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Friday, May 18, 2012

RETURNING HOME

I just got home from an amazing year abroad. I am in love with Chile. I am so happy to be home with my family. Thank you for all your prayers. Post coming soon about my trip to Easter island.

Friday, April 20, 2012

UPDATE!

Hey everyone! I know its been a while. thanks for being patient with me. I have been really busy lately plus my macbook has been having problems and my keyboard finally stopped working.

School has been tough and they days are really long. I am exhausted when I get home, and I dont even go to Pre-university like my friends have to. They go to school from 8-4 everyday. On wedenesdays 8-5 and on Fridays 8-6, then after they are required to go the pre- university to prepare for the PSU. I cant imagine... I will never complain about my school schedule again.. haha!

Tomorrow I will be going with 40 other exchange students to (isla de pascua) Easter Island. I return wednesday. Just wait to see what I will have to blog after my trip!

thanks for your prayers and support. Please keep praying for me and I will be home in 25 days!! SALUDOS!

MADDIE

Thursday, March 1, 2012

End of Summer. Badly needed blog!

heyy everyone!
February 27th was my 6 month anniversary here in Chile. Wow. It still feels weird saying it.
So i start school on monday and I figured it was necessary to take time out and write a blog about my summer no what it has come to an amazing but sad ending.
I will start with January:

I was at a house on the beach in Cartagena. The beaches of Chile are so beautiful but the water is freezing! THe only down side to the beach is that CArtagena is the closest beach from Santiago so all the "city slickers" from Santiago come and leave trash and food on the beach. Cartagena is a tiny town where everyone knows everyone. There is no mall, no movie theater, no bowling alley, just the beach. There is a mall in the town close by called San Antonio but even that mall is really tiny. My host family in CArtagena was amazing. They are one of those families that has all the connections in town and everyone knows them. One day i went to the supermarket with my host mom, Analia, and we were there wayy longer than we should have been because every isle we turned on, she knew someone. Another day the fire fighters came to our house to fill up the pool, which was way faster than using a regular water hose.
This family was way awesome, and when it was time for me to leave they did an "asado" or BBQ. AMAZING!

On to February:
THe first weekend of February i came back to Santiago to see some friends and visit some tourist places. I went to Cerro Santa Lucia which was a hill and it is very pretty and decorated, with magic fountains, and stairs that allow you to go all the way up to the top. It is a beautiful view from up top. We saw a lot of tourists here. I was with 2 other exchange students and we wanted our picture taken so we asked this couple if they could take our picture. I asked them in spanish obviously, and they they responded with a confused look and said "picture?" and I was caught a little off guard but then started talking to them in english. They were from Hawaii. Haha its always neat to encounter english speakers in a spanish speaking country. The same day we went to "La Moneda" which is the presidents house or as we would know as the "white house" of Chile. It was very pretty as well.
When I returned to Cartagena i just relaxed and with to the beach so i could try and tan and maybe look more Chilean instead of a ghost. I succeeded. :) February 20th I got on a plane to visit the South of Chile. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. God created an incredible world for us to live in. I felt so little next to the mountains of Patagonia. I feel like Chile is often forgotten about. This is a beautiful country and it has a little bit of everything and every type of climate. They have desert in the North, mountains in the South, and cold at the tip of the country because it is so close to Antartica, plus they have beach all along the coast of the country. They have the huge city of Santiago, and yet have farms in the country. CHILE IS BEAUTIFUL! Unfortunately when we got the the South, there was protest that had just begun in the region of "Aysen" some were violent but for the most part the protestors just closed off the roads and wouldnt let anyone exit or enter the cities except for  at certain times of the day. The trucks carrying gas for the cars were not allowed to enter, so there was a shortage of gas. We werent able to go on any tours or really get to know the special parts of South Chile, like the marble caverns, glaciers, or lagoons because there was no gas for the tour vehicles and the protestors had blocked the roads. As would say here " es una lata" but its just a thing. The environment was so beautiful it was almost impossible to be mad. I also got the opportunity to talk to the people protesting and they are normal people and I was able to get a better understanding of WHY they were protesting, and I supported them but like i said "es una lata" that we couldnt really get to know more of the country. Although I thought it was neat to see protests in action and get a more "real" view of Chile. It was a good lesson in learning how to enjoy what is in front of you.

I start school monday and my parents are coming in less than 2 weeks. LIFE IS GOOD>LA VIDA ES TAN BUENAA! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January

I hope everyone enjoyed New Years! I know I did!

I am now in a new family.I switched with a girl from North Carolina, her name is Rabia. She is now living with my previous family until march and then we will switch back to our firsts families until the end of our exchanges. One of the rules of Rotary exchange is for the student to change families in order to experience a different part of the culture, because every family is different. I will be with this current family until school starts in May. They live about 5 blocks from the beach and the weather is so much nicer than it was in Santiago. My host parents are bee keepers so that is a new experience for me as well. I haven't been doing much lately because its summer time. I am having a blast here and the people here are just beautiful loving people. i am so blessed to have this opportunity.

right now its hard to go out and make a lot of plans because I dont know anyone here, and i am not in school so it is even harder. i met a girl yesterday who was introduced to me by Rabia. I hung out with her nd went to the mall, and hopefully I will hang out with her and meet more friends through her as well.

I have some trips planned, one to the south of Chile and one to the most famous but least visited island, EASTER ISLAND!!! i am so excited!

well thats pretty much whats going on in my life. SUMMERR! <3

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Tumblr

Ok I would like to thank my best friend Taylor Juarez for getting me hooked on Tumblr. I have a tumblr site that has pictures of my exchange and it is a more fun thing to update than this blog. I will probably still be posting most of what is happening on here but if you want to SEE what I am up to then you can check this out.

http://chillininchile2012.tumblr.com/

My Christmas was really fun. I was sweating. I also have to admit that even thoug I am from Texas, I am not used to this heat without Air Conditioning. I got good gifts from my family and I of course ate good food. It was my first Christmas in summertime and while it was really wierd, I really enjoyed it.

I change my host family January 2nd. From what I have been told I am going to change families for the summer ( january and february) then come back to the family i am with now so i can attend school in march. I have also been told that my next family is in Cartajena, which is a beach! so that is pretty exciting.

Thats pretty much what has been going on lately..check out my tumblr page!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Summer in December

ok its been awhile. I have a feeling this blog will be lengthy so grab a cup of coffee and get ready for a novel. No I'm just kidding, but this one will definately be longer than others.

Oh where to begin? Well first off I would just like to say that it is extremely weird that summer is December and that Christmas is 3 days away and I am going to swim parties and tanning like its July. Its so hot here, not Texas hot but there is so much humidity and smog I almost think it might be worse! But I think of the summer we just had in Texas and then I think " ok its really not that hot..." haha.
OH CHRISTMAS IS 3 DAYS AWAY!!
How this even happen? I don't even understand how time could go so fast. I can remember in August when I first started my exchange I remember thinking to myself " If I can just make it through the holidays and past New Years then it will be smooth sailing from there..." I now here I am, 3 days away from Christmas sitting on my roof outside my bedroom in Chile and wondering how time could go by so fast. I am having so much fun here. I have been hanging out with some other exchange students that are here in my area and they are so fun. I just got back from a party/ sleepover with a bunch of exchange students who are from all over the world like Finland, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and U.S.A. They are all so crazy and fun to be around. There was one point where we all simultaneously woke up at 4 am and we were all speaking different languages like German, english, spanish and even spanglish. Of course I think nothing of it and go back to sleep. If i was not an exchange student this would be a really weird thing to wake up to at 4 am. Also another thing that is pretty a normal thing to do is to go to the supermarket and buy food and then sit out on the patio and eat and not care what anybody else thinks because we are hungry and we are going to eat wherever we want. WE don't care if people stare.

The bond between exchange students is the wierdest and coolest thing in the world. We all have a common interest and it doesn't matter what country you come from, what language you speak, what color your hair is, all that matter is that you are an exchange student. We all have each others backs and its a bond you won't be able to find anywhere else.

I have made it to Christmas. I can't believe it. If I can do this I really feel like I can do anything. anything I do after this will be so much easier. I have learned more about my self in 4 months than most people do in a lifetime and I owe it all to my SAVIOR, my Rotary Family, Friends, and of course family.
Ok, maybe not a novel. I feel like i had more to say but i cant remember now. I am going to bed now. Chao everyone! Have a Merry Christmas!!<3

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Chilean Way

Hello everyone! I apologize for not writing sooner.

This past month has flown by. Time seems to go  by faster when you understand what people are saying, it also goes by faster now that I am actually speaking more spanish. When i first came to Chile I was in "cuarto medio" which is like senior year, but they get out a month earlier than everybody else in order to prepare and study for the PSU, which is sort of the the SAT but way harder and without calculators, and they only have one chance to take it and get a good score. I guess you could say its kinda a big deal. My host sister ,Camila, has been studying non-stop for this test. Anyways, I was in cuarto medio but when they finished I switched to tercero medio (junior year). When I switched, at first it was hard. I was like my first day of school all over again. i didnt know anyone, everyone asked the same questions like "where are you from?" " do you like Chile?  do you have brothers and sisters?  do you like the school? do you have a boyfriend? what is your family like here? how do chileans treat you?" and the list goes on and on and on... except only this time i couldnt say " no entiendo" which is I don`t understand, because I did understand. I have been here for 3 months. I understood everything. So i patiently answered thier questions. They were all super nice to me and they said I speak good for only being here 3 months. They all want to practice thier english, which is cool. The teachers are really nice too. The cool thing is I will be here in march when I have to start school again, and I will be with the same students so it is a good thing I meet them now.

This past week I went to Reñaca. Reñaca is in Viña del Mar which is one of the most touristed areas in Chile. It is absolutly beautiful. God created such a beautiful earth for us to live in. The beach was so pretty but the water was reallllllyyyyyyyy cold!! It kind of reminded me of the California coast, because after all it still the pacific ocean, except on the other side of the equator. The city of Reñaca was sort of built into the hill side, everything was so steep. I got a tan, it felt wierd tanning in November. I just sort of went, tanned, chilled, if we wanted to do something we just went, no plans ahead of time ( the chilean way). I had an amazing time.
The day after I got back My host sister had her high school graduation, then later that night i stayed up until 4:00 in the morning do a last minute presentation  that I had to present in spanish today. Of course I didnt find out about it until thursday night because my host siter forgot to tell me. whoops. So I was doing it the chilean way, drinking coffee and finishing at 4 am. But I presented today and I think it went well. I went to an event today with my family and other exchanges and thier families and it was really fun. We had an asado or BBQ and I got to talk to other exchange students, and laugh about expierences or stupid things we have done or said.

Also my family put up the christmas tree today. It looks AWESOME, with all it ornaments and blinking lights! When i leaarn how to put pictures on my blog I will post lots of pictures. I am sort of challenged when it comes to things like that. Welp i think thats all for now. Sorry for the grammer and probably bad english, but hey i am learning another language, i am exchange student. That is my life right now, doing things the Chilean way.