The day started out in an almost perfect way: with a beautiful sunrise. I hugged my dad goodbye before he went to work, let my brothers and mom load my bags into the car while I packed last minute things. The trip began, we had to turn around to retrieve one forgotten thing for the pre-flight errand and then we met my wonderful grandma at the airport. As I checked in the little girls (6 and 8) wandered around my knees and then we were all at the check-in place while the attendant assured me that my passport was “more than enough” to check me into my flight. lol. Good to hear. I had to work hard for that.
We made a detour and got a picture with the girls in front of the the sunrise and fedex planes. We said a tear goodbye and I made my way through security. I must look innocent (or mean, bwahaha) they left me alone. I found my gate and sat down for some last minute internet and invested my iTunes giftcard in a new Hillsong CD. So good, thanks Jared :)
The flight was quick, got some lovely pictures of Mount Rainier and saw a Boise State plane on the Seattle Tacoma tarmac. pretty cool. My layover in seattle went fast and I had time to walk all they way from one end of the airport to the other, eat lunch, write a blog post, and a good chat on the phone.
My next stop in Dallas-Fort Worth was a longer flight away, but I got to sit next to a couple of very interesting 14 yo boys who decided that I should check to see what direction toilet water spins in Chile…lol. hilarity. And the sun set over flat texas.
In Dallas I found my gate and looked around for other USAC students. Seeing a potential victim glancing about expectantly, I walked up to her and asked if she was studying abroad. Turns out she was and we had gathered quite a group by the time we boarded.
The flight from Dallas to Santiago was very long. 9.75 hours. yup. Occupied myself with a book about chile (from a lovely aunt), my iPod, chatting with a seatmate, and watching “eat, pray, love” which turned out to be a funny movie, but very not Christian valued. oh well. What with dinner and breakfast we only had to fill a few more hours with randomness. Most people slept. I didn’t really. I think I may have managed an hour and a half. At one point I gave up trying to sleep and just read a devotional until I was tired. That is what finally earned me my sleep. :) I woke up to light streaming in open windows and through my contact-less eyes I couldn’t tell if there was land yet or not. It was extremely exciting! Bidding my sleep farewell I proceeded to bounce and exclaim over the huge mountains until the plane gave up and landed an hour and a half later.
In the airport, a newly made friend and I made our way through a random desk and immigration where I managed to speak understandably in well constructed Spanish and though I did have to ask him to repeat himself a little I was quite pleased with the whole interaction. I ate my dried bananas and then made my way through customs and out the door where I was met by a huge crowd of taxi drivers and tiny young lady dressed in pink who happened to be the assistant of the program in Santiago.
Once we had all been gathered together by our ever-watchful leaders, we stepped out of the airport and into the fresh 80 degree (ish) air. I definitely almost danced (or maybe I did) I was very happy. Although I do need to refresh my Celsius to Fahrenheit conversions. The start of this journey has been promising!! I’ll update about the rest of today very soon! It was papaya*! ;)
*Papaya, when used in this context is the spanish equivalent to the phrase “It was cake.”
(I’ll have to try for pictures later. I have a slow connection now. Lo siento, peoples :)