My first day!
Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
17Trip End Jul 26, 2009
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Where I stayed
The taxi van took five of us International Student Exchange Program students to our host families. The drive was about an hour and a half, and my stop was first. I got out of the van and was quickly greeted by my host mother, Margarita, her dog, Clifford, and my host father, Oscar. They welcomed me with a hug and kiss on the cheek (their way of greeting others) and motioned me inside
A little later in the afternoon, the two sons came to visit for lunch. I met Oscar (27), who cooked the barbecue, Pablo (23), and his girlfriend Genifer. They are expecting a baby and Oscar, the dad, is very excited! They have a very different way of preparing meals. We actually started eating at a little kitchen table while Oscar was still cooking. Once he finished something, like hot dogs or steak, he would cut it up and everyone would try some. Also, Margarita fixed Empanadas con Mariscos (kind of like hot pockets with fish inside). They were very delicious! Everyone toasted me with some red wine, and we finally sat down at a different table to enjoy our meal of salad, potatoes, corn, rice, steak, chicken, sausage, and papaya
After lunch, Pablo, Margarita, and I played Wii Sports while everyone else took a nap and did their own separate things. We stopped when Pablo realized that he was missing his futbol (soccer) game on T.V.! I went to my room to unpack, and soon after Margarita and Oscar (the dad) took me on a driving tour through Vina del Mar and to the seaport of Valparaiso. It was so neat, even through the rain. The streets here are very narrow and steep because everything seems to be on hills or mountains.
I'm retiring to bed early tonight. I will probably fall asleep watching Madagascar in Spanish (it's on the Disney Channel right now)! Margarita will be taking me to Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso at 9 AM for my orientation.
(P.S. Paul and Hannah, I've seen several Chevy's and Hyundai's today. Don't worry, I'll keep looking! Their condiments come in bags, not bottles. Oil and Vinegar are served with salads, and mayonaise and ketchup are used a lot for dipping meats (instead of steak sauce).)