¡Hola a todos! I just finished up a delightful long weekend in which I was really busy doing pretty much nothing. Well, I hung out with my host brothers and played a ton of video games with them and put off my homework. Fun!
My long weekend actually started on Thursday. Classes were scheduled, but my program director and my professor recommended I stay home because of the Día del Joven Combatiente. This day, celebrated on the 29th of March, commemorates the murder of the Vergara Toledo brothers Rafael and Eduardo in 1985 during Pinochet´s regime. Whereas most commemorations of this kind are peaceful and involve candlelight vigils, el Día del Joven Combatiente is traditionally recognized with violent clashes between students and police, often resulting in destruction of private and public property, fires, power outages, and many arrests. This year at least two cars were incinerated with Molotov Cocktails and 8 arrests were made. These events occur at night and are concentrated around Estacion Central, which is luckily a long way off from me. Because the 29th fell on Good Friday this year, the ¨festivities¨happened on Thursday the 28th. To play it safe I stayed in the house all day Thursday, as I recommend any other foreign student to do.
Good Friday was also spent in the house, not for any external factors other than there being nothing much to do since everything was closed. I spent some time with my host grandma, a lovely woman affectionately called ¨La Cuka¨by the boys, no one knows why.
Saturday was pretty lazy too until the evening. I attended a Catholic mass at a little church with some friends, which was interesting because I am not Catholic but have attended some Catholic masses during my brief stint (incarceration?) in a private Catholic high school. Seeing the similarities and differences between the two experiences was very interesting. The church had this awesome statue of Jesus that seemed to be floating off the cross on the wall, I was fascinated by it
After the mass, which ended earlier than advertised but still pretty late, we decided to get a bite to eat so we walked over to La Jardin, an awesome little restaurant that you would have to see to believe. It was absolutely gorgeous, not over-the-top expensive, but you did pay a little extra for the atmosphere. The food was fantastic, I split a shrimp salad and four cheese pizza with my friend and it was delicious. According to my friend´s host parents, the owner of this restaurant is a rich guy who travels the world starting restaurants and incorporating elements from all over the globe in them.
That´s all the semi-interesting news I have for now, I will keep you updated as usual! Chao!