Living in Chile Update

Todas las personas in Cauquenes me piden por que escogí venir aquí y se digo que yo solamente escojo el país y Rotary escoge la ciudad. Muchas veces ellos responden con, “ahhhh, y te gusta Cauquenes?” Y me lo encanta. Las personas de Cauquenes están sorprendidos con esa respuesta, pero cuando explico que Cauquenes es un pequeño lugar muy acogedor ellos parecen entender un poco más. Pienso que las personas lo dan por sentado porque ellos no conocen la vida grande. Y pienso que las personas en las ciudades grandes lo dan por sentado porque ellos no conocen la vida más pequeño. Todas personas quieren cambiar. Me gusta el cambio y estoy felíz por la oportunidad.

As for daily life in Chile- There are three meals a day as in most places, but Chile is a bit different than what I’m used to. Breakfast everyday is normally a bowl of cereal or some toast with fruit afterwards if wanted. During the week I have eaten it around 7:30, and then I am at school by 8. Around 1 o’clock, everyone in the city returns home if it isn’t too far away and eats lunch together. The average lunch for me so far has been a plate of meat with a side or something similar. All meals have juice with them the majority of the time. An example is rice and potatoes with meat. After the main course, some kind of dessert is offered like fruit or cake. Everyone returns to their jobs and school at around 2 and continues with their day. School times vary depending on the day, but I have had school end at 5:30, 3:30, and at 1 o’clock. The majority of the days are 5:30 and 3:30. After school, there is most likely sports events going on, and most the of the people go to them. There is no entry fee, and the team spirit is extreme. Both sides bring drums and team apparel and throughout the match there is a battle between spectators. I’ve noticed that the drummers have beats memorized and coordinate to out-drum the opponents. The majority of sports events are soccer and volleyball, but I have heard basketball is getting popular here as well. If there are no sports events, everyone usually returns home or goes to a friends house. If one returns home, they are offered another meal similar to lunch or with the leftovers from lunch. After this meal or if one does not return home, we (the students) have gone to a place called the galpón. The word literally means “shed,” but it is used to describe the place where the young people go to hang out. I believe it is only a thing for part of the time during the year because my host brother said that in a week or so, people won’t be going there everyday. It is a thing right now because the school is having their anniversary, and the teens go to the “shed” to work on activities for the events. The majority of our sports events have had two teams, the Pirates and the Vikings (with different age groups) and the teams also split up to work on everything for the anniversary. Everything is a competition between the teams so it is serious, but little to no work actually gets done at the galpón because dancing and smoking is the main activity for most. Music is always playing and Chileans are always dancing. The favorite music in Chile is Raggaeton and Trap. The majority of young people have the singer “Bad Bunny” as their favorite. After evening activities, everyone returns home for dinner around 10:00 in the night. Dinner is usually some kind of sandwich combination. It is mostly the common bread in Chile, marraqueta, which is cut in half and then spread with mayo, guacomole, meat, cheese and chile pepper (which is called ahí here). The majority of the dinners are similar to this with varying meats. Another option is the Chilean “hotdog.” The Chileans kind of stole the idea from Americans, but they made it much better. I’m not sure how it differs, but my host family said that Chileans use a different kind of meat in their hotdogs. I don’t normally eat hotdogs unless they are chili-dogs, but they are amazing here. The bun is toasted slightly and then spread generously with mayo and guac then tomato and ahí added on top. If you come to Chile don’t hold back with mayo. My first couple I only put a little on because I’m not a huge fan, but then I decided to risk it and lather it on. It was a totally different taste, and I enjoyed it. Chileans have mayo on everything surprisingly. In the mornings, some put mayo on toast and eat it like that. After the main course, some kind of dessert is brought out (usually ice cream with some kind of chocolate like brownie). Chileans also sleep in on the weekends. Breakfast has been at 12 roughly on the weekends with lunch around 3 or 4 and activities in between. At every meal, everyone stays at the table and talks for at least half an hour. Lunch is normally longer with talking. A few of my lunches have reached lengths on 2+ hours because of talking. Still learning new things, and catching more of the language everyday.