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Samantha: Day to Day

August 12, 2009

familyI have had almost all of my classes now and like them very much! Two are taught by instructors that specialize in Spanish as a second language. My writing class Professor explained to me that it is part of their culture to stare at people, so I have become accustomed to people looking at me. I am taking a Cognitive Psychology class, which I knew was going to be a challenge. I understand about 40% of what my professor says. After the first class I turned to the other exchange student in the class and asked her how much she understood. She is from Germany and Spanish is her third language and she only understood 10% so I think that together we should be able to comprehend 50% of the lectures!

My host sister, Javi, turned 18 on Friday. Eighteen in Chile is like turning 18 and 21 at the same time in the States so we had a huge party with a lot of food and almost the entire family. There was much laughing and conversation but Javi shares her birthday with her grandpa who passed away 6 years ago so there were some tears.

On Saturday I got a lesson in Texas Hold Em from my host Dad. I gave him a run for his money and at 2 a.m. after Brittany, a girl from Pennsylvania who was here for a summer program, and Aunt Tatty were somehow all in for the 10th time in a row after losing each time, I came in second to my host dad!!!

I have gotten to know the Nana, Marcela, who works for the family I am living with. She is a very sweet yet outspoken woman who has three sons and lives in Valparaiso. Brittany and I went to her house for lunch on Sunday. The outside was very rundown, and looked patched together, something that most people would turn away from, however the inside was very nicely decorated and had a very comfortable ambiance, similar to being at your mom’s house. The division of classes and treatment of the lower class in Chile is hard for me to live with each day, but it is their culture. In my free time I help Marcela cook and make sure she doesn’t have to clean up after me!

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