So, I last left off when we were in the desert. It was very hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. We were there a bit too long, but I had a good time, even if la madre didn't. We saw all the sights (and then some), played hundreds of games of Rummy, and got lots of sunburns. The stars at night were incredible (as I said before, we were in the middle of nowhere...) and the sky was BLACK. But, I'm never going back.
After San Pedro, we went back to Talca for a few days. One of the nights we were there we cooked an American meal for my first and next host family. We made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. It was quite the adventure. We went downtown with Chanel and Matias to buy a suitcase for her to take back, plus all of the groceries. We bought a giant red suitcase first, rolled that around the streets of Talca, and upon entering the supermercado, we wheeled it around the store in the cart. Then we had to find all the special things to make our food, which took ten years. And then! We had to take all of the bags from the store AND that lovely red suitcase on the tiny little micro back to our house. There was no room, it was about 90 degrees, and we were a Chilean boy, a black girl, a white girl, and a very american mother (all carrying a big red suitcase and groceries). So, we filled the suitcase with all of our bags and basked in the stares. There was enough food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day.
And after everyone left, Chanel was bringing all the dishes in from the patio. I watched her pick up the plate of chips. I watched her walk towards the sliding glass door. I noted that it was closed. I hear the bang and I watched her fall backwards onto the ground before I, too, fell to the ground laughing. Probably funniest moment ever.
The next day I packed all of my stuff to move host families. Like, all of it. I don't live there anymore!! I'm sad. Chanel has replaced me. Then, at 12:30 we went to the bus station and went to Valdivia for a couple nights. It's a German influenced town on the coast down south and it was really pretty. One of the days we were there we took a boat tour of the seven rivers that they have. And that was also the night of elections for the new Chilean President. Piñera beat Frei... Everyone was hanging out of their cars with flags and honking and singing and shouting and screaming and dancing and celebrating. I like it when they have something to celebrate. It's always so much fun.
After Valdivia, we went to Villarrica- the lake district. Favorite area in Chile. It's very similar to Washington in that it has trees and mountains and lakes and rivers all over. But it's somehow way prettier. It has this volcano. too. It's the most active in Chile and it's more than 9,000 feet high. Oh, and we climbed it! Whoo-hoo. And the next day we went river rafting which was also amazing! And then we went off into the middle of the forests to my birthday hotel! We were originally going to stay in the Magic Mountain one, but they put us in the giant tree house hotel! It was like a fairytale. EVERYTHING was wood. The trim was sticks. The walls were wood. The coasters were wood. The pictures were sticks. The railings were logs. It was built on tree stumps. Everything. And it was built with a spiral ramp up the middle and there was a tree growing up the center with a waterfall at the bottom. It was basically just huge and amazing and comfortable and amazing amazing amazing. On my birthday we went zippy lining in the forest and then went hiking and then spent the rest of the day at the spa before we went to dinner. They made me a cake and sang Happy Birthday, too! So, now I'm 18. Whoooooo. Bring it on.