Lost in the beauty surrounding me, I found myself staring out into the endless mountains around me and just being captivated by the silence of nature. I was in constant "awe" of the incredible views of the gorgeous water and glistening snow. Before going to the Andes, I was very nervous about being able to keep up with everyone and complete the hike. I soon realized that it didn't matter if I was able to keep up with everyone, but do it at my own pace and be able to enjoy every second of it. Going at a slower pace than majority of our group, I was able to stop and really take in the scenery surrounding me. I was able to talk to locals about the mountains and listen to others stories about what brought them here. I learned that a father was watching his son kayak across the water, set up camp in the mountains, and then continue to climb up to the very peak! At one point I decided to just lay down on a flat part of the trail and just really embrace being in the Andes Mountains. While laying there, it made being in the Andes so surreal because for a good amount of time, I was able to just enjoy the nature around me without worrying about falling off the edge of the mountains. Accomplishing this 7 mile hike through the Andes was a huge accomplishment for me. I surpassed the mental block in my head and kept trekking on!
On Sunday, we were able to go to Valparaiso which is a port on Chile's coast. Just like how I was captivated by the beauty of the Andes, I was just as captivated by the coast. Arriving just before the sun went down, the sky around me was an array of vibrant colors. Looking out into the Pacific Ocean, it reminded me of a familiar place called Mexico. I suddenly had this feeling of peace and serenity take over my body, and a part of me likes to think it was my Grandma letting me know that she was with me in Chile. While on the beach, I saw a local fisherman take some starfish out of the water and put them on some rocks. Being curious about what he was doing, I decided to put my Spanish skills to the test. I asked him what he was doing with the starfish and why he was taking them out of their home. He began to tell me that the starfish was used for some sort of medicine and that was really interesting to me. Although it was interesting, me being me, I had to tell him he should leave the starfish alone and let them live their lives back in the ocean. I began to walk away after our conversation ended, but then Oscar the fisherman came up to me and told me that I could release the starfish back into the ocean! This was how Oscar made his living, and the fact that he allowed me to put these creatures back into their home made me beyond ecstatic.
23 | Senior | Exceptional Education | Alpha Epsilon Phi | Musician | Optimist | Adventure seeker | Lover of books and trying new food |