I have officially ended classes and all ended super well! Getting into the swing of finals season was a bit of a struggle at first and I found myself ending up at the beach when I should have been studying… hence all of the beach pictures but at the same time I felt like I really needed to enjoy the remainder of time that I had here and of course soak up some sun 🙂
And now that I am receiving my final grades I can honestly say that it was a good use of time ;D My English is depleting a bit and I find myself writing parts of this blog post in Spanish and then translating it into English so I have definitely been working full force in Spanish for quite some time. I was most afraid of my final exams for psychology because it was the first time that I had to learn about a technical subject in another language. Normally when I take classes in Spanish it’s based on language or culture but psychology and theory was a bit more challenging. But I studied really hard and ended up getting the second best grade in the class yay! I ended religion and history with some final essays where I wrote about my personal reflection with God and about women in politics. For my Community & Culture class and Spanish class and we had to do video projects, which was super fun. The Community and Culture class video is a song’s worth of comparisons between life of a college student in the U.S. and in Chile. The Spanish video is about once, the dinnertime that Chileans have here.
La vida chilena: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSqML84FMj0
Other than school and final projects I have also been going on a couple of excursions with the group to learn about various things. I wrote about a couple of the excursions on the study abroad website: http://www.ifsa-butler.org/blog/?author=252 and below are some pictures of the highlights
Our religion class was also invited to our professor’s house for a dinner and it was complete with several courses and the first course is below:
I have also been getting involved in the community a bit lately … One Saturday I went with a group of students to help paint a mural in a place that houses, educates and rehabilitates young girls and women affected by domestic violence. Although I am definitely no artist it was an honor to be able to interact with the girls and try and make the place that they live a little bit more beautiful. I also went to my Chilean brother’s first communion. My host mom cried a little bit because she was so moved by the ceremony so it was a very beautiful celebration to be able to watch. I finally did get to work for a few days hanging out in my bed getting interrupted to play/watch the baby Leonor and when it got too noisy went to a cafe with Karrin to study and write. One Saturday we also went to a plaza for a free Zumba event. It was a sea of colorful people dancing around in front of the Armada Chile. It was great exercise and I bet quite a sight to see so many people dancing around!
On Saturday it was the last event of the year with church and they surprised all of the international students with a beautiful dinner. The Chileans dressed up in black and white and served us turkey and mashed potatoes (in honor of Thanksgiving) and a classic Chilean dessert of crepes covered in manjar. After the dinner they showed a short slideshow of a few photos throughout the semester. They ended the night with giving us little bags full of bible versus, one for each day that remains in this year. After that we ended with a prayer circle and shared what we are thankful to God for. It was such a beautiful gesture that they did for us. It showed me how valuable it has been to have friends in Christ being so far away from home. For me my small group leader Claudia was such an important part of time here in Chile. On Wednesday we had a sleepover and just talked about all sorts of things meanwhile playing on the computer, listening to music and watching tv. The next day we ran around taking pictures near her house and then we had lunch where we had a mini Thanksgiving since I couldn’t have a meal at my own house with my family. Later that night I joined my abroad group and our host families for a farewell dinner. That was also very well planned where our final video projects for the culture class were shone, we ate dinner and then there was a short slideshow from the semester. Although the celebration was really nice I have to say that my favorite part was sitting with my host “sister-in-law” Cata and talking throughout the night. During dinner we talked about personable stuff about relationships and as the speeches started we laughed and whispered about when it was going to end.
I have also been working at the elementary school quite a bit and I am working with them on a music video project, below is a sneak preview of some of the pictures and the final product is to come in the next post!
Mini Thanksgiving lunch
Now I have two weeks left here and honestly it hasn’t hit me. My host family always jokes about how I’m going to cry like a baby and I just smile and say haha yeah probably … I’m really glad that I have two weeks left without classes so I can just relax and enjoy the time I have left with these people that I have grown to love very much.
No more school!