Whoo. English? What? :)
It has been one long continuous day since I arrived here, about 11 in the morning yesterday. Thats nine in the morning, to you guys. The flight out of Atlanta was good, I got bumped up to 1st class and got free chilean vino and the guy next to me, 60 years old and going fly-fishing in Patagonia, got really drunk and kept talking to me. It was amusing, and pretty interesting, too.
I arrived at the hotel--which is more like a little apartment for turistas to stay in for a while, with a kitchenette and everything, and found one of my roommates. She said we were heading to lunch in an hour or so at this vegetarian restaurant (what good luck!), where I met everybody. It was very exciting for me--all this meeting and new people and whatnot--and it hasnt really worn off yet. Then we had a short informative meeting with the program directors, and then we had the rest of the night to ourselves. A few others and I walked around the area, went to dinner...almost got ripped off, but our math is good (I wont be such a gringa soon enough, I hope!) and it came out okay.
What I learned: dont order water, it costs money. about $3 a bottle. Also, dont be forced into taking a taxi when you really wanted the shuttle (the gringa effect--being taken advantage of.) 1,000 pesos is about $2 US.
This morning, we got cell phones. The phone and about a month of service cost 27.900 pesos, or about $56 US. Fairly cheap...everything here is prepaid.
This evening, I met my host mom, with whom I have some very good things in common...and very good situation, here. Its one of the richer areas in Santiago, this apartment looks over the River Maupuche (sp), and across the river is a park. My host mom, Cecilia, has run three marathons and is part of a running club here in Santiago. She has two daughters and a granddaughter of 11 months. She also has many friends in the city. She is going to a bachelorette party tonight for one of her friends, whos marrying a gringo, but Im going to sleep. Ill need it! Tomorrow, were going running and then going to a birthday brunch for one of her other friends. I dont know whats going on tomorrow night...maybe Ill call people from my group if my host mom is doing her own thing.
Other good thing: Shes had a vegan stay with her before, and another vegetarian. She even bought me soy milk! Im trying to explain that Im not vegan, because she didnt even want to get chocolate because it has milk in it, lol. Shes had 15 international students here! Another student, a Chilean girl my age, is coming to board here soon for the university as well. She lives in the south, and there arent universities there.
However, One daughter, Catalina, lives here and is going to the U. de Chile to study law. Shes about my age. Maybe shell take me out on the town? :)
We have one class that starts on Monday and runs until University classes start. We are also going to the police to register our visas then, too. VERY BUSY and its really exhausting when everything is in Spanish...but I can speak a lot better than I can hear, Ive learned. Its almost more difficult to be jerked from English to Spanish more than it is to just stick to one. Surprise! New Lanugage!
Yep, its going okay. I cant wait to get settled in and find a rhythm of some sort, figure out how Im relating to everyone here, etc. Haha, how am I going to spend my weekends?
When I can, Ill upload pictures, too.
Here is my address:
Liz Rice c/o Cecilia Vidal Santa Mara 0316 Depto. 404, Providencia Santiago CHILE