Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cookies For Breakfast and la Cruz Roja Chilena

She came up to us and asked if she could ride in the elevator with us. She was on her way to visit her friend on the eighth floor. We live on the sixth floor. She was afraid to ride the elevator alone-- it had just been repaired post-earthquake. Mercedes and I rode with her, of course. When we got to the sixth floor, she asked if we would please ride with her to the eighth floor and then come back to the sixth -- she didn't want to be in that elevator alone at all. She was about 8 or so. Ha.

As we sat in the Plaza Brasil eating ice cream, a tiny puppy kept running up to us and sitting in our laps. His owner, about 6 or so, kept running after him and picking him up and taking him to the other side of the park. He would set the little guy on the ground, and immediately the dog would take off running towards us. This happened about 4 times. Finally, they tied him to a bench with his leash. The park was full of people -- lots and lots of people-- and the puppy kept running away, but only in our direction.

Friday morning, our entire program headed to the Cruz Roja Chilean - The Red Cross -- to sort through clothes and bag them up to send out to earthquake victims. We sorted through clothes -- tossed out the stained and ripped and sorted them into bags --- "mujer/women," "hombre/men," "baby/bebe," "ninos/boys," "ninas/girls," "bufandas/scarfs" ect. Lots and lots of clothes. What the red cross needs now are cleaning supplies, soap, shampoo, flour, oil, milk ect. Some of the clothes we sorted through would be whole boxes of the same pair of jeans or sweaters -- many with the plastic security devices that stores put on clothes so you can't steal them. Hm??? Are theives donating their plunders? At least they are going to a good cause?? It was a bit strange.

Crazy, Crazy story: So after a great evening of dining at "Vacas Gordas" -- literally, "Fat Cows"-- a great place for CARNE -- meat. (our first time navigating a very complicated menu in spanish) we met up with people in a "suberb" of Santiago for ice cream. A few of us are sitting at tables in the sidewalk, about 25 minutes from the Cruz Roja were we had been that morning. All the sudden, one of the girls saw someone she recognized and greeted him with the typical Chilean besitos (kiss on the cheek). We all realized who it was and greeted him as well! It was a Chilean guy that works at Cruz Roja that we had met that very morning and had talked with for a while during a water (and of course cookie) break. He just happens to live near the ice cream shop we happened to be eating at the very same day we happened to volunteer at Cruz Roja. Did I mention that MOST of the population of Chile lives in and around Santiago?? What are the odds?? Crazy. We are hopefully going to Cruz Roja Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

After encountering our Chilean friend, we realized it was really late. I still don't have a functioning phone (hopefully today) and wasn't too keen on the idea of going in a radiotaxi (really very safe) all the way home (30 min) by myself during a week of aftershocks. Also, our very protective, great, father-like program director, Roberto, is really encouraging us, requiring us, really, to be back in our homes by midnight in case of big aftershocks. Smart idea. So, I stayed with my amiga Tracy at her house nearby the ice cream shop. Her host mom pulled out the trundle bed for me and set me up in the living room. The next morning she made us breakfast -- bread, OF COURSE, homeade plum jelly, avacado, and cookies?? What? cookies, for breakfast? ha. I ate a lot of cookies. I felt sick. I am glad we don't eat cookies in my house for breakfast. Her host mom is wonderful and we talked for a while before I headed home. She has hosted students for about 20 years! or something crazy like that. At one point, she hosted 2 students at the same time (for a differnt program) -- a boy and a girl, for two whole years -- they would travel, but always return to stay with her. They ended up falling in love, he proposed to her in their host mother's kitchen and now they are married with children. Wild. Some kind of story.

Tonight we are going to have a celebration for my host mom's birthday that was on Monday. I think we are going to make sushi -- pronounced "SEWWCHEY" here. Fun.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Maggie! I have just discovered your blog, and found out that you are in Chile! I am SO glad that you are safe. I will be reading your blog with interest to see all the wonderful things you are doing. Much love! Susan