Today was incredible! (that's what the title of my blog says in Spanish) I have to give credit to Dr. Patti for that one! I feel like a sponge taking in everything that Santiago has to offer.
My day began at ECELA, our Spanish school. I haven't had a lot of time to study my Spanish vocabulary and conjugations, but I have learned so many new words since I first started at the school! Our days have been "jammed packed" with a ton of activities and learning experiences.
Due to not studying as often as I would like, I feel that my peers are surpassing my level very quickly. It definitely takes me a long time to process whatever the Spanish instructor is saying. This weekend, I plan to catch up on my studying! There are times at ECELA that I feel discouraged, but I have to remember how far I came! Overall, I enjoy going to ECELA because I like being fully immersed in the Spanish language. To me, this is so much different than learning a language in high school. Our foreign language classes are taught in English! Here, the teacher only speaks Spanish.
After ECELA, our group met at the "Museum of Memory," a museum that explained the time period of dictatorship in the 1980's, leading up until recently. I felt extreme sadness walking through this museum. When I walked into the museum, there was a wall full of graphic images pertaining to human rights issues. All of these images were shaped like a world map. Each of the images that made up the map were placed depending on what happened in that part of the world. I really don't have words to describe what I felt in the museum. All I can say is that it made me feel thankful for the life we take for granted in the United States. I had so many mixed feelings, that tears started to run down my face. Even though I live in the United States, it made me feel as if we are desensitized by horrific events all over the world. For sure, this event was never mentioned in my history books.
After the museum, our group hiked up Santa Lucia Hill to see the beautiful view of the Andes. The view was so breathtaking and peaceful! At first, I didn't think I would make it to the top of the stairs, but I did it! I was relieved once I got to the top to see the snow capped mountains!