My computer is in the shop right now and I´m typing on an American computer with Spanish keyboard settings, so please forgive any typos, because I really don´t know what I´m doing.
This last week was exhausting. We have decided that our ¨honeymoon phase¨ has officially ended. This past week, we got to start navigating the city and public transport on our own, which makes for a pretty quick end to any residual honeymoon phase feelings.
For starters, there are two forms of public transport: micros (busses) and the metro. I have been instructed by any Chilean I´ve met to closely watch my things on both. I´ve not yet braved the micros on my own, but I´m becoming pretty adept at using the metro. The first thing to know about the metro is that it´s always going to be crowded. Always. Every morning, I cram onto it with everyone else at my stop feeling like I´m in a can of sardines, and at the next stop more people find a way to fit. It´s nuts. By the time we get to the final stop, hundreds of people are spilling out of the train to get to their connection.
We also had to get a lot more places on our own. My host family went with me the first day to make sure I could use the metro, but since then I´ve been on my own.
Luckily, everyone here is super nice. Every time I´ve been lost, I´ve been able to stop literally anyone on the street and ask for directions. Anyone and everyone has been willing to help me so far. For example, this morning my 40 min. run turned into an 80 min. run. I stopped probably 5 people to ask for directions. Every single person stopped, asked me to repeat my question, and then helped point me in the right direction. That´s unheard of in America.
Anyway, this week.
We get to pick classes from 4 different universities. We went to orientations at 3 different universities, spent a day trekking (hiking), had to do the beginning steps to get our Chilean credentials, and had class planning meetings. I also attended a class I´m considering taking, and had to take my mac in for repairs. It was a long and exhausting week. Detailing it would be a little bit boring.
However, hiking was fantastic. Yesterday, I went back to the same park with my host brother, his friends, and my friend Tiffany. We hiked for 6 hours! When we were done, we went back and hung out at my house. My host family is related to another host family, and they were all over for lunch when we got back. We ended up just hanging out and chatting until 7 pm. When my host brother´s friends left, they congratulated Tiffany and me on being so fit and told us to keep it up. Alright, I´ll take it. After that, I went over to Austin´s house (we´re related) with my host brother and we all just hung out until about 11. This culture truly focuses on family and social interaction and I really like it (until I´m falling asleep in my chair and just want to go to bed).
Classes start next week, so here comes the next adventure. We´ll see how it goes!