1st Week a Success!!!
IFSA-Butler CUP Santiago Participants, Fall 2010
Well, after a very interesting start to my 5 months in Chile, I am alive and well. I arrived in Santiago at 4:45am on Monday the 19th. Immigration was a breeze as well as customs. When I arrived I had already booked a private room at a hostel which set me up with a taxi service from the airport to the hostel. The taxi service, TransVip was very interesting and confusing because there were like 5,000 of their vans outside of the pick up area. Eventually I found out which van I was supposed to get in. The guy sped all the way to the hostel. Needless to say after traveling for almost 24hrs., waiting in airports, etc. I was exhausted and I was a little nervous because it was 5am in the morning and I was going to my hostel. Well, I didn’t know the area at the time and I thought my hostel was on a desserted creepy street (I think it is at 5am, different story at night). Ended up I couldn’t check in til 1:30pm. I was told I could use the computer room until then. So I used the computer and updated my facebook status to let everyone know I made it to Chile.
Me with Isabel Yévenes, Resident Director CUP, Santiago atop the hill of San Cristóbal
After a bit, I went to use the restroom and some guy came out of his room naked and hungover and then if I wasn’t shocked enough he started mumbling something to me. This freaked me out just a bit. So with this and me being tired and not wanting to wait for 7 hrs to sleep in a private room I went back to the computer and searched for a cheap hotel near my orientation venue. I found one right around the corner, Hotel el Vergel. So after telling a white lie to get out of paying for my room at the hostel, I cancelled my reservation and called a taxi and went to my new hotel and literally slept til 6pm. After I woke up it was already dark but I walked 3-4 blocks to find food.
The next day I moved to Hotel Bonaparte where I stayed until Friday around noon. Throughout the week I had the 1st half of my program’s orientation. Friday, the 23rd my host parents came to the hotel and I moved to their house where I have a nice room all to myself on the 2nd floor of their house. My host family is absolutely amazing and they have already helped me a lot with my Spansih. I can’t believe I am going to live with them for 5 months. I was quite nervous though because my Spanish knowledge has failed me so far but my program staff as well as my host parents have assured me that always happens and after 3 weeks or so I will be much better. Practice makes perfect after all. Well I’m going to close up. My next post will be around August 8th. My classes start on the 2nd so it will be a good time to post something new to let everyone know how my first week of classes went. This next week I have the rest of my program orientation as well as orientation at the 3 Chilean universities I can take classes at. It will be fun! ME ENCANTA CHILE!!
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