¡Empieza la aventura!

today began with me sliding off the LAN Airlines sleep mask to peer through my aisle-mates’ window and see the sunrise blazing over the Andes. I disembarked to a foggy, cold morning; winter’s last vestiges are still hanging around here. and I am here, finally, in Chile, right now perched on my bed, in Diego and Sarah’s apartment, my window overlooking the city of Viña, Valparaiso and the ocean.

such a beautiful view from the living room today: Viña, Valpo and the water down below.

this afternoon, between my four hour post-arrival nap and the tonight’s church youth group service, Sarah and Diego showed me through downtown Viña. I had my first Chilean empanada (stuffed with marisco–seafood); we walked by the beach (always too cold for swimming, but popular for sunbathing); they instructed me to feed, but never pet, the street dogs (fleas).

today’s new friends include friendly Chilean girls and fellow gringas from church, but also this little one: Nina. she has lovingly baptized me in her fur. it is nice to have found a cuddle bud so quickly.

she is six months old and one clingy gatito.

tomorrow may bring bike rides, more Viña exploration, new friends and new words galore (Sarah is making me a list of Chilenismos–they have so many idiosyncrasies here!). now: sleeeeeep. buenas noches a mis amigos gringos. les quiero a ustedes y les extraño. buenas noches, Chile.

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