Raise Your Hand

When you raise your hand in class in Virginia, you usually do it as in the photo above. But RJE noticed that, in Chile, the students do it like this:

What are they pointing at?

I don't raise my hand very often, but when I do, I just fling it up and don't notice how.


On the way home from school, we sometimes stop at a store that sells little treats like dried mangoes, dried strawberries, dried ginger, etc. Today, we bought some brown something that was wrapped in a bundle:

Dad told me it was seaweed that people in Chile eat, and that he hated it when he was a kid.

It didn't smell good, either, but we decided to buy a bundle anyway and try it.

In Chile, it is called cochayuyo, and Dad says it's a type of kelp (seaweed). The owner of the store said that she liked it in salad, and that it was also good with potatoes.

Mom cooked some tonight and made it into a salad with corn, onions, and parsley.

I didn't like it. It was chewy and slimy.

Dad said it was like eating leather hotdogs.

RJE didn't even try it.

Mom said it was OK, one time.

Since the bundle was huge, we still have a lot left (uncooked), and will try making some other Chilean recipes with it, like charquicán, which is mashed potatoes with pumpkin and horse meat. For vegetarians, though, they replace the meat with cochayuyo. For another recipe with this seaweed, click here.


In language and communication class, we are reading a play. It's not just any play but one written for children about racism.

Everyone in the class has to memorize one character. Some of the characters are children playing with lead soldiers. Each child is of a different race or religion.

One boy is Chinese. Another one is white. Another black. And one is Jewish. At first, I got the role of the Jewish boy, but he had the most lines, and because I can't speak very well or memorize so much dialog in Spanish, they changed me to the Chinese boy, who has the least to say.

As the children play with the toy soldiers, they start fighting and calling each other awful names. Unfortunately, the Chinese boy has to yell and fight with the others. He even calls one of the boys "Animal!"


This week, we had several days of rain (we had to ride taxis to school). The sun finally came out today, and we could see what we will probably miss the most about Santiago when we leave---the mountains covered with snow.

Dad made a panoramic photo of the mountain range out of several photos that he took this morning. (Click on the photo below to see a larger version of it.)


In science (the class with the strict teacher), we are on the chapter about reducing pollution by recycling what we use. The project was to bring something to school you had made that was useful and recycled.

I came up with a shoehorn made out of a Coca-Cola bottle that we had from one of my aunt's parties when she was here.

First, I drew the pattern on a piece of paper.

Then, I traced it on the bottle with a marker.

With Dad's help, I cut it out with a knife.

The shoehorn (calzador, in Spanish) works just like any we could have bought at a store.

I actually don't need a shoehorn, but RJE always has problems putting on her sneakers in the morning, so this school project turned out to be very useful.

Anna Karenina #16


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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007
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