December 12th, 1966
It’s me, Leonor! Did you miss me while I was away in Temuco? I told Abuela when we were visiting her there that her mountains are good, but ours are better. She was not pleased. I think she’s still mad about Mamá marrying Papi and moving away. She thinks Mama is too good for him, just a copper miner, and Mama so educated. But my Papa is more than just a copper miner. He works for the union and tells all the other men what to do. But I like Abuela’s house. She has a beautiful atlas.
All I want to do is be outside, but I’ve had to sit in church all morning. What sort of God is it who makes eleven-year-olds sit inside when there’s the whole world to be explored? At least Felipe gets to be an altar boy. I wanted to help out in church, but Felipe says girls can’t. He also says they can’t play football, or play conquistadors in the street with their brothers. “Shut up, Felipe!”, I say, “When I’m grow up I’m going to discover continents, just like the explorers who discovered Chile!” But our neighbor, Señor Alberto hears and scolds me. Later when I ask Papa, he says it’s because Señor Alberto doesn’t think it’s right for us to revere the Spanish so much. We are not Spanish. We’re Chilean, and all the Spanish did was leave us with the rich people who still own everything, even now that the Spanish are gone. I roll my eyes. “That’s fine, Papi”, I say, “But I’m going to be an explorer.”