A few quick anecdotes from my volunteering experience thus far:
1) I speak in English with my co-teacher so she can practice her language skills; therefore I am my usual expressive, ruidosa (noisy, loud) self every Wednesday morning! Today I was telling her a story and made some sort of obnoxiously nasal noise to express my mood within said story. First her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets with shock, then she just shook her head, saying that she is always taken aback by the expansive nature of North American personalities and the volume of their voices. According to her, Chileans are much more reserved and express the same intensity of emotion but in a more laid back manner. (Yet my host mother's weekly teas with her friends, which can best be described as playful screaming matches beg to differ...)
2) Today in class, my co-teacher was talking to a student sitting at a desk and urgently called me over. She pointed to the desk which had some writing on it and asked, "Is this a swear word?". It read, "I'm a GLEEk". (I nearly collapsed with excitement). I struggled to explain the nature of the word and the concept of GLEE fandom. She stared blankly at me, then asked if I was talking about some type of gang. If my love for showtunes and absurd plotlines makes me a hoodlum, I don't want to be straightened out. Viva Glee!
3) I asked my co-teacher if I could bring some treats for the girls on my birthday next week, like a small piece of chocolate for each one. She said that would be fine but a bit odd because usually here in Chile, when it's your birthday, people give YOU presents rather than the other way around. I tried to explain that it's the same in the US and then confused myself and now I'm not sure why we bring things for other people on our birthdays. Perhaps we want to go Hobbit style? Or perhaps my subconscious wants to bribe the girls into bonding with me?
Shout-out goes to Ayesha Saied for a) giving me a shout out in her blog and b) because I ate Kuchen (sp?) today and thought of you and your German adventure. Hope all is well!
P.S. I will be travelling the next two weekends to Mendoza, Argentina and to San Pedro de Atacama (Chilean Northern Desert) and will only be in Santiago for 2 days in between. I'll try to update between the two but if not, here's fair warning for the rather long hiatus to come.