Finally landed in Arica after 30 hours in transit and one missed flight!
This country is absolutely beautiful and the weather is fantastic: Cool air, sunny, and right next to the beach. I really like the set up of the SIT programs because we have a 4 day orientation before we begin classes and therefore have the chance to get to know the city and learn a few “Chilenismos” (slang) before we begin our home stays/semesters.
On Homestays: Yesterday we received small presents and letters from our new families and found out where we are going to live in Arica for the next 8 weeks. I will have a new madre, padre, hermana, abuela, y prima. Estoy muy emocionada! I feel very welcomed and cannot wait to meet everyone (including the dog!)
Drop-off: Today was a super fun day because we got to explore the city with a partner! My partner and I were assigned the farthest location (Terminal Agro) and at first I was a little nervous, but it turned out to be sooo much fun! Asking strangers for directions in Arica is extremely easy because the people in this city are extremely caring. We ended up taking a “collectivo” (a taxi cab similar to super shuttle that is super cheap– anywhere you want for $1) to el mercado and explored the northern part of the city. We tried a fruit specific to Arica called the “chilimoya”, which is a sweet fruit with the texture of an avocado. yum
On learning spanish: Although I meet the requirements for this program, understanding spansih es muy dificil!!! I’m definitely not the worst in my class (I somehow have an ok accent), but I really really need to learn more vocab. I’ve been getting a lot better at conjugating verbs and writing, but still need a lot of help with my listening skills. Nonetheless, I was talking to a few students at the University the other day and they said that my spanish was pretty good! I just have to keep reminding myself that it is only day 4 and that I have plenty of time to get better. Meanwhile, I definitely have enough skill to feed myself and find my way around the city (which is better than most, ha!)
Can’t wait until I meet my host family!!
- Cerca de la playa corazones