Published: November 1st 2010October 29th 2010
Did I mention how beautiful my view is???
I've been getting used to life here again... and this time around I've found myself stopping to think about some of the things that I had gotten used to before! I'm realizing that if my plans go as planned, I'll be spending the next few years here and that's going to be a lot different than just being immersed in a culture for a 10 month exchange. The upside of that is that I will get a much deeper look into the chilean culture and my spanish will certainly benefit. The downside is that I'm just going to have to get used to the parts of chilean life that I don't like or find frustrating!
- The Chilean day is much like the traditional Spanish day; people work in the morning, come home for lunch and rest and then go back to work in the late afternoon. So that means that you can't do much between 1 and 4, which is nice if you want to have a long lunch and a siesta, but if you want to go get something done, there isn't much you can do seeing as most businesses close during those hours!
- For the
most part Chilean clocks have about half an hour to an hour of flexibility... the pace of life is a bit slower here and very few occasions seem to call for punctuality. I tend to find it frustrating at times because you set a time for something or are told a time period, and you can never really know if it will happen then or if you'll have to sit around and wait an hour or two more.
- I've found that here are lots of "Avon Ladies" here, they come door to door or through networks of friends with little magazines of home and beauty products for you to order from. I think they have these in the US too (and I believe my grandmother used to be an Avon Lady, the kind that went door to door with a suitcase of makeup). James's friend Monica and Yaya's sister Tia Ines both do it as a living, and just recently a very sweet older lady from the first staircase in my building came to my door and left me with a couple magazines... and a lot of the products are a fair amount cheaper here than I've found
My friend Rocio's beautiful baby boy :)
- Getting whistles, honks, kissy noises and sometimes comments in the street is part of life here. It can be uncomfortable or startling if you're not used to it, but it's just part of the culture, and now it only really bothers me if I'm walking at night alone and feeling vulnerable or if they get crude. I tend to draw a fair amount of attention in the street because I'm taller and blonder than the average Chilean woman. Most of the time though I try to just take it as someone noticing that I look nice today. Sometimes it can be pretty entertaining if they get creative... I always remember one time when I was walking down the street and a man managed to convince me to stop and search the ground for something he'd lost... his heart which had jumped out of his chest when he saw me!
- Even street dogs use the crosswalks... its great! Most intersections in Copiapo have lights for when its safe to walk, and I always crack up seeing a pack of street dogs waiting with all the people to cross!
- There is also very strong
Rocio and Amaro 1
sorry some of these are a little fuzzy! we had the flash turned off to not bother little eyes :)
sense of family and loyalty here, as is the case in most of South America. Families usually live closer together here than in the states, and get together often. A lot of cousins grow up more like siblings and commonly several members of the extended family contribute to the raising of a child. A grandmother will, for example, often play a crucial role in child care rather than a babysitter or day care. It is also fairly uncommon for unmarried children to leave home.
There are more photos below