Yesterday, after two nights in a town whose name I’m still not sure of (although I can usually figure out from context when someone’s talking about it) we traveled to Santiago to meet our host families and Jordan (the sole guy on the program). Jordan seems cool but I met him for approximately .2 seconds before being engulfed by the sea of Chilean familias at the reception being held for us. Before I knew it I was walking out the door with my Chilean dad weighed down by my bags, and now I am at my new home until tomorrow when classes kind of begin. No contact with the rest of the SIT girls (and Jordan) for a day and a half. Spanish fluency, here I come.
My host “family” is a bit unorthodox compared to the rest of them. Basically I’m rooming with a young bohemian kind of hippy couple who don’t believe in marriage and see me more as a younger sister than a daughter. They are, after all, nowhere near old enough to be my parents at 28 and 29 (dad and mom respectively). They live on the 12th floor of an apartment building whose huge windows face the Andes. I don’t think there’s an actual chair in their whole apartment—just some stools for the table/the computer/for hanging out, and little rug with big pillows to lean on while sitting on the floor. Everything is full of color and beautiful.
Andrea, mi madre, is a psychologist specializing in children who have been sexually abused. Reiki came up in multiple conversations yesterday that she had with her friends. All of the pictures she showed me were of her camping and traveling around in the south of Chile with friends. She only eats beef about once a week at most (that’s a huge deal in Chile) and I don’t think she really eats dinner, but I’m still a little hazy on that detail. She’s really nice though, and talks slow for me, and wants to teach me slang.
Juan, my 28 year old “dad”, is studying adventure tourism and working at a bar on the side. Basically he’s learning how to be that person who takes you trekking into the Andes. Pretty sweet right? He has long thick dreads and plays the didgeridoo (I’m dead serious). Right now he looks like a total thug because he fell off his bike last week and cut his eyebrow. He listens to reggae. They’ve already called me chill like five times.
After a late lunch yesterday and then basically hanging out for a few hours, we went to visit a friend of Andrea’s who has an 8 month-old son. She also isn’t married but lives with the baby’s (or wawa’s) father etc. I didn’t really understand most of what they were talking about with the friends that we were hanging out with, but I know at one point they tried to explain some kind of alternative medicine therapy to me that uses bee stingers.
We got back around 10:30, had some tea/instant coffee (but no more mate, which they’d been drinking all night and I am determined to develop a taste for, along with my goal of appreciating Chilean wine by the end), and went to bed (well, I wrote in my journal for a while). Now it’s Sunday and I should probably go out of my room since Andrea just woke up. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to post this before Monday. Adios.
p.s. poop update: still fine. But we were told not to start drinking tap water until today so we’ll see how that goes.