Friday, June 29, 2012

hello, goodbye

i went snowboarding on saturday. this is noteworthy for two reasons: first, it is june. there's been record-breaking heat in dc and detroit. but santiago scraped together just enough snow to warm my heart and open the slopes. so i went snowboarding. in june. in the andes. second, my winter sports track record is bad. correction: i'm great at snowball fights, capture the snow shovel, and sledding. but when it comes to downhill sports, inability to control my velocity and an instinctual aversion to colliding with young children has really interfered with my progress. but i am happy to say that snowboarding attempt #3 proved to be a success. i successfully controlled my speed with that weavy technique (what's it called?) and am planning to return to the slopes later this summer...errr, winter. and rest assured that, despite open mockery, i wore a helmet. because it's empowering and i have a knack for knocking the noggin.

i've also come to terms with the obvious: of the two operative terms in "study abroad," one is significantly more interesting than the other. which is why i'm constructing this blog post mere minutes before my first exam. it's not that i dislike learning. au contraire, mon frère. i just prefer to learn on my own terms: after a good rain cleared the santiago skies, mike, marie, and i took a gander at cerro santa lucía. our group visited the constitutional court, chatted with one of the chief justice, then meandered over to museo nacional de bellas artes. i finally cashed in on the free tour at palacio falabella. george, mike, and i posed as fútbol fans for the u. chile-boca juniors. sarah and i went to check out a movie at cine alemán en la universidad católica. the name should have been a giveaway, but in our enthusiasm for cinema, we neglected to note that we were buying tickets for a german film with spanish subtitles. fortunately, the plotline was predictable. i felt right at home with a cruiser bike and josé miguel of la bicicleta verde to explain about history, architecture, and culture here. and yesterday, i hung with the education protest parade for an hour, asking questions of folks ages 16 to 60 (more on that later).

the official study part of my trip abroad is coming to an end. i have tests today and tomorrow. then, i will pack up my belongings and move in with roxana, a chilean yoga instructor, from whom i am renting a spare room for the rest of my stay here. i will have a few days to kick it and explore before starting an internship with the general counsel at pontificia universidad católica, where i will be reviewing best practices for university legal teams. collectively, our group has had a lot of firsts here: eric - holding a baby, niki - shoe shine, me - casino gambling, sarah - getting deported (guhl. it worked out in the end), vicki - skiing, megan - eating a hot dog. it's been an eventful month and i'm going to miss my school friends a lot; for the 7 staying here, aquí vamos! to the next chapter of chilean adventures!

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