When your parents visit you in Chile…
So for the past 10 days my parents have been in Chile—prepare for the worlds to clash!! Well, tectonic plates clashed the second day they were here (minor earthquake) but other than that, we had a great time together here!
My parents are big travelers, and that is probably partially where I learned it from, so when they learned I was going to study abroad they were all about coming to visit me. A month ago, I was kind of nervous about them coming here—I was still getting in a groove and was not 100% confident with my Spanish skills but all the same figured it would work out. It was a great week and a half! My host family here has been more than amazing, so I was somewhat excited for their meeting to see how they intereacted and as expected it was great. Two great families together = no language barrier. My parents are lacking in the Spanish language area—my mom knows known and my dad learned during this week that he remembered way more than expected from his high school classes! I did a lot of translating, which originally I was nervous about but turned out to be great. You really recognize how much you have learned when you are forced to translate! We did a lot of exploring in the Valparaíso and Viña del Mar area, and I showed them all my favorite spots which was also fun. Overall, I think they had a great time seeing how I live here and how well I am getting along here.
Over the weekend, we did a mini international bus trip just to put some more stamps in their passports—we went to Mendoza, Argentina! The bus trip to Mendoza was through the Andes and only about 6-7 hours long. Typically, a lot of people go through the night so they can wake up and save some travel time for activities, however we heard that the bus trip is worth seeing since you have to travel through the Andes Mountains to get there—and we definitely heard right! Due to Chile’s awesome bus system, you can pretty much travel anywhere easily in bus and thankfully, with my schedule this semester; I have no classes on Monday OR Friday—traveling is very easy! We headed out on Friday morning and came back Monday morning. The views out the window were gorgeous!
Once we got to Mendoza I was thrown for a bit of a loop with the Argentine accent. People tell me that Chilean spanish is more difficult to learn because of the modismos and the fact they blend a lot of words together, however when you’re used to it, it becomes a lot easier than the slurrying of the Argentine accent. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both unique in their own sense just definitely hard to get used to!
We did a lot of fun things in Mendoza, visited two vineyards and an olive oil fabrica and also visited the huge Parque San Martín that is in Mendoza which has a great zoo! Funny thing about their zoo, is that you can get a lot closer to the animals than you can in the states which is awesome! We ate at some amazing restaurants and visited all the plazas in the city. If you visit this city at all, the plazas and streets are lined with trees and it is gorgeous! I especially appreciated the fall temperatures and the colors of the trees. Another fun thing was we saw the tallest mountain in all of South America, which is located in Mendoza. I am already planning to go back with some friends and go hiking and paragliding and hopefully skiing later this winter.