Driver’s License

imagesThe first day I came to Durham Academy I saw many students driving cars… I got really impress! I was used to see mothers and fathers driving their children to school. After some cars (all driven by students), I remembered that in NC people can drive when they are 16. In Chile, people can have a driving license at the age of 18. There are a few students that are able to drive to school.

I think that public transportation is not needed in Durham because you can drive being young and that is the reason why there is such a small system. For me public transportation plays an important role in my daily life, without it I wouldn’t have any independence. The busses and subway network in Santiago is not really good but it is still very useful. There is a whereabout about 5 min walking from my house.
In summary, people in Chile can’t drive before 18 but have a big network of public transportation.

Dogs!

I got impress how people treat dogs in the US. For me dogs are not part of the family they are just pets!

In chile you can see many dogs abandoned in the streets, here not. In front of my house there has been a black dog for 3 years that does not have a house. It sounds sad but no one cares. Dogs have to survive in the streets feeding on trash. I feel that in Durham dogs are members of families, they are like an other child. In Santiago (Chile’s capital) dogs sleep and leave outside de house. You will never see a dog on the couch… They don’t go on family vacations or trips. Chileans have a less sentimental relationship.

I think that because families are bigger there is not time to care that much about dogs. People have dogs but generally are just pets that they bought for their children.animals-cute-dog-dogs-king-Favim.com-411863_large

Schedules and Hours

My school starts at the same time that DA and ends also at a similar time but there are a lot of things that start and end much later. One clear example are meals. People have lunch around 2;30 pm on weekends and eat diner around 8;30-9 0r later everyday. In chile nobody eats before 8 o’clock. Because of this parties are later. When my friends and I go to a party we arrive there around 11pm and they usually end at 2-2;30am. For me is weird being back home before 12. On weekends people sleep until around 11am. We wake up later, we have breakfast later, eat lunch later…. It is a cycle. In my country there is more life during night than here. At the same time there is more things going on during the mornings in Durham.

I think this is a huge difference that affects the way of living life!

Bigger and closer families!

Only child? Being an only child is not common in Chile. A big difference that I can notice here is that having 3 siblings is not common… I am the oldest of 4 and nobody get impress of that in my country. Here people think that it is a huge family. In my class there are no families with less than 3 children.

Chile is a country centralized, 1/3 of the population lives in the capital. All the good universities and schools are in Santiago. Because of these, people don’t move to other part of the country.  Santiago is a big city but people live all their life in the same area and people knows each other or know someone who knows them. There is not diversity of social classes in some areas. Where I live all the people are all like me, we all attend to the same type of schools and go to the same places.

In the wake of this, families live close and see each other very often. My family lives 15 min apart from each other. Our houses are really close and we enjoy to spend time together. For example, I have 30 cousins and 18 uncles that invited me every birthday or important date. Usually, 2 or 3 days a month I met with all my big family. Families play an important role in the lives of Chileans.

Classrooms, classes and teachers

thumb.phpThis is the main difference between my school in Chile, and Durham Academy. In Chile I have the same classmates for every subject. Since PK, I have been in the same classroom with the same 27 girls. We are not the exact same class since 2004, but most of us know each other since then. We are really good friends and we are able to trust in all of them when we have a problems. In my grade there are 4 classes that are called A, B, C and D. A and B are only boys and the other half are only girls. We have separate classes but recess and lunch together.

Because of always having the same classmates we have our own classroom. The classroom is not from the teacher, is from the students. In Chile the teachers move and the students stay in the same classroom. We don’t have to carry our books, every student has his own desk were he can put his stuff.