The flight to Santiago went well – just long (about 12 hours all together). It all still seemed kind of surreal. I had been talking about going to Chile for so long, and it was always this distant thing. Landing definitely made it real. Passing through the airport and customs was easy. The school had set me up with a bus service to the house, which made getting into the city painless (and definitely set my mind at ease!). Now I could relax and really get excited about my adventure.
The house is an old converted mansion with three floors. Along with the bedrooms, it has a kitchen, dining room and living room. There is a lovely outside patio area, where we spend most of our time. Even though it’s hot during the day, the patio is always shaded. My room is on the top floor. It’s really more the attic, since I’ve got the sloping ceiling on both sides. I absolutely love it, except during the middle of the day. No air conditioning, means that it gets to be a sauna in the afternoon (mucho calor!!). Hopefully there are some pictures attached to this post!
My housemates are mostly German, two Brazilians and one American. The American is a lady in her 70s from West Virginia. She’s here for six weeks and I admire her adventurous spirit! Being around Germans I feel right at home. I’ve spent so much time in Europe, and Germany especially that I immediately felt comfortable. Of course they speak perfect English! So my apprehensions about not being able to speak to anyone have been completely unfounded.
They also made me welcome by inviting me to join them for dinner the first night. A Swiss student (staying elsewhere) had volunteered to cook for a few people. We had such a lovely time – eating, drinking wine (Carmenere, of course) and talking. Simple meals are the standard here, as we are all on a budget and our kitchen has limited abilities. But the food was delicious and made better by the conversation! I had even managed to find an ATM and a bottle store (so proud of myself on that first day!) that were actually open (it being Sunday). So I could at least contribute to the dinner.
I was supremely happy that first evening, and so thrilled with my decision to come to Chile. It is wonderful to be traveling again, having new adventures every day and meeting new friends. I will stop here to keep this entry short and write more tomorrow. My first day at school was everything I expected it to be.