Sunday, March 1, 2009

---> Here I am

I'm in Copiapo now, so if I don't fall asleep, I'll try to update on everything that I possibly can!

Airport and plane ride
The farewell at NP airport was sad. I was so glad some of my friends could make it. When the voice came over the intercom that it was time for me to board, it was so sudden and 'this-is-it-esque'. I cried. 

The plane ride to Santiago was VERY long, 12 hours I think, and I got my first taste of culture shock when some Chilean ladies spoke to me in rapid Spanish that I should change seats so I could sit next to Ashleigh (one of the other NZers). I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona and tried to sleep. 

Arriving in Santiago, we were all hot and tired ( 4am in NZ, 12pm in Santiago). The airport security was pretty lax. If you had something to declare it was pretty much 'we don't care, just go'.

Orientation was great. The NZers were the first to arrive, and all the other countries arrived the next day. We got there and were ushered straight into lunch, which appeared to be a plate of lettuce, tomato and a piece of ham. We all thought (the five NZers) that is was such a nice, light snack after the plane ride. Not so. Ten minutes later a plate of chicken and chips was brought in, then after that, rock melon for desert. We all talked to the volunteers, then rested and talked until it was a reasonable time to go to bed (after supper).

The next day at orientation all the other students arrived. The nationalities represented were
and I think that's it.

The day they arrived was reserved just for hanging out, so we played cards, hung out in the courtyard, talked, the Scandinavians had a 'Techo-party", we played some games etc.

The next day was full on orientation, where we learnt about Chile and exchange rules, Chilean youth culture, that sort of thing. Each orientation group consisted of about 12 students, and there were 78 of us in total. The orientation site was very Catholic, with crosses and chapels and figures of Jesus. There were also lovely maids, who spoke no English, but I managed to converse with in the kitchen when Stephanie (NZ) needed a knife to cut the tie on her suitcase with. Everyone got on really well, and we had a big photo shoot at the end. Then after dinner I packed my suitcase and went to the bus terminal with some other students catching overnight buses. 

Bus ride
The 10 hour bus drive to CopiapĆ³ was in a bus like a 1st class airplane. The roads were so straight, and there were some toll booths along the way. I did sleep a bit. Outside the window, there was nothing but desert, with scrub, some small slums, and sand hills. The other students going to CopiapĆ³ are a girl from Brazil,  and boys from the USA and Germany.

Arrival and host family
Copiapo is hot, let me say that. Hot and dusty. There is a dried up river, and we are surrounded by sand hills. A person from AFS was there to meet us at the bus terminal, and so were our host families. 

I went back to my host familys' house and had something to eat for brunch, then went to bed. So far my host family has been great. They are all very helpful and my host mum is very supportive. I couldn't get through to an international call to call my parents for some reason, so we went to the neighbour's and used their Skype. It was fantastic to hear my parent's voices, I miss them a lot already.

Tomorrow my host parents are working, so my host siblings and I are going into town to get my Chilean ID and my residency sorted. 

Adios everyone!


1 comment:

Tessy_J said...

Hola Anita, it's Teresa, A 10 HOUR BUS TRIP, I think i would've died, now the bus ride to camp seems short. :) Mum cried when we were home. We miss you, after you boarded the plane Matthew said he missed you already. We were watching your plane leave and then Natalie swore and said it would feel like ages, then she said sorry and mum said it's not as bad as what she would've said, or something like that. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Belle says bye,and my friends say you're a great cook.Cless says it's quiet without you around, I'm not sure if that's a compliment or an insult. I'll try and visit your blog as much as i can, but now i have to feed Molly, by the way, I had Alicia and Belle over in the weekend after the funrun and we made a movie ( i might put it on youtube, it's kinda lame though, i'll tell you if i do anyway)
Le faltamos( its a good this this computer has a translator!!)

mi pequeno potro (my little pony),
Teresa :) XOXOoxxoOXxxOOxXXooOX