Today is July 9th, and tomorrow will mark 5 months since I left home. Tomorrow will also be the day I leave for my trip to Peru, and this is also the approximate halfway point before I fly back home for the holidays.
Taking some time to reflect on the experience, it makes me realize how much I have accomplished. Even though I moved, I was able to keep myself with Chilean roommates so I wouldn´t be tempted to only speak English. I found a group to play Magic with, and I´ve made Chilean friends. I´ve gotten to do a good amount of traveling so far, and I have made some great friends with other people in the TeachingChile group. I had the original goal of joining a music group here so I could keep up my bass skills, but renting a bass and finding an orchestra is proving to be more difficult that I was expecting. I can give it a renewed try for the second half of my time here, but if it doesn´t happen I know I have my bass and the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey back home.
In other ways, I´ve gotten used to life here. I now use Chilean slang when speaking Spanish pretty regularly and without much thought. I am used to sticking my arm out to call the busses to actually stop, and I will keep my arm out if they are passing by until they stop. Getting squished into the bus with my messenger bag hanging halfway out the bus door is a completely normal occurance now.
The decision to leave my school was not an easy one, and I feel lucky to have had some really good friends here that I´ve gotten to spend time with and help me out. Some of them are only here for one semester, so they are already to pack up and leave. Here are some pictures of hanging out with them from the last few weeks: