¡Buenos Finalmente desde Vina del Mar, Chile!
After spending what seemed to be a second summer vacation at home in eastern Michigan ( expect for the snow part 😉 ) I am finally in Vina de Mar, starting my semester with SIT Study Abroad. After only a week here, I have had too many new and exciting experiences to count! Here’s just a recap of some of them!
I arrived and met up with the rest of the 25 students in the program last Monday, commencing a week long orientation period in Valparaiso, Chile. During this period of time we stayed in a hotel and spent 3 days in a conference room learning everything from “chileanismos” to how the bus system works to peso conversions to remembering not to pet the street dog (I have a really hard time with the last one!) All that sitting and listening may sound dull, but by Friday, not only was my brain exploding with new information, it had to process all the Spanish! It’s hard to believe, but after basically hearing only Spanish for a few days straight, I think my comprehension and speaking have improved (a bit)! It goes to show that although language classes provide a base, nothing can replace “living” the language.
When Saturday came, we were oriented as much as we could be and were ready to meet our host families!! At 12:00 pm sharp, my host mom and dad, a sweet older couple, arrived at the hotel and lugged my oversized suitcases into the taxi. We were then off to their home in Viña del Mar, the neighboring city to Valparaíso. It’s a quaint lime-colored house atop one of the area’s many “cerros” (hills) and only a few minutes’ walk from the ocean!
After a whirlwind of a week, I woke up on Sunday and went to a church recommended to me by a Hope alum. that studied abroad in Vina del Mar called “La Union Cristinana”. There, I met up Hope friends Kelsey and Kimberly. The music was by far my favourite part because I recognized some of the songs we sing at the gathering, expect they were in Spanish of course.) After a sort of stressful week, it was good to rest in God’s presence and know that even in a foreign country he’s never far away.
“Chileanismo” of the Week: pololo/a: boyfriend/girl
Saludos muy amables,
Ps. pictures to come, technical difficulties!