Where the Hell Am I?

Right now, I am in Santiago, Chile but in a new location. I am no longer in Puente Alto but north in a section of the city called … San Miguel. One of my clues from a post ago was “De Allende”, which is the end of a Mexican city’s name. The full name of this Mexican city in question is San Miguel de Allende. It is a little obscure for a clue, but it is the first thing that Google gives you when you search this phrase. The other clue, ‘Rania Al Abdullah’, is the name of Queen Rania of Jordon. The other location I could have been placed in is called ‘La Reina’ (which means Queen in Spanish). I thought this clue was a little more clever.

Anyway ironically, I am still, more or less, confined in a compound despite being closer to the action. It’s election day, so everything is closed, and my host father doesn’t think I should go explore the neighborhood alone. When my host sister comes back, she may be able to take me around the region, but that’s still just a maybe. However, I won’t be here for long. At the end of the week, I am moving once again. The people that I am currently staying with is a family of AFS veterans and have offered to be my Welcome-Welcome Family until AFS Chile can find a school to accept me.

The school issue is because of a new law that was rectified about a month ago in Chile. My AFS liaison explained it to me. Apparently, the Chilean government doesn’t want foreign students ‘to shadow’ classes for a short time. Since the education system in Chile is already kind of complicated, this makes it much harder to find a school – well, a public school.

Private schools can do whatever they want, but public and private-public schools (which are a mix) have to abide by the government’s restrictions. We may actually have to get notarization from the Chilean Department of Education (I forget the official name) in order for me to participate at a school for a mere month.

(Sigh), it could be worse. During an AFS luncheon, I met some Chileans who thought that their school, outside of Santiago, may take me in without so much red tape. Let’s cross our fingers! More to come about Santiago’s interior. I may hit up an art museum and a market place tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll find a school soon!

*Where I come from, “to shadow someone” means to observe a school while following the schedule of a specific student. I wasn’t sure if everyone used this colloquialism, so I put it in quotation marks just in case.