At 6am I got up to use the bathroom, but it was occupied and one of the girls directed me to the 2nd ban~o. I assumed the girls had just gotten home from dancing, but I later learned they had only stayed out until 3am and were just getting up for their trip to the beach. I considered this to be equivalently crazy. The next morning I waited for a while for the girls to awaken, until I realized they were gone. Boris provided me with a map and some information and sent me on my way.
I familiarized myself with the surrounding area enough to hopefully be able to find my way home in the upcoming days. I found one restraint on my journey. So my first night, alone in Chile, I ate at a Chinese place. I didn’t know what I ordered, except that it did contain vegetables. I also had a Kuntsman, which did turn out to be the best beer I found in the country.
The following day I traveled to school with Boris y las Brasilianas. They all knew where to find the taxi service which charged just 500 pesos (1 USD) per person to take us to an area near the school. Upon arriving at the school I went to the woman in the office to make sure I was placed in an appropriate class. I explained I didn’t want to be in a class that was too advanced. I also explained this is Spanish, because I didn’t want to be placed in a class too low. I found myself in a class with the same two delightful Brazilian girls. This did give me a chance to learn their names without having to ask again. Silvia y Patricia. They certainly did not lack for personality, and I spent much of that week with the two of them.
Patricia (la Jararaca)
Silvia (la Ruidosa)
I had some fascinating experiences at school being on the other side. One morning I didn’t understand the lesson and was criticized for not writing it down the day before. I was told to refer to the given notes. I saw something I had written by hand (with the same verb but a different idea) and I answered the question wrong again. I was laughed at by the teacher and class (granted this was only a class of three). Later in the afternoon I had a different instructor of which I was more comfortable. Also, I was in the class alone. I asked him to teach me the idea, but I needed to first back up to a simpler starting point. He took me from the beginning and gave me some websites so I could practice on my own in the future. I hadn’t written the formula in my notes the previous day because I didn’t understand the components of the formula so why would I bother writing it down when it didn’t make sense to me. Then in class we practiced this formula I didn’t understand without the examples I needed to learn it (I wanted to create my own examples, because often I was already using the things when I spoke, but didn’t know the principle of how to apply it to other situations). I was a student that sincerely wanted to learn and was having legitimate difficulties. Maybe I should just be labeled as lazy and defiant.
Saturday morning I confirmed the arrival of Sarah and Cheri, and I met up with them for lunch. We laughed and shared travel stories. We joked about our safety because Irene had us create a list with contact info in case anything happened to us during our travels. They had gotten shots and registered with someone somewhere. I figured I was okay, because I was on Irene’s list. Precautions have never been my strong point.
I think I was overwhelmed by the extravagance of the hotel setting and I wasn’t a great traveling companion at the start of the 2nd week. After a couple days I accepted that I was on vacation and was going to spend some money and I became more pleasant to be around. Even though I still consider myself capable of pressing the “up” button the elevator myself.
We skied two days. It took a couple hours each day to get to the mountain, but it was well worth it. Even though I haven’t skied in years I felt good about how I did. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Trevor, but I kept up fine. And I also learned that Sarah could out-ski either of us. We even had an 80's dance party during our lunch break.
At our second hotel we had a board meeting in our room and a hot tub at the hotel. Our last night in Chile we had wine in the hot tub, and it really was the perfect ending to our trip.
The total travel time home took 22 hours (from the time I left the hotel to the time I got to Brandon’s).
Overall, fantastic trip to Chile.
Equipo Amarillo: Irene, Trevor, Sarah, Cheri, Me