I’ve been failing pretty hardcore at this whole “updating” thing, but I’m hoping to get back to a more regular schedule in the next couple of weeks that’ll let me do a better job. I’ll do what I can to update, and hopefully there will be several more coming very soon.
We’ve entered into a sad part of my trip; many of my friends are finishing up school and heading off. Some are going straight home, others are traveling around for a while in Patagonia, Buenos Aires, or other various LatAm destinations before heading back to the states, where UC’s new semester begins in way way early January. I’ve got a bit more freedom and in no rush, so I’m staying until my classes are over and then heading out. My plan is to go down to southern Chile for a couple weeks with a friend of mine in early December and get back to Santiago in time for my parents’ arrival.
We had our farewell dinner for our EAP program, which actually was quite a nice chance to see everybody again and say goodbye. Despite the large group (68) we were a pretty cohesive group, much more than previous years (according to reports I’ve heard), and this was a chance to say goodbye and give the obligatory “let’s stay in touch,” even though in most of the cases that won’t amount to much more than crashing on someone’s couch or an invite to a party next time we’re in the San/Santa __ area. Still, I feel like I’ve done a fairly good job of staying in between the cliques that inevitably formed, so I can honestly say that I feel like I’ve gotten to know 85% of the students pretty well.
My friend had a birthday party on Friday, and another friend had his “despedida” (going away party) last night, so I’ve said a lot of goodbyes. But I also managed to figure out who’s staying, which is nice. There are actually a few other people in my situation, finishing up their degrees in Chile, and I think I’m going to go to Valparaíso with one of them on New Year’s, which should be pretty fantastic.
My friend also had a celebration last week that they’ve apparently been having for the last few weeks, called Noche de Buenas Ondas, or NoBO, which is essentially an open mic night that they hold at their apartment reserved for friends and loved ones. I’d never been and I was determined to go at least once before they all left town, so I made the trip over there the evening after my econ final exam. “Buena Onda,” in case you’re wondering, is a Chilean term you would use to describe something well, as in “él es muy buena onda,” or “Starbucks es muy mala onda,” or, if you want to ask your friend “what’s up?” you’d say “qué onda?” So Noche de Buenas Ondas is, simply, “A Night of Good Things.”
The night ended up being fantastic. Several people went up and performed songs, read poetry, did dance routines, and the crowd was very supportive. I wanted to perform something, but I feel like most of the stuff that I write, journalism and such, doesn’t really work fro the short-form nature of something you’d read for an open mic. I ended up reading something that I call Tales of a Beard (Part 1), which I wrote on scrap paper just before going up, and my friend Manuel played background guitar music for me while I told the story. I got generally good reviews from it, and I’ll post it up here soon after I get a real, working draft.
This post has taken me several days to finally finish, so I figure I’ll publish it as is and post more when I get the chance.