I got through it.
Fast forward to the morning just before landing. Beautiful sunrise replaces scary storm.
Sigh of relief.
We were welcomed by three representatives from ESCELA. We had a small breakfast in the airport before boarding a van. We were dropped off to our individual host families. OF COURSE my stop was first. If I didn't have Alexia by my side, I would have been freaking out at this point. Heart racing, palms sweaty, weak knees. Our host madre was waiting outside for us, waving as the van pulled up. Already a good sign. She has been nothing by accommodating for us both. She doesn't understand me and I don't understand her, but thanks to Alexia translating, we have been able to manage. I feel a little lost, like a fish out of water, when the two of them are speaking Spanish with one another and a little like a burden when I need to ask, "what did she say?" But it is good. I need to be around it and I need to experience it. I can't learn if I don't put myself out there. That is just what this trip is about. Not just to dip my toes in, but to jump right in. No regrets.
Alexia, host madre and I took a walk around the neighborhood. We walked to the park. What a beautiful park it was. So many dogs & children running and playing. An abundance of playground equipment, a guy walking a tightrope (what?!), people boxing, fountains, several bicyclists and runners. Alexia and I have decided this will be our morning run route. Not only are there running paths but there is also "adult" playground equipment for exercising. It looks exactly like the playground equipment but it is in fact arm, leg and ab machines. Amazing motivation to get up and move every morning. Santiago, Chile must take pride in staying active. Not only do they have this beautiful park, but they have bicycle rentals and on weekend mornings they even shut down some of the roads for children to bike on with their parents. Coming from a place where video games have taken over, it is nice to know that somewhere someone still takes the time to get outside, enjoy all that nature has to offer and move. Today got me more excited to explore the city of Santiago. More specifically, trekking up San Cristobal Hill and hiking the Andes Mountains. I can see them both in the distance and can hear them calling my name. Both on my must do list. Keep you posted!