Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Daily life

My homestay is almost over after these three weeks.  It was very comfortable and convenient.  I had just a host mom, who is retired with grandchildren.  Sometimes I didn't see much of her in the mornings and evenings, but it was nice to be on my own and have a quiet house amidst all the busy stuff I was doing.
Things in her house are very representative of Chile's Catholic majority (I wonder how she felt about the pope's resignation? I didn't bring it up).

The 3-week intensive language program is also coming to an end!  I learned SO MCUH about Chilean culture in a relaxed, somewhat academic setting.  That was great.  There was also a ton of grammar and vocabulary.  I hope that my mind absorbs it as the semester proceeds, because it was a lot at once.  Intensive classes aren't exactly my style.

Each day I got to walk 12 minutes to school in my quaint neighborhood of Nuñoa.  It was hot hot hot this last month, since it is the middle of summer.  The streets are not too busy, but the buses and metro are still full of sweltering crowds.  On many bus rides, I got to listen to the transit musicians - people that play guitar, flutes, etc for the entertainment of the ridership!

The plaza near my house - in one of the fancier neighborhoods of Santiago

I also got a Chilean cell phone a few days after being here. Something really different about that is that it is pay-as-you-go (common in a lot of other parts of the world, I think).  To recharge your phone credit, you have to find a designated person at one of the metro stations.  Among the bustling crowds, there are a few people at each metro station with a little sign that says "Recarga Aqui" - Recharge Here.  You give them the cash and they charge the money onto your phone straight from their phone.  You get an instant verification via text message on your phone with the amount of the charge.

Food at my host mom's place:

Sometimes she made me wonderful dishes like salmon cooked with veggies and rice:

Sometimes she got lazy and made me frozen hot dogs on a bed of rice:

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