We hardly ever go to the movies. It is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of occasion. But a few days ago a friend invited me to go to the "cine" (as they call movies here) to see the new, all-the-rage movie, Shrek the Third.

We went to see one of the showings that was not dubbed. They had an earlier one, at 2:00 p.m. that was dubbed in Spanish, and the one we went to, at 4:00 p.m. that was in English with Spanish subtitles. I am glad because once you get used to the sound of the voices of the characters in one language, it's hard to get used to a different one.

Because it was opening weekend for the movie, we ran into many kids from school going to the same movie theater to see it. I thought that Shrek the Third was better than the first two.

Going to the movies here was just like in the United States. Everything looks the same, and most of the movies are American anyway. Next: we'll go see Ratatouille AND...Harry Potter!


At our school in Virginia, we have many fire drills. Here, we have earthquake drills instead. They ring a loud bell and everyone has to get under their desks. RJE thinks you should get on TOP of your desk for an earthquake, but the teachers told us it is safer under them.

During the drill, after a few seconds under our desks, we were told to get in a line and go out to the patio.

A day after the last drill, there was a real earthquake! Everyone in class started to panic, and then a bell rang, but it wasn't the earthquake bell. It was the change-of-class bell.

The teacher told us it was not a big deal, not a big earthquake, and there was no need to get under our desks. The earthquake lasted about 45 seconds.


I have gone to many of my friends' houses. Now RJE has a friend who invites her and has a ton of Barbies and her own TV in her room. It's a good opportunity for RJE to practice her Spanish, but unfortunately her friend is Brazilian and speaks Portuguese at home with her parents and brother, so that makes learning Spanish even more confusing.

Another problem for RJE when she is at her friend's house is the food. They always serve meat, and RJE won't eat it. She had to tell her friend's mother that we were vegetarians, not "meatatarians." A couple of days later, the friend's mother asked Dad, "How can you live without meat?"

But we really aren't all the way vegetarian. On special occasions, we eat chicken, turkey, and even bacon, salami, and chorizo (our favorite). We just don't like steak, hamburgers, pork chops, pigs' feet, or hot dogs.


At school, there is a large church on the top floor. Once in a while, they have a service there. Last Sunday, all the sixth graders had to go, so I went with RJE and Mom. Our first impression was that the church could hold about 300 people, though there were only 100-or-so there, and most were in jeans and not dressed for church at all.

My friend had told me that she was going to be an acolyte that day, but when we got there we saw only two boy acolytes. It seems the priest doesn't like girls doing what he thinks boys should do.

I was an acolyte at church in Virginia, and the priest there had no problem whether the acolyte was a boy or a girl. Here, it's another story, and Dad says it's the same reason why the school still doesn't have a girls' soccer team.

The church service was kind of the same as in Virginia, except that the acolytes hid behind the altar and rang a bell when the priest lifted the wine and host, as if calling someone to dinner.


In language class, my group finally performed the play that I mentioned earlier. I was the Chinese character, so I had to put makeup on my eyes. Everyone in the group had makeup on.

The play went very well, and I was able to say all my lines without forgetting any words. When we finished, the teacher even said "Te felicito" to me, which means "Congratulations."


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




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