Hello from Santiago, Chile!
We have finally made it after quite the long layover back in Miami, but it all worked out in the end! Despite the bumps in the road, everyone was in a good spirits and our hotel was very comfortable. Everyone even seemed happy and excited at 5 am when we caught a shuttle back to the airport after just a few hours of sleep. Luckily, our flight on Sunday morning took off on time and we were up in the air and headed off towards our adventure! Some of the students slept, others watched movies, and some chatted throughout the flight. We all reunited to grab our bags and get through customs and then we met CIEE staff and we were off! We took Chilean taxis to our hostel and got settled in before doing a quick welcome orientation while we waited for PIZZA! Everyone was pretty hungry from a long trip, so we were happy to see lots of boxes of pizza show up.
Full and happy, the students spent the evening chatting before heading off to bed.
On Monday, it was orientation day! We spent the day learning about Chilean culture, learning how to react in an emergency, and learning about what the program will entail. We took a quick break for lunch for a traditional meal at a Chilean restaurant.
Many of us enjoyed "Pastel de Papa", which is a traditional dish made with beef, hard-boiled egg, and mashed potatoes on top and then it's baked in the oven- yummy and very filling! Perfect for these cold days we are experiencing.
Despite the cold, the students had ice cream at the oldest ice cream shop in Chile, and many tried flavors that are specific to this country.
Full of good food, we headed back to finish orientation before it was time to meet the host families! There was a lot of nervous energy in the air, but everyone seemed really happy to meet their new "family" for the next three weeks.
Today is our first day of class and the students are in class, learning about entrepreneurship and getting an introduction to the course.