This week (Monday- Wednesday) is my last week of classes! Yay! I am not only sad and stressed, but also excited. Sad, because I will be leaving Chile in a week. Stressed, because I have 2 oral presentations and a written final this coming week. Excited, because after my classes end, I finally get some more time to explore the national parks surrounding Santiago! Honestly, I have thoroughly enjoyed my classes here and everything that I have learned these past 6 weeks (still can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks already). I feel better equipped to pursue my future career with the helpful necessities of Spanish medical terminology and knowledge of anatomy and common health issues seen in both US and Chile. My professors and instructors have been amazing and very patient with me :]
During my weeks here, I have become more in tuned with expressing myself in different ways. Nowadays, when I am stumped on a word that I don’t know in Spanish, I try to express the word by giving the definition of the word. Also, I sometimes use another Spanish word that is similar to the one I am trying to use. Though it has not worked all the time, it has given me a useful way to communicate instead of not communicating at all.
My nerves still get the best of me sometimes when talking to Chileans. I have a tendency to not want to talk until I have what I want to say in mind which can be a bad thing because it means that if I don’t have anything in mind, I won’t say anything. I know, I know….still working on it, I promise! This is sometimes affected by my fluctuation in Spanish comprehension. Again, as mentioned before, I have good and bad days. Some days, Spanish comes more naturally where I am able to comprehend and hold a conversation with a Chilean. Other days, I speak Spanglish or ask Chileans to repeat themselves repeatedly until something clicks for me. (I apologize to the Chileans to whom I have done this to >.<).
Starting from middle school, my Spanish teachers have always told me to think in Spanish. Don’t translate from English to Spanish…… well it’s easier said than done! I have literally tried to only think in Spanish and for some reason, when I speak, I get stumped or completely forget what I said and need to start over for the majority of the time. Also, from my first few weeks in Chile, I realized my Spanish vocabulary is pretty limited. However, surprisingly, I can get by sometimes with converting English words to Spanish words by changing the endings (which works for me ~40% of the time). My limited Spanish vocabulary made me want to set a goal for myself for next semester: learn a new Spanish word every day for a year or until the next time I come back to Chile, which could be this coming winter break. :D
On a side note, I spent my weekend in Concepcion which is about 6 hours by bus from Santiago. It was a nice change of scenery as Concepcion is on the coast of Chile (southwest of Santiago) which meant I got to see some beaches! I didn’t get to visit any since it rained most of the weekend. However, I still got to visit some Chilean homes and see some sites. I went on a tour of the military boat, Huascar, a Peruvian ship that was captured by Chilean forces during the War of the Pacific.
Chao for now. Nos vemos muy pronto!