Friday, June 15, 2012

un sueño en mi boca

la corte suprema, santiago
if i knew how much i'd have to wear business attire for this program, i'm not sure i would have signed up. i mean, it's summer already. errrr...winter. regardless, i need a break from pencil skirts, collared shirts, and heels. especially if i'm living in a city with primarily cobblestone sidewalks. then again, i am planning to enter the legal profession...

and the site visits were incentive enough: vip tours of the central bank, criminal court, national congress, and supreme court. enrique's comparison of the chilean and us legislative systems nearly made me break out in song: i could be your hero, baby...or maybe it was his name. or his plans to study creative writing at nyu in the fall...the national congress was my fave. close second: hearing from the president of the supreme court and then taking pics in his courtroom throne.

committe hearing @ congreso nacional,
classroom time was also stimulating this week. i am really digging the comparative approaches to social justice class. this week we dabbled in women & employment law, international human rights (the pinochet case), women in the inter-american system, and criminal procedure reforms in chile. it's just so refreshing to hear in detail about how another country tackles some of the big issues we face in the us. on the other hand, the international trade class is well-taught, but i can't bring myself to care about it on any sort of sustainable basis. sorry, dad. i tried. i really did.

this was also the first week that i have felt like santiago is a home of sorts. for starters, i'm beginning to learn enough about chilean history to recognize the significance of major thoroughfares like avenidas 11 de septiembre, de bernardo o'higgins, and de andrés bello. on monday night, i scouted out the nearest lds chapel and managed to ask someone if the church had bathrooms for single students. i was attempting to find a congregation for unmarried students and young professionals, but my language skills failed me big time. after clearing up that blunder, i learned that my ward meets on sundays at 10am. check. i also scoped out the temple, a few parks and neighborhoods, and some sweets shops before heading home. tuesday, i returned to the temple - and actually went inside - to recalibrate from nomadic life of the last four weeks. i am pleased to report that i understood the bulk of the service in spanish. on wednesday, we scouted out plaza de armas and some local sushi bars. today, the central market and centro cultural palacio la moneda (a museum below the presidential palace that a chilean cohort recommended for seeing chilean films). i accidentally chose to watch an argentinian film, juan y eva, which i discovered 20 minutes in was about juan and eva peron. it seemed appropriate as i am flying to buenos aires tomorrow.

catedral metropolitana, plaza de armas
one of my favorite parts of being in santiago is inducing strangers to talk with me - or at me - in spanish: cabineros outside of government buildings, shop owners, theater staff. i find asking for directions and buying desserts are two good places to start. after explaining that i confuse the words frutilla (strawberry) and frambuesa (rasberry) to a central market vendor, a small crowd of women gathered to point out strawberries, spell words out, and generally describing fruits and juices. but the linguistic highlight of the week came as jen, vicki, mike, and i devoured pieces of passion fruit mousse and chocolate cake from a peruvian-style bakery at the central market. words like perfecto and delicioso seemed totally inadequate. so i blurted out: esta un sueño en mi boca (it's a dream in my mouth)! i'm pretty sure that's not a phrase worth repeating, but it elicited an audible laugh and broad smile from the baker. which added to the sweetness of it all.


LizzyLou said...

Cute. This blog entry was a sueno in my long day today. Miss you, Christy!

johnny said...

miss you too, sis!