Well, I'm in Chile now. And it's cold!! Although so far no worse than a usual winter since the Rogers have a nice heater. And I was able to go outside today without a jacket.....But first let me back up a little.
The Missions Conference at ABWE was incredible, and I know I talked a little about it, but it's impossible to tell you all the wonderful things that went on. I just know that I'm glad I stayed for it, and it was incredibly encouraging. I felt so much more prepared for the field after that week.
I got home Saturday and unpacked, did laundry, and ran some errands. Sunday was full of church activities and then a going away party for me. Surprisingly, I did not cry at all the entire day! I had to say goodbye to so many people, and it didn't phase me! I think it's because it did not feel real to me. It felt as though I would see them again soon. It still feels that way, actually. Monday I spent the day shopping for last minute things, and then had family time in the evening. This was a great time with my family and I spilled an entire glass of soda on my brother. It was highly entertaining. :o)
I didn't start packing until Tuesday, the day of my flight. This is typical of me: I procrastinate. But with the help of two friends and both of my parents, I got everything done in time, and I didn't forget anything! (That I've noticed, anyway!)
We went to the airport, 7 of us and my 4 suitcases and 2 carryons crammed into our van. It was cozy! I said my goodbyes, and only teared up a little! Then as I waited for my flight (which had been delayed already) I read a note from Brenda (a wonderful friend of mine who had grown up in Chile. I'm actually living with her family). This made me cry. And I was doing so well!!
My first flight was uneventful. As was my layover in Atlanta (mostly because it was only 20 minutes!) Then I got on the plane for a 9 hour flight to Santiago.
The man I was sitting next to was Chilean, and his English was worse than my Spanish. So we conversed for the most part in Spanish and he threw in a stray English word here or there to help me understand. I did pretty well. He's a pastor at a pentacostal church and also the president of an organization that helps women on drugs rehabilitate. He gave me his card on which he also wrote his email and home phone number!!
At the end of the flight, if I craned my head and looked across the plane out of the little strip of window that wasn't blocked, I could see the sun rise over the Andes mountains. SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I still can't get over seeing them all the time. Apparently the school takes a skiing trip at the beginning of every year, so I'll get to see them up close soon!
I landed, got through customs really quickly, and then had to wait with Melissa (one of the Rogers's daughters) for an hour or two for another person we were picking up.
I spent yesterday unpacking, playing with Andrea (their other daughter, 5 years old), and taking a nap. We had a very Chilean dinner of pizza from Dominos and played Dutch Blitz with some of Melissa's friends. So I now know 3 of my students. :o) They warned me of several others though! :o)
I let myself sleep in today to help get over jet lag, set up a few last minute things, and have spent the rest of the day spending time with the family. Melissa and I are going out later to do some shopping....things I didn't pack because I knew I could get them here.
Oh! I almost forgot. They pushed school back a day. I was supposed to have teacher orientation today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday) with classes starting on Monday. But several other teachers were coming in as late as I did. So orientation is Friday and Monday, and classes start Tuesday. Praise God! He knew I needed another day!
Wow, this is a long post! Congratulations if you made it all the way through it! I'll try to be more succinct in the future! Until next time....