July 30, 2011
Pronounced: Gua (like guava fruit) – ter (as in tear a piece of paper) – o (same as the Oh in “Oh Susanna”)
What it is: A flexible bag that, when filled with hot water, is used to heat up a freezing cold bed. aka a hot water bottle.
I just bought this one today and it is already heating up my feet as I sit here and type. The best invention ever! My mom came in and wrapped it up in the little shirt-like thing because it was so hot. Nice try cold, rainy weather. My feet will be very happy now.
July 29, 2011
For the first day of orientation all of the international students met at the Estadio Español for a formal welcome and introduction into the program. They had placed us in smaller orientation groups each with a guide to help us through the week. Our group has Australians, Americans, and a Canadian. I was surprised at how many different countries were represented altogether.
After an exhibition of typical Chilean music and dance, the morning ended with a written placement test. I sure am rusty on my grammar rules! This will be a good wake up call for me. As if speaking Spanish 24/7 wasn’t enough!
The portion of the program during the afternoon was more of the same introduction type of information. Nothing very exciting.
The second day of orientation didn’t start until the afternoon, so my mom and I ran across town. We went to a funeral (which is an experience in itself) and found a chip for my cell phone. Total cost of this cell for me was $2.18!
I spent the afternoon with my group going over different classes that we could take. I chose to take a grammar class and a communication/Chilean culture class. That leaves me with 5 credits to take an art class and history/geography/something. I officially register the last day of orientation, so fingers crossed I get into those classes so I can graduate!
Day three of orientation began early. Everyone met in front of Casa Central to take chartered buses around to all of the different campuses of the university. PUCV is really neat in that all of the campuses are spread out over Viña and Valparaíso. So just by taking classes you get to know the cities really well. I’m pretty sure that all of my classes are in Casa Central, so for me the tour was not as important, but I really enjoyed the end of the tour. It was at the end that we got to see the science buildings. I know, I’m a nerd. But they were just built and very abstract looking. The northernmost building was four stories tall with a basement and only had laboratories. Every lab was done their whether biology, chemistry, research, or whatever class that had a lab. Pretty cool. After lunch I met up with some other students and we walked around Valparaíso to get a feel of the city.
Finally, the last day of orientation! Today was a busy day. My mom and I got all of the copies, photos, and papers that we needed for my student visa. Lots of running around town. We got back just in time for a quick lunch and then I walked with Oren (another student that lives close) to our meeting. I signed up for twelve different classes and then I can cross them off as I figure out which ones I want to take for sure. Right now it looks like my schedule will be:
- Grammar- Monday & Wednesday 5:20-6:50
- Silk Screening- Tuesday 9:45-11:45
- Paper Making – Tuesday 2-3:30
- History of Pre-Hispanic Art and Society in Chile – Thursday 11:45-1:15
- Spanish Communication and Chilean Culture – Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 3:40-5:10
Of course all of that is tentative, so we’ll see!