Time flies, doesn’t it?
One month ago today I landed in Chile. At this time a month ago, I was settling into the retreat house in Linares. I was incredibly stuffed with food and freezing cold. Now I’m in a regular house in Santiago, enjoying excellent WiFi and not wearing a jacket.
I can’t decide if I feel like I’ve been here a long time or like I’ve just gotten here. I’ve lived in two very different parts of Chile for about an equal amount of time now. Linares seems like it was forever ago- but Santiago is still so new to me.
I haven’t had any big adventures to tell you about since I last wrote, so I’m just going to ramble for a bit.
The hard thing about living with another family is that sometimes you see them being a family. Which is exactly what you wanted. Except that seeing them be a family makes you miss your own family.
The crowd on the subway is so diverse. In the mornings it’s suits, uniforms, teenagers, couples, kids, the elderly, all kinds. I’ve also noticed that it gets progressively more eclectic the further west and south I travel. I live in the east, and in the mornings, it’s all professionals getting on. When I get back on from campus in the afternoon, it’s people my age, moms with little kids, every kind of style you could see.
Two o’ clock is a weird hour to start classes. And 6:30 is a rough time to get on the metro.
I need better maps of my campus. And far better signage/directions.
Things study abroad is teaching me about myself: I’m okay with change. I do not like transitions. I’m not a fan of in-between places. This whole process of settling in, assimilating, learning my way around, getting close to people, is just that- a process. And it’s not a Point A to Point B process. It’s more like Point A to Point M. And I’m maybe at Point D? I just really really want to be at Point M right now.
You know what a big part of my frustration is? Castellano. It’s the language barrier. I have lots to contribute to conversations. But these Chileans- they’re quick. It can be difficult to break in, especially when you’re worried that you’re going to slow things down. This is just a hurdle I have to get over, though, if I really want to be a part of things. It’s a challenge. A big challenge. But I must surmount it. (Yup. I used the word surmount. It felt right.) (Surmount in Spanish? Superar. ¡Voy a superar este desafío!)
Things will fall into place. I will feel truly settled. I will be able to converse normally in another language. It all takes time.
I just hope not very much more!
Oh, in food notes: I was moving right along, eating all the ensalada and pan integral (whole wheat bread) that my family could throw at me, and then I found hallulla on the counter. Hallulla. Hallelujah for hallulla. I had it with homemade strawberry jam and queso fresco for breakfast this morning, and boy, was I happy.
I hope you are all well! Thank you for supporting me thus far on my journey. All of your comments and thoughts mean a lot, and they do me a whole lot of good.