You make me brave…
This has kind of been the theme for these past three days. It’s crazy that I have only been here for three days but I have fallen in love with this city and the people I have met so far. Let me start from the beginning.
I have to be quite honest, I was an emotional wreck on the plane. I tried to be brave and all adventurous but once I started boarding the plane, my stomach started turning. I immediately texted some of my closest friends and they gave me some encouraging words and prayed for me over text. I don’t know why I got so emotional as we were taking off. I think I was just nervous about everything that was going to happen and the unknown. I immediately put on “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel, which only made me cry more, haha, but was also calming. My flight was fine and I got maybe three hours of sleep which was rough. Friday morning, I landed, went through customs and Julian and John picked me up. The temperature was about 38 degrees, which I thought felt amazing, while Julian and John were in coats. I think I might have some of my dad’s Colorado blood in me, haha. We went to breakfast and talked about life here in Santiago. Then I met my host family, Lillian and Francisco, who live in Las Condes, a neighborhood outside of Santiago, like how Cypress is to Houston. They were immediately welcoming and showed me my room and own bathroom (wow!). I slept for about five hours due to my three hours of sleep before and then had once with my host famiy. Once is similiar to tea time in England. We had hot tea and completos. Here’s a picture:
I know, I know. It sounds disgusting. Now, I hate hate hate tomatoes and mayonnaise, but I was not about to offend my family and I wanted to eat like a Chileano. It was actually pretty dang good! After once, Julian and his family picked me up and we went to the mall and ate dinner in the food court. I had McDonald’s because well, I had no idea what else to eat. I was dropped off and went to bed.
Saturday, I slept for almost TWELVE hours! I was exhausted. Luckily, Lillian told me I could sleep in the night before because we were going to lunch at 1:30pm, which is weirdly a normal time for them. They took me to this lovely restaurant at like a country club, sort of. The meal was pretty simple and nothing crazy but the best part was dessert! I had a torta de merengue lúcuma.
Pretty much a traditional cake with layers of a crumbly shortbread, whip cream and a fruit called, lúcuma, a native fruit that tastes like maple and caramel. So good! Unfortunately, the coffee they serve does not come with milk so I forced myself to drink it because I didn’t want to be a nuissance and ask for milk. Overall, lunch was great and conversation with my host family is pretty light while practically playing Charades because they don’t speak English and I speak little Spanish. It’s quite entertaining! The rest of the day, I watched Netflix, rested and FaceTimed about nine people, haha. If you want to FaceTime, I am always up for it, just let me know!
Today was so great! I went to their Baptist church and was introduced to a family from Oregon, who are missionaries. I have to say I nearly cried from excitement that I could have a full conversation in English. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the challenge of learning Spanish but it’s so nice to hear English. I attended an English Bible study class and then attended worship with Jessica, Julian’s wife, Julian and their three kids, whom I absolutely adore! This church has about 200 members, which is very different from my home church of about 5000 members but I have never felt so welcomed and loved on by the people there. After a few songs and a welcome by Julian, we starting singing some more and I had to hold my tears back from feeling so emotional by the congregation. I don’t know why it makes me so emotional but everyone was so kind and full of hugs and kisses, and I could feel the Holy Spirit in the room. Plus, hearing 200 people singing to the Lord in Spanish was a moment I will never forget. After church, my host family and I drove into the Andes mountains to visit her daughter and her family for lunch. For lunch, we had an asado, which is like a barbeque, and oh my goodness. Just look.
This food was so amazing. And what’s crazy is they only use sea salt to cook it with! Texas could definitely learn in their footsteps! We took a few pictures and enjoyed each other’s company with essert, torta de tres leches.
I was so thankful for Franscesca since she spoke English and helped communicate to her family for me. Overall, these past few days have been filled with some ups and downs but today, was amazing. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about how loving my host family has been and all the people who have been so welcoming. The Lord has provided me with two amazing second families, the Pizarros and Lillian and Francisco, and moments to speak in English when I was feeling overwhelmed. It’s only been three days and Chile already has a part of my heart. These next 50 something days are going to be filled with many emotions but ultimately, filled with the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your prayers and the number one prayer would have to be my Spanish skills, haha!