Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mama Bear

Mama Bear is here! Mama Bear is here! It doesn't really seem like she's the Mama Bear anymore. More like I am! I have to order the food, check in to the rooms, ask for directions, do the grocery shopping... She just says "Hola!" in her wonderful American accent! I love it.

We've had a good time so far. We spent the first week in Vina del Mar in an apartment that we rented. It was about 14 blocks from the beach and a few miles away from where my host family was staying. The first couple of days we just lounged about and she caught up on her sleep/calmed her travels nerves. New Years we spent with my host family, which didn't turn out so good, but was fun nonetheless. We spent days just walking along the streets and exploring. Every time we passed a tree or a house, she would stop and try and figure out what the name of the plant was, comment on how her garden would look so much better, or marvel at the spikes on all the iron fences. Then she would start walking again, trip on the unlevel, holey, cracked sidewalks, and then laugh until she saw another flower or fence. It was a lazy week.

After Vina we went to Santiago for two nights. We stayed in the Happy House Hostel, thanks to lovely and it was soooo cool. It had giant (possibly 20 feet) ceilings and intricate molding and trim that they decided to paint hot pink to contrast with the light pink walls. "This is the pink room. The girls just love it." We spent the two days we were there walking around Santiago and going to all the main attractions. She HAD to go to the Post Office in the Plaza de Armas and we went into the Cathedral there, too. Then we went to La Moneda and Cerro Santa Lucia (Capital Building and a giant hill). Both nights we were there, I left her to go to going away parties for all the exchange students that leave this month. The second night I got home right in time to bring our bags down to the street and go to the airport to catch our 5:30 flight to San Pedro de Atacama.

And here we are, in the middle of the Atacama desert, the driest desert in the world, sunburnt and wishing we were at the beach! Don't get us wrong, it's really amazing here. The mountains are giant and the desert is actually really pretty, despite it's ridiculous dryness and monotony. We saw the famous church from here, went biking into the desert where I got a flat tire, climbed ancient ruins and hills, bathed in the hot springs and walked through the markets. Today we're moving rooms, biking to a lake, watching the sun set in the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) and tomorrow we're going to Satar de Atacama or the salt flats to see the flamingos and float in a pool of water with 40% salt. And then we're back to Santiago via plane and then down South to Talca via train!


  1. Ohhhhhhh, I wish I was with my sister and little
    niece; who has an 18th birthday coming up!!!!!
    Should I mail your card to your mom's or wait until graduation???
    Pretend like I'm with you. I would cook for you!!!!!(Ha Ha) Sounds amazing. Should we move there, Kelli? Sounds
    better than Lk Stevens for sure.
    Ok be careful beautiful girls and do something fun for me!!!!!!!

    Love you

  2. Emily,
    I love you! I am glad your having such a good time there. hahaha I could imagine your mom walking down the street making all the little kelli comments :) I hear that your going to stay in a neat resort for your eighteenth -I wish I knew an address for you so I could mail you a birthday card. okay well I am thinking about you and have missed your peaceful fun loving influences over at the koch residence...I someday want an update on chile and this new australia plan ? FELIZ CUMPLEANOS A TI.
    LOVE!!!!!! Amber