Friday morning I took the metro to the bus and the bus to the airport. Due to the chilean government’s decision to delay daylight savings to help lessen the effects of the energy crisis and an error in american airlines system in dealing with it, I was about an hour and a half early for their flights instead of 30 minutes like I planned. And both their flights were slightly delayed.
So I sat and waited, feeling slightly ill from several weeks of going non-stop. I was thankful that I had met all of israel’s family already, though it was slightly strange to be welcoming them to a foreign country when this was the second or third time I had seen them.
They all got their eventually and it was fun introducing my family to Israel’s brother (they had met sandra and ann when they visited last june) and I was glad they could finally meet. Awesome people that they are. I’m still looking forward to when all my family can meet david’s two daughters and wife. It will be fun.
Anyways. My mom had worked everything out, they found the van company they were hiring, set everything up and we all got inside.
Israel would be the last person to arrive as he had classes to go to all week and couldn’t leave boise until friday morning arriving saturday morning.
The van took us to the hotel where we met up with my Oma and Grandpa Ron. I put the other phone in david’s charge so we could communicate as necessary and i went and chatted with my jet-lagged parents for a little while.
My host mom had claimed friday lunch saying she wanted to feed us and meet everyone. So we gathered everyone up and we proceeded to walk to the metro station (about 15 minutes). I opted for the station that was a little further away so we’d have fewer changes between the lines and less chance of losing people (Santa Lucia instead of Bellas Artes).
This was the point in which I was glad I had showed my grandpa how to do the metros already. He has an amzing map mind and if the group were to get seperated he could lead the other part. The metro wsn’t as busy as it could have been, but it wasn’t empty either. We all crowded onto one car successfuly and most of us were a good head taller than all the chileans on the bus, making for a slightly imposing group. Somewhere in the middle we were joined by one of the instructors in the program I was enrolled in. She wasn’t one of my teachers personally, but Marcela was very nice to have with us at that point. It turned out that my host-mom had invited her to act as an interpreter for all the norteamericanos and she was on her way to my host-mom’s house as well.
We made the switch to the other line successfully without any missing person problems, rode that line for 4 stops and finally got off and began our 20 minute (I usually do it in 15) walk to my host-mom’s house. It was very fun being able to show people a little of what I did everyday (walking and taking the metro) and they were able to see it too. There were 10 of us walking along the street and I’m sure we were quite a sight, but I lived in a pretty part of the city (nunoa) and everyone enjoyed it (minus the tiredness, the blisters incurred from walking, and the slightly overwhelmed feeling).
The only person I really worried about us losing was my brother-in-law, David. His photographer self took him distances ahead and behind us and out of my sight (which slightly worried me) taking pictures of various things and waving his camera about. But we did not lose him (and his camera wasn’t stolen) and I know now my worries were unfounded since he has travelled a lot more than most of us ever will, has apparently survived his picture taking passion, and continues to make the most of it wherever he is. :)
We had a lovely lunch at my host-mom’s house. Her sister, venezuelan sister-in-law, herself, and Marcela made up the Chileans of the group. And of the whole group, two of us were competent in both languages. It was very interesting interpreting, but it also showed me how much progress in my spanish skills I had made at that point. The most difficult thing was keeping my languages straight, at one point I was interpreting for my mom and my host-mom and proceeded to tell my mom things in spanish and my host mom things in english instead of the opposite.
My mom wrote a lovely post on her blog, Owlhaven, about this little lunch visit which gives a few more lovely details.
I enjoyed getting to interact with everyone and test out my interpreting skills. It was a very lovely visit. We all wished that Israel could be there as he was one of the key figures.
Some of the highlights of the visit were: venezuelan coffee, my host-mom’s hammock, discussing socialism and politics and trying to make everyone understand that in Chile/south america the left side is equivalent to socialism or comunism, right side means democracy, whereas in the US the left side represents democrats and the right side represents the republicans. So we had to clarify what was meant be left and right in politics.
Soon it became evident that everyone’s energy levels were nearing depletion and we needed to make our way back to the hotel for naps. The walk/metro trip were uneventful, though we did get separated on the last leg of the metro trip everyone knew where to get off and we found each other on the other side.
Everyone, including me, rested that afternoon. We had reservations (thanks to Israel’s mom) at a fancy restaurant called Como Agua para Chocolate. I was feeling slightly ill at this point, hoping I wasn’t coming down with something. But I think that it was just adrenaline as it went away when israel finally arrived. That whole week I was praying that Israel’s flights would not be cancelled and that we’d be able to have our wedding saturday afternoon a few hours after he got there.
The evening was delightful, company was love, and the only wish was that Israel was there, but he was on his way.
Again, I’m going to send you to my mom’s post about this for more details since she wrote her post much sooner after the trip than I did and I don’t remember as much as I should :)
Besides, it was all a blur anyway, Israel was coming the next day!
These photos are all thanks to David. Click on them to view as a slideshow and in a bigger format.