Yesterday was seriously one of the best days ever. The 20 hours I was awake was jam-packed with surprises, new experiences, and savory moments. Want the run down? Well, if you insist...
1- First, Pato and I decided to wake up at 5am and drive to go see the sunrise out in the country (no pictures sorry). We brought our thermo, had our hot tea, boiled eggs, bread, and fruit all while listening to the birds chirp and watching the sunrise over the mountain top.
2- Next, since it was still really early, 8am by now, we decided to go to the beach 20 minutes away and watch the fishermen bring in the morning's catch from the ocean. Being from the Midwest, I have discovered that I am plain ole ignorant in any and all things regarding seafood. We saw them unraveling Hake from the nets, chucking the the pesky little crabs back into the ocean, cleaning out conger eels' heads & pelicans/sea gulls going bonkers watching all of it. It really was quite a scene! I am determined in the next few months to do a photo shoot there.
3- After the beach shores, we jutted inland once more to finish our Christmas shopping at a local outlet mall. Normally, I don't really enjoy shopping like most of the female gender, but I loved this time for two reasons. (1) I had the most scrumptious cup of COFFEE for the first time in over a year. I never drink caffeine anymore, so you can imagine what Pato had to put up with for the rest of the day. (2) We ended up conversing with two store clerks for almost 30 minutes about cultural stereotypes and misconceptions between the Chilean culture and the American. We clarified about how American movies really export a horribly poor image of my nation, how Chileans are total classicists, how Chileans are much more open and affectionate in public arenas, how most Americans perceive Chile, and the like. It was beyond satisfying... and hilarious!
4- By this time, it's almost 2pm, so we went to eat and a quaint little restaurant, then we returned to our apartment. We organized a bit and waited for some close friends to arrive for "once" (in my humble opinion, Chilean version of British tea time). Our guests arrived at 4pm; I introduced them to some homemade cinnamon rolls from the US of A. Who doesn't like cinnamon rolls? Total success. So after the pre-game for three hours, we left for the rockin' party at church for young adult group on Fridays. However, in the middle of the service, we determined that we simply had not had enough time together. I absolutely LOVE Latino culture because there is no "start time" or "end time" determined for outings (some can last 7-8 hours if everyone has the time). So as soon as church ended, we decided to continue with the after-party yet again back at the apartment for some more laughs and numerous rounds of Dutch Blitz. If you are not familiar with Pennsylvanian Dutch ways, I have attached a link for the curious George out there who wants to know: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Blitz> Everyone left after midnight, and we obviously sawed some serious logs around 1am.
Even though I've been involved with Spanish & the Latino culture for over 15 years now, there have still been some intense cultural transitions, more so right at first. It's one thing to study abroad in a country or live with a short-term goal/mentality, but to really create your LIFE in another country is a different ball game. BUT there are always days that are pure treasures. Gold nuggets really.
Yesterday was one of them.