I looked out of the airplanes window, snow peaked mountains stared back at me as a bustling city laid near their feet. The flight attendants did their final laps, barking at the straying passengers to make sure everyone was safely in their seats and as the plane started it's descent it had finally hit me, I had left Minnesota, my family and friends. I had left all the comforts of my life for what? As of now there is no solid answer to that question, no answer to why I chose to leave all that I knew for a new surprise, but I have a few ideas tucked away, of course with this blog we will be searching together for what really brought me to Chile. With this blog I hope to share with my family, friends and any other readers not only my life experiences but also everything about the Chilean language and culture that this beautiful country and the welcoming citizens that call Valparaiso Chile their home.
The feeling of a plane landing can mean multiple things to different people, some might gaze outside the window with awe while others tremble in their seats until their feet hit solid ground, but when those wheels hit the pavement, it means a new part of the world awaits outside and that's all I needed to know to shake off the eight hour plane ride from St.Paul Minnesota to Santiago Chile. Unfortunatly, not everything was as fast paced as our group of six hoped, we had hit a wall.... well more like a two hour line that stretched far from what the eye could see. After the grueling delay we were finally ushered through customs, of course I was the only person stopped for possesing a bag of dog treats and after five minutes of trying to convince the officer that the bag held no real meat substance I was finally allowed to reunite with the rest of my group and then we were off! A car waited outside and everyone quickly scrambled inside, the engine roared to life as our excitement continued to build, the drive to Valparaiso had started and the next two hours were full of laughter.
The scenery ranged from pine trees to palm trees, from mountains to beaches it seemed like everything that is opposite was found in the same region, unlike Minnesota were not one palm tree can be found unless of course you made it out of the snow. Soon the drive came to an end, up ahead lay a city with brightly colored houses and stunning pieces of art at every corner, the ocean was stretched out to the right while thousands of houses sat towards the left, each one placed carefully on the large hills of Valparaiso Chile. After the car ride we were brought to a restaurant to sooth our grumbling stomachs, this restaurant was called the Internado and it has a beautiful view of the city as well as the best food that I had ever tasted... well so far on the trip at least. After everyone was happily stuffed we made our way back to the programs building where everyone scattered to look presentable for our very first meeting with our host families!