winter in the southern hemisphere

8am. Alarm clock sounds.  Say morning prayer: “Dear Jesus, please give me the strength to get out of my very warm bed and face the cold.”  Look at snazzy travel alarm clock (thanks Bryn!) that also reads temperature.  Approximate room temperature?  54 deg. F.  Lay in bed, debating whether or not to shower. Do like Rory Gilmore and make a pro/con list.  Pros: My host family might think I’m weird if I never shower.  People like people who smell good.  Cons: It’s real cold. My towel might not have fully dried from my last shower.  And it takes forever to blow dry hair…

8:20am.  Decide to shower.  Check to make sure the Calefont (aka hot water heater) is turned on.  Here in Chile we heat the water as we go.

9am. Breakfast.  And coffee, well kind of.  The most popular brand of instant coffee is Nescafé, fondly called “no es café” (translate: it’s not coffee).

9:30am.  Leave house.  Walk to metro.  Swipe “Bip” card to get on metro.

10am.  Contemporary Chile class, with study abroad program.  Listen to lecture on Chilean politics.  Try to understand.

1pm.  Lunch time.  Open lunch bag to see what mom packed.  Look around the lunch table to see what everyone else got.  Ask friend if she wants to trade her peach juice box for your pineapple one.  Reminisce about elementary school and PB&J sandwiches.

3 pm. Tour downtown Santiago.  (See some pictures on my last post!)

6pm.  Rush hour.  Try to avoid getting squished when the door on the Metro closes.

7:30pm. Dinner time!  Try very had to converse with family.   Help sister, Trini, do dishes.  We make a good wash/rinse team.  After dinner, watch Disney channel dubbed in Spanish with brother, Vicho.

9pm.  Skype with family, who tells me that I look cold, then goes on and on about how hot it is in Michigan right now.  Suppress jealously about warm weather.

11pm. Brush teeth.  Do a dance to keep warm.  Then stare at sink and decide whether or not to wash face with ice water from the Andes mountains…the calefont has been turned off for the night. Check to make sure the cat isn’t in bedroom, as to avoid repeat experience of sharing bed with cat.  Climb in bed.  Pull sheet, 4 blankets, and comforter up to ears.  Say bedtime prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank you for a warm bed.  And wonderful families, both here and far away.   And thank you that I showered this morning so that I don’t have to tomorrow.”

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