Every once in awhile, life in Chile gets tough. I wake up cold and--no matter how many clashing layers of clothing I pile on my shivering body--stay that way for the rest of the day. While walking to the Metro in the morning, I step in a puddle or get splashed by a passing bus and don't manage to shake the bone-numbing dampness for--you guessed it--the rest of the day. While walking home in the evening, I pass groups of laughing friends and am reminded of how much I miss my friends back home--and of how none of my friends here, as I much as I cherish them, will ever know what I was like in kindergarten.
This past week was overpopulated with days like these. I arrived home every day feeling defeated and exhausted, a spiritual malaise that never fully managed to dissipate while I slept and therefore accompanied me into the next day. By the time Friday hit, I was so beat that I wasn't even excited about the night of outings I had planned.
Luckily, Saturday was a new day. I headed to the okupa to help prepare my photography class's first exhibition, which we were putting on as part of the house's third anniversary celebrations. As we sat in the basement of the cavernous house framing our photographs with tag board and plates of glass, I got to know my classmates a little better--and learned that my fine motor skills aren't quite as abysmal as I've always assumed. I felt a strong sense of accomplishment when we were finally able to stand back and behold our work hanging in neat rows on the wall.
I had a great time watching the performances--which ranged from flamenco to physical theater--that the other workshops put on for the anniversary. For the first time ever, I even found a clown routine entertaining instead of petrifying.
Next, I made the trek to a goodbye party for a German friend, the only other foreigner who participated in my volunteer trip to Canela this past summer. I caught up with friends, chowed down on several delicious varieties of cake and boogied the night away with people I'd just met. The party and the day that had preceded it were exactly what I needed to snap out of my Chile-is-conspiring-to-destroy-me mode.
In other words, it was a good day.