Monday, August 23, 2010

First Days

I don't thinks things could get much crazier.  Everything so far has been insane.  The flight over was a total of 21 hours. Marlee and I flew to Miami and met up with Kelsey and then met a guy going to Santiago to study.  We talk to him while we waited for our flight.  During the flight we watched the sunrise over the Andes, and what we thought was the Atacama, but was only clouds, with the Atacama under them.  Still, it was beautiful.  On the flight I was in a center row, but no one was on the plane and I ended up moving to a window seat and stretching out.  From Santiago we flew to Concepcion. We were met with open arms and a car to take us to Salto de Laja.  We stayed in a hotel that looked out on amazing waterfalls.

The 20th to the 22nd was a Rotary orientation with all the other students.  We spoke English the whole time and it didn't really feel like we were in Chile.  Everyone I met was great, and I'm really happy with my Rotary group. Even the Chilean exchange students in previous years that were there were great.

All the meals we ate were great, and seemed authentic Chilean.  I also think that the first few weeks are going to add some weight unless I do something about it.  During the weekend we went of a horse drawn carrige, played soccer, had a small dance, got to know eachother, and listened to a lot of music.  On sunday we met our families, except the exchange students who had been there for two weeks already (Denmark and Germany sent their students earlier for some reason).

My family is great, my mom speaks fairly good English and has been helping me understand a lot of what is going on.  My brother is nice and I have been doing a lot with him.  My father is nice, I have not spent to much time with hime, but once I'm back from being in Santiago I'm sure we will talk more, or try to. Also, my father's sister and two sons are living there. One is maybe 4 or 5, and the other is 12 or 13, like my brother.

I got my house, and they told me we were going to go eat at my grandparents house and then leave for Santiago, a five hour drive, turing out to be 6 because of traffic and stops.  My house is pretty small, what little I saw of it, and my room is tiny.  probably 4 and a half feet by 12.  I unpacked my stuff, as best I could (there is a bunch laying everywhere as I didn't have time to do everything I wanted).  I packed for three days and we were off.  My grandparents own a big farm and I ended up eating all food produced on the farm except some rice.  Chicken, fries, and some Chilean vegetable called castenllas, I think.  It was all amazing, and way to much. Saying no is hard because I feel like I am insulting people, but soon I'm going to have to start doing so because each time I eat I am getting uncomfortably full and it's makes me like the food less because of the association.

In Santiago I have been at my Aunt and Uncl's house with every one playing videogames, sleeping, eating, tyring to speak Spanish, and going to the mall. I wandered the mall with my little brother and cousin, playing games and trying to communicate.  Together they bought me a Chilean soccer shirt that has Sanchez on the back, Chile's soccer hero right now.

Altogether, I am completely lost and am saying yes to things that make no sense to me.  They could be saying anything to me and I am saying yes.  I'm not sure what else to do, I already make them slow down and say it multipule times.  I sort of gave up.  There has been so much going on that I haven't really had time to think about home, only in the car ride to Santiago has that happened, and it was really hard.  Being on facebook and writing this now is not so good either.  I miss everything about the US.  It is really delapadated here, and looks like a South American county would.  Shack on the side of the road, packs of dogs running around, and lots of construction because of the earth quake.  My city looks pretty trashy, but Santiago is nice.  As soon as I take some more picture and have some time, and figure out how to put pictures on facebook I will and everyone can see what I am talking about.  It is pretty cold at night and warm in the day.  My grandparents told me it is going to be a really hot summer which is not going to be fun as I've already had one hot summer.  I miss everyone, and hope that this post wasn´t to long.  Hopefully the rest won't be like this, but who knows, maybe my time here will be filled and I won´t have time to think of home or keep in touch.  Once I get back home I'm sure things will calm down and I'll get some time to talk to people at home.  In the mean time wish me luck with everything!

P.S. The computer I am using is in Spansh so everything I am tying is underlined red.  If it is wrong, sorry, there is to much to figure out.


  1. Sounds like a good start Caleb...understanding the language will come! It's good that you're trying and keeping a good attitude. Another hot summer isn't fun, but it's a hot summer in CHILE, not in America, so it's automatically better. Your weekend sounds like a lot of fun, and there's more to come. Keep being positive, we're all here!


  2. Will your Rotary group get together from time to time?
    When you say the meals seem "authentic Chilean," what do you mean? Tell me more about the food.
    Are the malls just like ours? How do they differ, if at all?

  3. Nice job Caleb - sounds like you are off to a good start. I bet when you get to school, things will settle down for you.

  4. you get to have 2 SUMMERS?!? coooool!

  5. There are kids in Rotary in my school and town I see a lot, but we get together a few times altogether this year. Not as much as I want, I really like them all.

    I have three summers.

    The malls are different, much more pack together. No public bathrooms.

    And the food is great, but now that I am home it's going downhill. They don't cook at all pretty much, it's all precooked, bought cooked, or prepackaged.

  6. There are rotary kids in my school and town that i see alot, and the others i want to see more, but we only get together a few times this year, not as much as i want. they are all great.

    I have three summers.

    And the malls are packed together with no public bathrooms.

    One other thing, I got back from Santiago and we stopped eating so well. My family does't cook. It is all prepackaged food or bought precooked.