Teaching in Chile with Carolyn McCurdy

By Caroline M., CE Adviser in Chile

¡Estoy aquí!

After a 3 hour flight from Dallas to Atlanta, a 3 hour layover, and a 10 hour flight to Santiago, I finally got here yesterday! And it’s cold. Really cold. Right now it’s about 46˚ and tonight it’s supposed to get down to 28˚. And it’s raining. I have about 4 blankets on my bed right now because the hostel doesn’t have central heating and my bed is right by the window. Considering all the complaining I did about the Texas heat, you would think I would be happy. Turns out that being super cold isn’t all rainbows and hugs either.

I had a really interesting cab ride from the airport. The cab driver picked up on my gringa-tastic Spanish and the fact that it was my first time in Santiago and decided that he could make some money off of me. $80,000 Chilean Pesos seemed a little high to me anyways, but thanks to the tiny calculator in my wallet, I found out that it was about $160 USD for a 20 minute cab ride. That guy really thought that I was an idiot. He even called his boss/fellow con-artist while he was driving so that I would really see that $80,000 was a good rate. I told him I wasn’t paying him any more than $20,000 and that even that was too generous. He told me that he would at least need $30,000 so he wouldn’t get in trouble with his office. Since I just wanted to get the heck out of that cab, I gave it to him. Caroline’s first lesson in Chile: don’t trust the taxi drivers.

After I got here yesterday, I was lucky enough to get a temporary roommate who turned out to be awesome: Melissa from Mexico. She’s in Santiago as part of a study abroad program with her university in Mexico. She and I did some exploring of Santiago yesterday while looking for an apartment for her to rent. It makes me feel so much better that Melissa, a native Spanish speaker, is having a super hard time understanding what these crazy Chileans are saying. Having her around is like having Spanish training wheels; it’s been great exploring Santiago with her. We even tested out the metro, which turned out to be one of the cleanest that I’ve ever been on (it puts Chicago’s to shame). Unfortunately the hostel is full for tonight so she just had to move to another one across town.

Ok, well I’m about to hop in my 2 ft x 2 ft shower before I go explore the city for some lunch. I’m excited about orientation starting soon! But more than anything, I can’t wait to get up north to my new home in (hopefully) Iquique. I’m sure I’ll post another update before the week is over!

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