The GoGlobal Blog

Author: Katrina Ramirez

I am a Senior at Loyola, from Topeka KS, slated to graduate after my study abroad program. I major in English and I minor in Spanish as well as Latin American Studies. It was a goal of mine when I entered university to become fluent in Spanish before I graduate-- I decided immersion is what I needed to move from conversational Spanish to fluency. I've always been interested in Latin America, particularly authors from the region, and Chile is a hotbed of cultural activity and writing output (Isabel Allende, Gabriela Mistral, and Pablo Neruda are the most famous writers from Chile). I'm really excited to put my Paolo Freire-ian views into action with the engaged-learning Poverty and Development in Latin America course; but I am also excited to be going to Chile during their annual Festivas Patrias-- the biggest Chilean celebration of the year.


Have you ever cried into a muffin? Because I have.

It’s not that studying abroad isn’t great. It’s great. Returning home is going to happen too fast, too soon, and I can feel it sneaking up on me.

Yet, I cried into a muffin today.

First thing is first, let’s describe this muffin. It is a totally Chilean muffin. Some kind of vanilla-flavored batter, coated in some kind of nut (get used to that, the word for “nut” here is pretty vague), and filled with manjar (read: dulce del leche a.k.a. CARAMEL (but better)).

Anyway, obviously, the routines you know and love at home are impossible abroad and for the majority of the time this is for the better. But today was a whirlwind of things which I missed and therefore I cried into a muffin.

Let me tell you, a muffin is not the best thing to cry into. There are crumbs everywhere, Evidence of my sadness is literally sprawled across my room.

That said, maybe this is a good time to focus on the brighter points of study abroad.

There are a ton of extranjeras! Seriously! And we all hang out together often! (Perhaps too often, because I should practice my Spanish more). And the extranjeras/os come from all sorts of places so not only is there this built-in experience of meeting people from a place you have never been before, but there is the experience of meeting many people from many places you haven’t been before!

Plus, the only reason I cried into a muffin is because my host dad knows I love muffins. Whenever I have a bad day, he shows up at my door with a muffin. How he knew I loved muffins is beyond me but the bottom line is that sadness-in-Chile=MUFFINS.

Anyway, I am sure there will be more muffins to cry my heart into– but that is part of the process and I am just really grateful that I have friends to brag about the flavor of muffin to, and a family to bring the objects-of-bragging directly to my mouth.