May Reports
Mis actividades en Chile: Amanda Cody
Mi tiempo en Chile: Amanda Cody
Mi familia y mi casa en Barcelona: Stephanie Handahl
Mis actividades en Chile
Hola a todos!

Sorry it has been so long since I last wrote to you. We had about 2 weeks of class and then got a 10-day break for Easter and Semana Novata at the U (which is a full week with all classes cancelled so students can participate in activities and parties).
I took advantage of that time and went on 2 trips. First I went with friends to the Lake District. We visited Spanish forts along the river, went water rafting, and climbed an active volcano. It took four hours to go up and only two to get down since we got to slide down on the snow on our butts using an ice axe to control our speed. After that, we relaxed under the stars around natural hot springs in the mountains.
After two days of recovery, I went to La Serena with my program, which is a beach city about 6 hours north. We stayed in cabins on the beach and saw sea lions, looked at stars through a telescope and did much more. I miss you all and hope everything is going well. Good luck to all who have finals and graduation!

Amanda Cody
Mi tiempo en Chile
Hola a Todos!

¡No puedo creer que es casi el final del año! El tiempo ha pasado demasiado rápido. Era un poco difícil escribir y enviar reportajes porque no tengo mucho acceso a computadoras fuera de la universidad. Es barato ir a un café de internet pero parece que nunca tengo tiempo. Además, solo puedo conectar mi cámara en algunos cafés de internet que tienen Windows XP, por eso no he enviado muchas fotos, lo siento.
Voy a tener muchísimas fotos cuando regrese si ustedes quieren verlas. Esta experiencia ha sido la mejor de toda mi vida porque he visto tantos lugares, he conocido a muchas personas, y me es increíble pensar en todo lo que he hecho en tres meses. Visité el sur y vi glaciares y pingüinos, visité la región de lagos donde subí un volcán y fui “rafting.”
Por supuesto, también he aprendido mucho sobre la cultura, la vida de una familia chilena, y mejoré mi español. Al principio, fue difícil entender a los chilenos porque ellos hablan más rápido que en otros países y tienen más modismos, hasta parece que es otro idioma. Es difícil entender a un grupo de jóvenes porque casi cada palabra es un modismo, garabato, corto, y el dialecto es más informal que otros dialectos Latino Americanos. Pero no se preocupen, después de poco tiempo es posible conversar con ellos y entender (¡espero que no haya aprendido demasiados modismos que se me haga difícil adaptarme a mi clase de español!)
Estaré acá hasta el 15 de julio y tengo muchos planes para conocer más de Chile y partes de Argentina. Todavía no quiero pensar en mi regreso a los EE.UU. Me encanta Chile y todos los chilenos. ¡Los Latino Americanos son los más amables y cariñosos!

Amanda Cody
Mi familia y casa en Barcelona
The traditional "casa" in Barcelona is not actually what we think of as a house, because everyone here lives in "pisos" or apartments. These pisos range in sizes, depending on what area of the city you are in. I live in the district of Eixample, the most expensive part of town, as there are many buildings that were constructed by Antoni Gaudi within blocks of my apartment. La Pedrera is only 1 block away, and if you want to take a look and get some history on Antoni Gaudi and his amazing architecture and impact on Barcelona, you should visit this site. This is a great sight that gives a lot of great pictures of some of the architecture in Spain, especially Barcelona.

While abroad, I live in a home-stay with an American roommate, a señora and her daughter. We live on the 4th floor and our apartment has a living room, dining room, kitchen, office, 4 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. Like I said, we live in a very nice part of town and this is considered a very nice apartment. My host mother is a lawyer so she does very well for herself and her daughter. However, curiously enough, we just had heating put in the apartment about a month ago, this is after she has lived there for 15 years! Before the heating was installed we had to mess around with the water heater every time we wanted a hot shower, it was quite a pain, so my roommate and I were really happy to get the heating installed. Also, utilities are very expensive here, so we have to keep the lights off, use as little water as possible, and keep the drapes closed on hot days to keep the heat out. Utilities are far more expensive than in the US, so learning to turn off the lights when we leave a room was something we had to learn.

In la casa there is no carpet, there is only tile and wood floors. The kitchen is a curious thing, as it is relatively small with smaller appliances than in the US. Spanish people only buy the food they will need for the day, unlike us Americans who stock up for a month at Sam’s Club. Often, kids live with their parents until they are in their 30´s. This is not at all uncommon as it is expensive to live in the city. Since the Barcelona metropolitan area is so incredibly huge, it can take an hour or more to get into town on the metro if you live outside the city, so kids will often stay in their parents’ house and save money before they get married and are able to support themselves...something totally unheard of in the US.

I hope this gives you a little insight on the cultural differences we have seen concerning la familia y la casa. Check out the website to learn more about Antoni Gaudi, the most famous man in Barcelona´s history, and to see some of the great buildings here in Barcelona.

Adios amigos,

Stephanie Handahl
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