Moving to the City

One of the things that makes this experience really different for me is that this is my first time living in a big city! Even though I, technically, live in Cumbayá, which is just outside of Quito. I grew up in a borough (not even big enough to be a town) that was small enough […]

What it’s like to Start Study Abroad

So I’m really probably not qualified to write this seeing that I just got to Quito this week, but I guess that’s why it’s called a beginner’s guide and not an expert’s guide. Anyway – here’s a little bit of my experience in the first week of being here! I’m going to start out by […]

Es una Broooma

I’m anticipating that when I get home, people will ask me what my favorite thing about Chile was. My answer for them will be this: the sound that Chileans make as they’re waiting for you to get their joke. It’s a very specific “aaaaah,” and it’s shared by basically everyone I’ve met! I love this particularity […]

What does it mean to be mujer?

Today I let myself cry about the gender inequality I see in our world. I felt a little silly sitting on a park bench with the tears streaming down my face, but I think this issue is something that needs to be recognized and deserves to be cried about. My tears were spurred by an encounter […]

Despedirse

In Spanish class we learned that the way to say goodbye is “Adios!” At least in Chile, though, that’s not how you do it. Everyone says “Chao!” as goodbye, and it’s accompanied by a kiss on the cheek, maybe a hug, cuídate, nos vemos! Despedirse is something you do every time you leave a social […]

Living Among the Dinosaurs

On Saturday I found myself eating tiny coconuts and sipping water from tiny shoe-shaped flowers. It was like a miniature tea party! In fact, one of my favorite memories from childhood was the tiny tea-set that my sister and I shared. Even for 10-year-old fingers, it was teensy. And we would always drink tap water and eat baby […]

School is different here

School is different here. For example, my art class today was a field trip to the south of Chile. We spent about 9 hours in train, and 3 in bus so we could appreciate a mural painted in the small town of Chillán. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the mural we went to […]

Ser Poeta

Los poetas odiamos el odio y hacemos guerra a la guerra — Pablo Neruda “Pablo Neruda es un Gran Chileno,” our history professor told us. Looking at his life and his world, I’m convinced. Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, writer, politician, and professor, but what Chileans love most about him, I think, is his […]

La Cueca

Is there a national dance in the US? No, claro, los gringos aren’t very good at dancing. This was my excuse this weekend when I was asked that question. But the truth is, Chileans aren’t always good at dancing either. It doesn’t stop them from trying, though. Chile’s national dance, called the cueca, is an […]

Wonderful Limits

How do you find words to describe the Infinite? When I try to explain the beauty and majesty I saw this weekend, especially in Spanish, simplemente no hay palabras. I find myself struggling against my limits. And then the Voice inside me tells me to relax. “Tranquila,” it says. “We will have all eternity to […]