Saturday, December 27, 2008

Michelle's "North American" Adventures

Although I do plan to provide a post reflecting on various observations about life in the US after being away for over a year and my struggle to hop between Chile and US life, I post the following as a simple update to what I have been up to for the last month.

After taking the GRE on December 1st, life was simply a whirlwind. The test went well and the next day I began planning for my birthday party that Friday. The party was a success (thanks in large part to my roommates),with a full spread dinner and patio party dancing the night away under the stars with 30 of my closest friends in Chile. Lots of fun.

Soon after my birthday I began one crazy week of finalizing last minute details for the exchange program I coordinate, trying to fulfill the numerous invitations for lunch or dinner from Chilean friends and families, saying goodbye to American friends who were returning to the States, and preparing for my own trip back to the United States for the holidays. I never thought I would get around to packing, but was able to finish the morning before I left for the States.

I arrived in the United States on December 15. My mom, my brother, and my sister picked me up at the airport - little did I know (and according to the luck of my life), I was arriving on the COLDEST day of the year: 2 degrees with a wind chill of minus 10. After having been at the beach only days before, my body was in shock and I couldn't get to the car fast enough. :-)

My days here have been spent eating, relaxing with family, eating, making occassional shopping trips and visits to the American Legion, and eating. Oh wait, did I mention eating?? I love food and there is certainly no shortage of food in my US life - and great food (especially mom's homecookin), although sometimes not healthy and sometimes (okay...always) coming in large porportions. In fact, despite my best efforts, I have gained around 9 pounds in my last 12 days in the US!

I have had lots of fun too with my 19 year old brother. For some reason, we seem to have a desire to act like we are kids again, playing tag and having tickle wars; one afternoon, we even went sledding along with his best friend Katie! (video below)

The day before Christmas Eve, my sister, her two children and husband, and I went to my father's house for lunch. It was extra special, as it was the first time that I was able to meet my new nephew Dawson who was born in early November. It was also the first time I played with the new Wii game system, a bunch of fun.

Christmas Eve was spent with as it always is, with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents at my grandparents' house (picture of grandkids and grandparents at right.) I spent most of the time with my new nephew Dawson and cannot wait until I spend the weekend at my sister's house, spending more quality time with my neice and nephew.

Christmas Day was spent at home, eating and opening gifts. That evenig my best friend Brian came over and we went booze crusin' around the country side. Nope, depsite the distance and time apart, nothing has changed. I am so very thankful for this.

As stated earlier, I will post something later with various observations (some insightful and some downright funny) regarding my experience and my brain's attempt to hop between US and Chile life. Until then, I will continue to live life in this small town, hanging out with family and good friends, filling out graduate school applications that are due on January 15th whenever I can.

It is nice to be back in the US but I do miss my Chilean life dearly... it is sad knowing I will be going through all of this again when I permanently say goodbye to my Chile life next May. Sin embargo, saludos a todos mis amigos en Chile, les echo de menos y nos vemos pronto.


At 12/28/2008 11:36 PM, Blogger Patrick Furlong said...

Dude, before anything else what happened to your twangy Spanish!?!?!?!? I watched your video and didn't recognize that voice!!!!!

Welcome back, how is it going? I hope you are having fun and having those moments where you are like hey will you grab the uh, ummm, that thing, the friggin jabon and someone is like- the soap? And you're like yeah, soap, that's the word!

What schools are you applying to and for what programs?

Hope you are well girl!


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