Today, I have officially been in Chile for over a week. It’s strange, because this is a small amount of time, but the day that I arrived feels like a lifetime ago. Until now, I have not written a post for this blog because I have been flooded with new sights, sounds, people and activities, which is wonderful but also somewhat overwhelming. So, now I will attempt to tell the story of my first week, although I am sure that it will somewhat disjointed. From the start, this trip has been full of novelties. During some of my flights here, I was lucky enough to be placed in first class without paying full price, because these were the only seats available when I booked my ticket. This led to one of the most comfortable flights of my life. However, no matter how luxurious your seat on a plane may be, four different airports, three different planes and twenty hours of travel in total is enough to make anyone exhausted, and I was certainly no exception. By the time I arrived at the Santiago airport in Chile, my head was spinning from fatigue.
Unfortunately, there was still “miles to go before I sleep”, as the Robert Frost poem says. This included two hours waiting in a hot, sunny parking lot for all the students in my all the students in my study abroad program to arrive, an hour long drive from Santiago to Valparaíso, several speeches by the director of my program chock full of important information, and a series of strange but hilarious icebreaker activities. And yet, I was still not done. After I finished my orientation activities for the day, I finally met my host family and went to their apartment in Viña del Mar / my home for the next four and a half months. A delicious meal, a fascinating, in depth conversation about psychology, and a ridiculously beautiful view of the city from the window in my new room made feel like the protagonist from the musical Annie as she sings “I think I’m gonna like it here”.
After enjoying a full night of sleep at last, my time in Chile began in earnest. There have been a lot of orientation activities, administrative tasks and the general but monumental task of getting used to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, which for me are two unfamiliar cities in an unfamiliar country. Thankfully, things have been going astonishingly well so far. This first week has been somewhat chaotic, and estoy abrumadora un montón, but I am happy nonetheless.. In my next post, I will talk about the things which have helped me adjust to Chile and all the current changes in my life, so stay tuned!