Monday, June 11, 2007

The Adventure Begins May 12, 2007

May 12th, 2007

The adventure begins! We’re on a Delta flight to Santiago, Chile. In nine hours, we will reach Arturo Benitez International airport at 7:30 a.m. Much of the flight will be at night so it will feel much quicker., I hope.

May 13, 2007

I awake to see the sunrise over the Andes, the huge peaks, clearly outlined. My heart beats a little faster. Omigosh, I'm really in Chile. We embark exactly on time. We go to pick up our bags and move toward customs. A woman in a uniform asks if we are Norte Americano and directs us to special, shorter line.

After a couple different lines, Helia picks us up in the Jeep Michael had her her purchase for us. How funny to see the Chilean license plates. On the ride from Santiago, there are so many strange plants and flowers along the roadside, yet some are very familiar. Red maples and giant Aloe Vera plants. Helia points out a homemade shrine at the side of the road and tells a story about a woman with a baby in the desert. People made her a saint and now bring her bottles of water. There are hundreds of bottles.

We pull up to the house we rented. It has a wrought iron fence around it and the driveway is inside the fence. It has three bedrooms and one bathroom and a funny little propane gas heater in the living room. It’s quite small, like a 1950s era house in the US. A tiny kitchen, with the refrigerator in a back room off the kitchen-the Chilean way! The yards in the neighborhoods are very tidy and there’s a tiny store across the street.

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