My First Chilean Experience Was Switching Families

Since my 3 out of 4 classes at the university are all in English, I am not improving my Spanish, which is one of main reasons why I came here. I must live with a host family, so I am pushed to speak only in Spanish.

I arrived to Santiago on Monday, July 18, and the following Wednesday, we were meeting our host families at 3:00 p.m. The host families came to the hotel where we were staying, and this what happened the Wednesday afternoon after my host mother picked me up.

She picked me up and we went to her car that was parked in front of the hotel. On the way to home, which was roughly 20 minutes by car, we stopped by at a grocery store called Líder, which by the way is owned by Walmart. She explained to me that she was making a cake and she forgot some ingredients, so she went to buy. I waited for her in the car. When she came back, we wanted to leave the parking slot, but she forgot where she put her parking ticket that you have to scan and the exit to open the parking gate. Luckily, after awhile she found it, so we left the parking spot. Then we came home. The apartment was very nice. I asked her what is her phone number, so we can communicate. While she was telling me her phone number, she forgot it the rest of it. I asked her about the password for the Wi-Fi and my host mom forgot where did she put the notebook, where the did she put the notebook.

Then we head to mall, because I had to have a Chilean pre-paid card. Just to help you realize the mall is in the tallest building of South America. It has 150+ stores in seven floors and it has four floor underground parking. We went to the store and to get the sim card. It was not the easiest process, but in the end I had a sim card. We were about to head to the Parking lot, when my host mom forgot a case from glasses somewhere, so we went look for it. We find it, so we finally head it back to the parking slot, when my host mom looked me, grabbed her head, and said: I forget where I parked my car.

The result was that I was for 45 minutes looking for her car in the tallest building of South America.

So we came back home and my host mom took while to open her own door. We entered and I just wanted to go to bed, when she told: I forgot to ask you, what do you want for breakfast when we were in the store earlier. I said greek yogurt, so at 10 p.m. she went again to the store.

Next day, I asked for a host family change and the organization that I am with here was fantastic. The same day, I moved to another host family, which I am right now and she is great!

It was pretty eye-opening experience the very first day, but that is why we go study abroad and great example of how respect and communications are crucial.

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