If you never did, you should…

Posted by on August 16, 2013

…These things are fun, and fun is good.

I believe this silly Dr. Seuss quote actually packs a lot of truth. For the past week, or really since I’ve gotten here, I’ve gotten to do so many new things. Not only do these experiences help me learn something new, question something old, and allow me to grow, it has also been rejuvenating, invigorating, and, to put it plainly, a whole lot of fun.

With a good bit of free time on our hands, some friends and I decided to take a hike up Cerro San Cristobál, one of the tallest hills in the city. We took the wrong path to the top, so what should have been an hour hike turned into a 2.5 hour hike, but definitely vale la pena (so worth it) because the views at the top were spectacular.

At the top of Cerro San Cristobál with my friends Julia and Jenn

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Before classes started, I also took a trip to Pomaire, Chile, a small town that is famous for it’s pottery and huge empanadas. Instead of taking the time to properly plan out this venture, my friends and I decided to just show up at the bus terminal and figure it out as we go along (obviously not the best idea, but a little spontaneity can sometimes make room for a whole lot of adventure, as we’d soon find out). We get on a bus that we think may take us to Pomaire, confirm with the bus driver that we are on the right bus, and set off on the 1.5 hour drive. However, we were surprised and very confused when the bus driver randomly stops on the side of the highway after about an hour, looks at us and tells us if we are going to Pomaire we should get of the bus here….on the side of the road…in the middle of nowhere. I tried to ask him to explain, but he just rattled some very quick explanation in Spanish that I didn’t understand, kicked us off the bus, and drove off. Below are some pictures to give you an idea of where he left us.

At the side of the road

Stranded…

Okay, so for my mom and dad who I know are reading this and thinking “WHAT?!?!?!” please don’t worry- all’s well that ends well, right? As we started walking and looking for road signs, billboards, or anything that would give us a clue as to where we were supposed to be going, we saw a rickety old city bus bumping down the road. Looking like complete tourists/idiots, we ran towards the bus, arms waving, screaming for the bus to please wait. Thankfully, it was indeed on it’s way to Pomaire, so we were now back on track.

The town of Pomaire was amazing, full of color, and a refreshing break from being in a big city. The streets are lined with people selling handmade pottery, scarves, hats, jewelry, and much more. We had so much fun going through all the little shops, but the highlight of the day was definitely learning how to make pottery from a sassy Chilean man on the side of the road. He kept on laughing at us and making fun of our Spanish, but he also let us keep the pottery we made along with some of his own, much better look pottery!

Fun fact, my pinky fingers stick out pretty much at all times.

 

Final product!

I had so much fun during these final excursions before classes started! However as you may have noticed, I just said “before classes started,” as in my classes did in fact start this past week. I only have classes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but getting back into school mode, especially when all my classes are in Spanish, has been an adjustment. It’s hard to tell right now if my classes will be hard or not (seriously hoping they won’t be too bad), but I’ll keep y’all updated!

Okay, now I know this blog post is already too long, but I can’t end it without talking about my 21st birthday (which happened to coincide with the first day of classes… of course). Being in a country where turning 21 is not any more special than turning 19 or 20, with people I have only known for a few weeks, and away from my family and friends back home, I will admit that I had extremely low expectations for it. However, thanks to my family and friends back home and my new family and friends here, I actually had one of the best birthdays! My host mom told me she wanted to have a little get together for my 21st at her house with my whole Chilean fam and a few good friends.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t all this:

 

My host mom being cute and me being awkward about all the attention

Spending my birthday in Chile is something I will always remember. A million thanks to everyone who made the day so special  :)

And with that, I will finally wrap up this unbearably long blog. From going on trips, to taking all new Spanish classes, to celebrating my birthday in Chile, I continue to have so much fun experiencing new things.

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”

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