally responded to a question about Trump by agreeing that we were voting for him – as soon as I realized this, I quickly explained that it was absolutely false – I can’t believe I did that on our first day here. Oh well!

My Spanish is not the greatest right now, as I have not spoken much for almost a year and a half, but our host family is very patient with us and tries to explain things until we understand. However, I’ve had a lot of feelings in the past 24 hours about my abilities and this trip overall – it is so easy to not pay attention when others are speaking in Spanish because they’re speaking quick enough that I don’t understand it, and it is so easy to just think, “well, I’ll never get to that level”. It’s extremely overwhelming to be surrounded by only IMG_9313.JPGSpanish, especially Chilean Spanish, even though I know I want to improve mine. I know these feelings are normal and will subside as I become more comfortable, but I think I’ll continue feeling this way for at least a few weeks. Chilean Spanish is incredibly fast AND full of slang called chilenismos – so you can see why it’s sometimes hard to catch on. Additionally, people tend to leave off the ends of words sometimes – cansada becomes cansa, nada becomes na, and por favor becomes por fa. They also add “ita” or “ito” to the ends of random words – typically un perro is a dog and un perrito is a puppy or small dog, but here, they add this ending regardless. We’ve heard avocado being called paltito (this would be a baby avocado, which sounds adorable…but it was just an avocado), coffee being called cafecito, and hot water being called aguito.

Sometimes I feel like I understand what’s going on, and other times I feel totally lost and that I don’t understand anything being said. In order to use our Spanish as much as possible, Jordin and I are doing a few things:

  • Carrying a little notebook around to write in new words we learn
  • Keeping a journal in Spanish
  • Only speaking Spanish to each other
  • Only speaking Spanish to others (aka we’re trying not to hang out with Americans if they’re going to speak English)
  • I’m going to start watching Leonardo’s (the baby) television show with him – it’s meant for babies, which means there are lots of songs AND they’re slower than typical music (though it’s still difficult to understand…so that’s saying something about Chilean Spanish and maybe also my Spanish level).

When I was in Argentina, at the bottom of each post I included examples of the ridiculous English slogans I saw on people’s shirts, such as “A broken crayon still colors”, “This is not a reality show”, and my all-time favorite, “I eat glitter for breakfast”. While in Chile, I’m going to include new chilenismos that I’ve learned (maybe later I’ll learn some that are even more ridiculous than those slogans”):

  • Que bacán! = how cool/awesome
  • Taca taca = foosball
  • Guagua = baby
  • Weón = friend/bro, but can also mean jerk/asshole – it totally depends on the context and the tone, which means I may not be using it for a while so I don’t risk calling a new friend a jerk. OR I could use it to talk with Mel and just don’t tell her what context it’s in (that’s what big sisters are for).

Un abrazo grande! Happy October!