From the introduction to Santiago (where I will be for at least the first 5 weeks of the semester) of Lonely Planet's guide to Chile and Easter Island, pg. 76:
"The rest of Chile does a roaring trade in life-changing views and earth-shattering experiences. In the capital, pleasures are more measured. Think diverse dining, walks in parks, kicking nightlife, low-key hiking and skiing on its outskirts, and an independent cultural scene that's slowly blossoming. And for all Santiago's differences with its Latino neighbors, it still has its fair share of fin-de-siecle townhouses and colonial mansions, hectic food markets, steaming steet-side snack stands, mass demonstrations and hordes of fanataical futbol fans, all overlooked by the stark peaks of the Andes."
Diverse dining? Hiking? Hectic food markets? Fanatical futbol fans? And the Andes mountains?Yes, please! !
I leave tomorrow for Santiago, Chile, and I am, stoked, to say the least, yet I am also overwhelmed and a bit nervous. I know that I will look back on this time of preparation and realize I had no idea of the adventure I was about to embark on, the people I was about to meet, or the incredible life-lessons I was about to learn. What I do know is that I am so grateful for this opportunity and for everyone who has prepared me to set out.
Thanks to mi familia, mis amigos increibles, Rhodes College and her professors y everyone who has inspired this journey and loved me well. I have always so enjoyed hearing about other people's adventures abroad: Jami in Oman, Sarah in Spain, Joshua in Uganda, Leigh in Europe, Natalie, Amanda and Lori in Thailand, Claire in Egypt and France, Dean in Turkey, Allison in Sicily and Lyndsay and John in . . . . CHILE! I've learned so much from their adventures, and look forward to my own. I consider myself a fairly open-minded person, however, I realize that is probably far from the truth. . . and I look forward (mostly) to having my perspectives shattered a bit and put back together into stronger understandings of the world and of humanity. I know I will return forever changed. I will be studying "Comparative Education and Social Change," and I love, love education so I am certain the program is going to be facinating for me -- and, my hope is, that I have choosen a program where I can run into and hangout with lots of little Chilean and Argentinian children. That would be ideal. As far as the Spanish language goes, I am going to hope for the best and recognize this as a time for God to teach me about inadequacy. I'll try to think back to my days with my wonderful high school spanish teacher, Mr. Zamore, Rhodes' Pettinaroli and Fernandez, and be inspired.
I plan/hope to update my blog on a regular basis, and hopefully next time will have more than an exerpt from a guide book to offer up.
Love to all!