Since it’s winter here, the sun goes down at about 6, which didn’t leave much time after training for exploring the city. We usually ran errands and walked around the city for a bit. The wine and beer here are VERY cheap and delicious…we’re talking a huge bottle of wine for $1900 pesos (about $4 American Dollars). We had wine just about every night with dinner and hung out, talked, played cards/drinking games, and practiced our Spanish.
It was quite cold in Santiago, not just because of the weather, but also because central heating is not common. I slept in thick socks (I am so thankful you found those Brad), running pants, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. I’ve learned the art of layering and rarely take off my scarf (now I understand their true purpose other than for fashion).
Though I have only been in Chile for a week (that went by extremely fast), I feel like I have been in Chile for quite some time. The people here are so nice and every day is a new adventure. When I would get a (rare) spare moment by myself this week, I came to terms with the feeling that there is no other place I should be right now. Chile feels right. I’ve met some really quality people while here—other volunteers and Chileans. It’s interesting to put 30 strangers together in a room with one commonality and hear the diversity of backgrounds from which we all come.
I spent the majority of my time with Saniye (born in Turkey, lives in Scotland), Paul (THE man….from Iowa), Liz (NYC), Liz (from New York and whose B-day was on Thursday...the picture to the left is a group of the volunteers out celebrating the girl in white's bday...and we also made some new Chilean friends), Kendra (from Cleveland but lives in NYC), and Eric (New Jersey). My hostel roommates were from Michigan (Michelle…she went to MSU…ew), Florida (Francey), and Australia (Zan…spelled “zed-a-n” in her little Australian accent). Though I may be thousands of miles away from Denver, there is a guy here (Ari) who went to Cherry Creek. We automatically bonded over this and proudly chanted Cherry Creek cheers some evenings. Small world… OOH!!! And one of my fave people: Patricia. She's one of the workers at the hostel, and she is a sweetheart. She’s from Honduras, so we were able to understand her Spanish a bit better than the rest of the Chileans. She’d always hook me up with a second helping at dinner and “agua caliente” (hot water) for my sleepy time tea at night.
The Roomise--Zan, Francie, me, and Michelle
Peace and lots of love to you all :)