On December 13th, 2013, I left it all behind…..

Hilarious, Reckless StudentsVivacious coworkersWeekend Buddies

I returned to my native homeland of Gringo-landia (what Chileans call the United States) in order to live with my parents while my Chilean Visa was being worked out. I hopped off of my plane in Washington D.C., received gigantic hugs from my parents at the terminal, and then was whisked  back to my hometown of York, Pennsylania.  I put my bags in my room, grabbed a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and scampered down to the basement. What immediately ensued was quite honestly, the worst post-travel hangover I’d ever experienced in my life.  There were a lot of pleasant surprises in Chile, and they all disappeared in an instant.

During my final months in Chile, everything had reached a certain crescendo…. I had established a great nucleus of buddies, I had finally felt comfortable in my teaching/ mentoring role at school, and I finally figured out the password the host family’s 4 year old daughter created for my entry into the house (it was rainbow). Everything was speeding up and the weeks were flying by until suddenly POOOOOOOOF!! I was back in my parents’ basement, patting the cat’s belly until it acknowledged my presence with an exasperated sigh.

Mom Ronnie

 Needless to say, I’ve been scrambling for ways to keep myself entertained. My mojo took a serious dip, and now I’m doing whatever I can get the magic back. I don’t have much money, so I’ve had to get creative. This is far from perfect, but here are my five best ways to get Balling on a Budget!  (make sure you click on the play icon next to the song “ball” while you’re reading this…great jam).

1. Create a new Collegiate Class:

Below is a random white board of a Nerf Gun Class as my brother and  I envisioned it. This would be for Nerfing 202B as instructed by me and him. Rule #1: You will receive ONE Capri Sun Juice Box at the beginning of class— don’t f****** dare take two!! Rule #2:  Arrive on time or you will be made an ass of in front of the class. Rule #3: Have fun and respect the game at ALL TIMES.

Nerf Class

2. Make up Games:

Every now and then it’s great to play some Calvin Ball—- making up a game up as you go!  Remember that it’s important to play the game well, but it’s ultimately more important to make up new rules that benefit you more than your partner. I got to spend a few days with my best buddy Charlie, and we played a good deal of just made up stuff.   If you want to see one of our games you should check this VIDEO! The song featured at 1:01 is Haim’s “Forever”….Enjoy!

My dad bought me a bounce-able frisbee that’s shaped like a red blood cell for Christmas. It can be bounced against a wall, or thrown like a frisbee, or kicked! My dad, my brother and I came up with some  fun variations, and on the day that my brother left to return to California we were playing through the sunset. Although my dad isn’t in this pic, rest assured he did play and he was a monster!

Bouncy Frisbee

3. Attend a Free Concert:

Here is a pic of some of  buddies playing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” on New Years in Philadelphia. Three of these guys went to my high school: one is dressed in a leopard skin/ Freddie Mercury- like attire, another other is wearing a triple sequined hat shaw-thing, and the other has full dred-locks… yup them some dogs!!! It was a lot of fun seeing these guys and it’s amazing how our lives can diverge but still share a lot of commonalities.

Concert Better

4. Watch Somebody get a Tattoo:

Below you can see my sister as she was getting her first tattoo! She invited me up to her place in Red Bank New Jersey for the weekend. Although I didn’t have any say in what was happening (I would have preferred her to have gotten the Honeycomb mascot instead of the roses),  it was still fun watching!

Tattoo DONE

5. Donate Blood:

Speaking of red blood cells beforehand, wouldn’t you know it a couple weeks later I got to donate a fresh pint! I felt like it was the least I could do after being relatively useless for the past month and a half. Somewhere in the world, someone is about to receive some damn hearty gringo blood. May the power be with them.

Fresh Red Blood Cells

Well, Gringolandia, it’s been real!! I’ve got to head back to Chile to begin my second chapter, and this time it will be in the beautiful beach town of Viña Del Mar. I will begin February as a part time preschool teacher (ages 2-6), and we’ll see where else I can take things from there. All I know is that I’m ready to work hard, meet tons of interesting people, and make shit happen!! Stop by anytime and say, “Hola puto!!” and we’ll get cracking. 

Thanks for reading!! Remember that for every comment you leave, a baby ring-tailed lemur is successfully delivered safely into the world.

baby ring tailed lemur