Family friends from home are here in Chile right now! They liked Chile from reading about it in RatSoap, and decided to visit.

They brought us some goodies from home---magazines, books, and chocolate chips.

As soon as we got to the apartment, RJE and I jumped at the Ranger Rick magazines (we love those), some Highlights and a Ladybug.

Other friends (who haven't come to visit yet!) also sent great gifts, like this "RatSoap?!?" bar of soap...

...and this big case of beads to make necklaces:

We already made earrings and a necklace for Mom, and I am going to make a bracelet for a birthday present for a classmate. I also had the idea to sell some at school, but I don't have enough made yet.

For earrings, I'll have to get my ears pierced some day. Almost all the girls in my class have theirs pierced.

There are many more girls than boys in my class, and it is probably because this school used to be an all-girls school. Many of the girls wear what they call "accessories" (colorful beads and strings woven into their hair, in the back of their heads) that they chew on all day. It's a fashion.

A group of girls in 5th through 7th grade want a girls' soccer team. I want one too, so I asked Dad to help me write a petition two days ago that I took to school so all the girls who wanted to play soccer could sign it.

At the first recess, a friend and I got enough signatures to fill the page. But when the bell rang, we were in the bathroom, where there were even more girls who wanted to sign.

Then the assistant principal of the school came and told us we should be in class, and she took the petition from us and never gave it back.

So we are going to have to make another so we can get our soccer team.

So far, the easiest class for me is Math (and, of course, English). Math is math no matter what, and I can understand everything. The only problem is with word problems. But overall, so far, sixth-grade math here isn't harder than fifth-grade math in Virginia.

For homework in "Language and Communication" class, we had to write a summary for three Chilean myths or legends. I looked some up on the Web, and found some interesting ones. Dad helped me write the summaries in Spanish, so the least I could do was know what they meant.

One of the myths I chose is called "The Caleuche," about a phantom ship that appears in the waters of southern Chile.

Only witches and ghosts can be members of her crew. The witches and ghosts have great parties on board, with sweet music that can be heard from a great distance at sea.

The music helps shipwrecked sailors find the Caleuche. But when those sailors finally reach the ship, the music stops and the Caleuche turns into a simple raft, which the shipwrecked sailors use to reach land safely and survive.

There are other versions of the Caleuche myth, but this one is the one I like the most.

At music class, twice a week, when we are not writing music in our "pauta" notebook (score paper), we play a "flauta dulce" (sweet flute, which is what they call a recorder).

The first one I had to write down and learn to play was the music to "Cuando los Santos Vienen Marchando" (When the Saints go Marching in).

I practiced it at home, and then, in class, all the students played together with the teacher doing the same on a guitar. It sounded really nice, like a choir.

We have to be at school before 8:00 every day. Once, we almost missed the bell. The alarm we use to get up didn't work, and it was already 7:20 a.m. when I woke up, the time we're usually out the door! There was no time to walk, so we ended up taking a taxi, and barely made the bell.

I am slowly learning Spanish, learning a few words a day. But some things are confusing. For example, "tomar" means to drink, and people use "tomar" for things we don't usually drink, like soup, or ice cream. So aside from learning Spanish, I have to learn to "tomar mi sopa" (drink my soup) y "tomar helado" (drink ice cream).

Anna Karenina #12


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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007
Copyright © 2007 by Sun on Earth Books




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