I just looked at my daily journal and realized I have 5 days of notes I haven’t entered, so I better get to that.
Day 3 started relatively normal, but due to the subway system being down, the streets were packed with cars, and my housemates and I had to get off the bus halfway and walk the rest of the way to school. We were about 5 minutes late for class, but our professor wasn’t too upset with us.
Grammar class was interesting, as we spent the first few minutes of conversation talking about our lives as teenagers. *shudder* Talk about something I’d never do again even if you paid me. The second half was…interesting, as we learned about a wonderful species of venomous spider that lives in the dark corners of most houses in Chile. Needless to say, I’ve been sleeping with my socks on more than usual.
In Conversation class, we had a lengthy and informative discussion regarding racism in different countries. What we learned was nothing short of shocking, but the worst part had to be a video we watched where we saw how children, with no concept of racism whatsoever, were drawing conclusions based solely on the color of a person’s skin. During part of the class, we were given a page with two supposed reasons for racism, one based on “science,” the other based on a nonexistent section of the Bible. To put both arguments simply, the Bible supposedly says that the sons of Ham have dark skin, and are therefore inferior to the white-skinned sons of Shem and Japheth, and there was a scientific study done that claimed dark-skinned people are intellectually inferior to light-skinned people. I quickly jumped at the chance to defend the Bible, and pointed out that nowhere in the Inspired Word does it say that the sons of Ham had dark skin, and I pointed out that this idea didn’t even begin to be circulated until the 1700s with the beginning of the slave trade. In other words, the government at the time knew the Word says that all people, black, white, or otherwise, are equal, but they knew that if the people knew this, they would start questioning the government’s decision to take part in the slave trade, and would start questioning the power and authority of the government. To prevent this, the rulers decided to propagate the message in the church that the sons of Ham were black and therefore inferior to whites in order to keep their power intact. Needless to say, this is just one of the many sickening examples of what happens when Man adds to or takes away from the perfect Word of God. As for the scientific side, the “studies” and “facts” were mostly bupkus, and when you take into account that the researcher was a white man from Britain, it’s obvious that he was trying to use science as an excuse for racism. Put very simply, these arguments have no basis in fact, and are ways for men to try to excuse their sinful, racist ideas by using the infallible Word and supposed scientific research to say that “because the Bible and science say so, we can be racist.” It’s quite sickening, really.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox for right now. After classes, our group got on a bus, and we took a bus tour of downtown Santiago. We visited one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals in Chile, the Legislative building, the Palacio de Moneda (the former mint that is now the equivalent of the White House), and a large plaza located directly in the center of the country. We learned a lot about the history of the country, including its founding, the way that the country was laid out in the 1600s when it was settled, and about many of the historical landmarks located around the city. Don’t worry, pictures and more information will be coming. The high point of the tour had to be when we were in the plaza and met a traveling mime that included me and a girl from our group named Sarah in his act. If you’ve seen Will Geisz’ Facebook page, you’ve probably seen pictures from that. It was fun, even if it was a little embarrassing for both of us.
The rest of the night was rather dull. For dinner, Morelia made us a traditional dinner of grilled fish, Ensalada de Chile (tomato and onion salad), mashed potatoes, and asparagus soup. After a long, cold day of hiking around the city, we all needed a nice, hot meal that night.
Sorry if this post was a little longer than most. Stay tuned for more, and as always, God bless and stay well!