This is Pablo, my best friend :)
I don't exactly want to pick up where I left off with my 'beginning' entry on Santiago. I can't decide if this is too boring or worthwhile to rehash in this blog, especially when I'd rather be writing about my travels and mishaps closer to the grand finale of that whole thing they call 'study abroad.'
A lot of people assume that study abroad programs are similar to long vacations, where studying is more often than not on the back burner and parties are the norm. This, unfortunately, was not the standard in Chile. Pontificia Universidad Católica is quite the institution, and really, if you want to pass, you have to put in more than just a little effort. I was rendered unable to go out, much less travel, many weekends during the unendurably long semester. School began August 3rd, and for me, ended November 25th. Many kids were still taking exams up until December 10th.
That being said, I had some of the most incredible nights of my life going out in Santiago. So no, it wasn't all work and no play. I also made two incredible friends, which I will make a point to keep up with and visit again (hopefully sooner rather than later). Pablo is kind of a funny story. We met via facebook last May. I had added Chile as a network, not realizing that my Texas privacy settings weren't applied. Anyone and everyone in Chile had complete access to my profile. Pablo added me because we shared a common interest - nightmares. I was the only other person on facebook with that peculiar interest listed. We began talking on fb chat, then messenger, and discovered that we had a world in common. The conversations were in mangled Spanglish - him making a point to try and speak English for me, and me trying to go in the opposite direction. Pablo and I have a unique breed of friendship, and despite having been raised in very dissimilar environments, have frighteningly too much in common. I'm so thankful to have met him, I can't put it into words.
If you're wondering, no, Pablo and I were never romantically involved... although his boyfriend was rather jealous of the attention I received in the beginning. It's funny to think about that now! Thomas and I eventually became the best of friends. The two of them were like family to me in Chile. I've slept over on Thomas's couch, cooked lunch in his kitchen, smoked countless times on his incredible balcony overlooking Lastarria, and knocked back god knows how many piscolas.
I love the two of them, really. Looking back on it, I don't know what I would have done without them playing such an integral role in my life while in Chile. When I was depressed and sick of school, or just bored, they were always there for me. There were occasions when I felt incredibly homesick and was not certain I had made the right choice. Now I know that it was worth it, and I would do it over again in a heartbeat. The thought that I almost didn't go for fear of being completely on my own, and because of certain other emotional ties, scares me.
I can't wait to do something crazy again. I think I need to be challenged, and being back home seems too easy. I'm looking to go abroad this summer. My entire outlook on careers and my future has radically changed. No corporate workforce for me. Being back in the business school here at UT is a bit unsettling. Everyone is interviewing with the big firms, etc, but I want to distance myself from that. I'm interested in possibly working for an NGO in South America... but I also want to learn to dj house and electronica on the side. What a combination, eh?