Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Randoms and Ritz

I just want to start by pointing out that it's sunny outside right now. Notice the time-stamp on this entry. If I were in the States right now, or in Madrid, it would most definitely not be sunny still becuase it's January and we all know that in January it gets dark early. I mean, the sun won't fully disappear around here for at least another 2 hours. Just a thought ;)

On top of that, this afternoon I walked into a little internet café place at the corner where the bus drops me off every day. I had some reasearch to do for a presentation so I was willing to pay the price. I sit down, and they guy next to me (who happens to work here) started to play a little Rebecca St. James, Jaci Velasquez, and other AMAZING Christian music in English... I mean, for real. What an encouragement... God, you are too good to me!

All this is exciting to me, but you might want to know more details about my daily life here. Things are going great! I'm enjoying getting to know my family more, and I'm finally feeling oriented in the city... and starting to really fall in love with it. Scary, I know. Classes are going pretty well, although this week is pretty rough. I probably should be more stressed than I am. I have a presentation due tomorrow, a test on Thursday, and rough draft of my 5-8pg term final paper due on Monday. After that, however, the workload is all downhill. I mean, my classes here end on Feb. 12, and I don't have a final in Lit because we have the paper. Still don't really have any chilean friends, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the companionship of my fellow Furman students and am thinking that not making native friends will make the leaving easier, perhaps?!?! I tell you, living in a foreign country(ies) sure gives one some good stuff to think about.

As a final note, we "toured" the Ritz-Carlton here today. The only one in South America, and it's pretty impressive. It's new within the last 6 months so they have promotional prices. A few of us are thinking about splitting a room the last night we are here... what do you think ;)

Well, folks, I'm out for the evening/week/whatever. Look forward to hearing from you -- my news from "up-north" has been minimal lately, and I'm thinking that all my friends fell off the planet ;)

Soli Deo Gloria...

Thursday, January 15, 2004

first week in Chile

¡Madre mía! Hace tanto tiempo q no he escrito aquí... lo siento.

Now, after apologizing in my current tongue of choice, I'll revert back to what most of you understand better :)

I did arrive safely in Santiago, Chile, spent 2 days in a hotel for orientacion, and then we spent about 4 days in Pucón (south of Santiago) just kindof chilling. Only it was hot. We went to the beach, I biked some 40kms with a few friends, went rafting, etc. It's a cute little town that reminds me of a ski town in Colorado. And the scenery is amazing!

We started classes on Monday... the literature class I think will be superhard, but the language class should be helpful, yet easy enough. We've had lots to do in the afternoons, in addition to lots of reading, so most of us feel very swamped, but the profs assure us that the excess activities will end soon.

I like my family, although it's been a little loco lately. Being as it's summer here, they've been rotating in and out on vacation. However, last night everyone arrived home, and we might actually have a "family dinner" tonight. I have a mamá, a papá, a 16 year old brother, and 2 sisters of 13 and 5 years.

The weather here is great. Very hot. Something absurd like 80-90 degress every day. Hot. After getting a little red in Pucón, I've been putting SPF 30 on my face just about every morning to prevent skin cancer. Let's hope it works. However, there is usually a nice breeze, and it's not as humid as in NC, so the heat is not as oppressive.

I tried to put pics up, but the comp lab here is not as good as the one in Spain and it doesn't have what I need. And the computer in my house is totally screwed up and won't do anything. My friend says I may be able to go to her house and try there, so I'll get some up if/when I can and let you know.

Also, by sending a short email to 86092160@smartweb.cl you can brighten my day because I'll get it like a text message! However, responding to you is not quite as easy, so don't be insulted if I don't.

That's enough for now... you're probably bored. Love to you all, and thanks to those who have emailed me!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Sunday, January 04, 2004


Wow... so I entirely forgot to update this the WHOLE time I was in the States until now... and now I'm about ready to leave again. Sorry 'bout that.

I had a GREAT holiday season. My grandmother and several cousins came in town, and between catching up with them, catching up with my immediate family, catching up with some close friends... I spent a lot of time "catching up" and it was all delightful!

Now I'm ready to leave the country again. Am I really ready, you ask? To speak spanish again, most definitely. There's a thrill about speaking and understanding what used to sound like mindless jabber that just can't be explained. To be away from home for 7 weeks? The suitcases are mostly packed, but I won't know until I'm back home at the end of the trip if I actually managed to pack everything I needed. To tackle a new city and culture? I think so. Having done so and survived once already, I feel like I can take on the world now!

Chances are, if you're reading this, you recieved my pre-leaving mass email -- if you didn't, I promise it wasn't intentional, so shoot me an email and let me know and I'll be sure you're added for the next one.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Soli Deo Gloria...