It’s been awhile I know, but these last few weeks have been CRAZY! To recap what I’ve been up to… I went North, where I lived with an Aymara family for five days and worked in the fields (stay tuned for a separate post on that experience!) and after returning to Viña de Mar, I moved in with a new family a week ago! Right now I am in the midst of my Independent Research project period, where I am investigating the use of non-formal education programs in urban school settings. I love my topic, so it makes spending most of my days now working on research a little easier! Now that I kind of dictate my own schedule , I have had time to hang out and bond with my new host family! (I switched for my research period because I wanted to experience life with bigger family than I was with.) My new adopted Chilean family includes my mom, Wale, my dad, Andrés, and my siblings, Victoria (14), Benjamin (12) and Magdalena (5) and Bosco (2) (the family Great Dane!) I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming, kind, and loving family. From day 1, we instantly clicked!
I’ve only been in my new house for a week but I’ve already had some great times with the fam! This past Wednesday, all of us attended the “Día de la Familia” presentation at the school of my littlest sister. All the kindergarteners sang songs about family in English (it’s a British school) and then we headed to the school patio to enjoy lots of sweets and goodies. YUM!
Last night was the first of the weekly “Cenas Americanas” (which I have initiated, making an ‘American’ specialty once a week). This week’s special was Peanut butter toast with banana and honey! Simple, but quality peanut butter was the key! Although peanut butter DOES exist in Chile in the big name mega super markets (in small quantities), the main ingredient is hydrogenated palm oil. Yuck! (Probably why it’s not a big seller here). However, with the Natural Jif creamy peanut butter one of my best friends sent me, I was able to assemble one of my favorite post run (or anytime) snacks! The verdict from the fam: “Super rico!!! Delicioso” You would have thought I prepared a four course dinner. They said they would have never imagined such a combo! And for most of them, it was the first time they had ever tasted peanut butter. EVER! As a lifelong fan of the nutty butter, I was shocked!
This simple meal was turned into a documented event with pictures that captured the process and first bites. After everything they have shared with me, I’m glad my little gift of peanut butter and banana toast was well received (seconds were requested and even my littlest sister, a picky eater, said she could eat “miles” (thousands)!) Family bonded doesn’t require a five star vacation, just a little peanut butter, bread, and a willingness to share.
Chileanismo: al tiro! : Right away!.. (Contrary to its exact translation “like a shot”)