Alright, important Chilean things I learned today...
"Nanas' are live in maids that are more included in the family than typically seen in the US. They raise the children, cook, clean and are really a member of the family. Alejandra (one of our academic advisors) said that they are typically Peruvian and stay with the family for generations. However, my host family does not have one. Speaking of which, includes a mother/daughter team. They have had many students (like 10 :o) and have been incredibly nice. They appear to eat very similarly to how I do, with many vegetables and fruits in the kitchen and even yogurt(: Tonight we had hamburgers which I find slightly hilarious. We had them with fresh bread, avocado and tomato slices. The conversation has been simple and never uncomfortable. I have a really nice room with a view of the backyard, palm trees and a breeze. On a sidenote, I have learned that we actually can't put the toilet paper in the toilet here...oye. Just like Costa Rica; that habit is so hard to break!
Another thing we learned today about Chilean culture had me realize that I should probably do some more reading about the culture and history of this country, even in their most recent political era of Pinochet. Additionally the dispute between Argentina and Chile, Bolivia/Peru and Chile and also the segregation of Mapuche (person of the land; mapu=tierra y che= person).
Lastly, una "sobremesa" is what Chileans call the conversational time they have after a long lunch or dinner, especially on the weekend when the family spends time together. Such a nice tradition that reminds me of out Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Slow and enjoyable- just like most of our meals have been here. They have most always included an appetizer, entree and dessert (at the restaurants) and have typically been at least 1.5 hours long. Another cultural tradition is the idea of eating breakfast in the morning, lunch and then "once" which is when you get home from school/work (around 4) and then dinner is typically later, maybe 8 or 9.
Back to the big picture- The daughter, Camila has a boyfriend who was around all night but he is incredibly sweet as well. Camila is going to medical school and "Mama Isabel" works at a publications office for a magazine or something. We are only about 15 minutes from the central city and campuses which is really nice and tomorrow Camila is going to show me how to take the bus (I only have to take one!- score) straight to campus. I am also hopefully going to an "asado" (BBQ) after orientation is over to meet up with some of my classmates and some Chileans.