It has been a while since I’ve posted, so here are the main events of the past three weeks:
-My dad visited for a weekend
-Glenn (my lovely boyfriend) and Nancy (my lovely friend) visited for a week
-For spring break, I got on a plane and flew two hours south to Puerto Montt, where I began my five-day “Southern Tour of Chile” with my exchange program. (I will talk about this particular mind-blowingness in my next post. I could go on forever about the beauty. I won’t, but I will certainly fill you in on some of my experiences and thoughts.)
It was so very nice to see faces from the United States — from home — and to hug people that I have known for longer than three months (though I love all the hugs I get here in Chile!). They all came here right around the halfway mark of my stay in Chile, which was truly perfect timing. I got to first travel around the city with my dad (who knows how to travel well) and then to show Glenn and Nancy what my Chilean life is like and what I love (and don’t love all the time) about my temporary home!
Of course, it was much easier to say “hello” than “goodbye,” but I gained a little bit of new perspective on my life here because of their visits. As I prepared to receive them, I was planning what to do and see with them. Because I was thinking about how my visitors would perceive my world here, I was kind of seeing it with fresh eyes again for myself: my house, my walk to school, my school itself, the public transportation, the mountains…
And then when they actually arrived, I got to do some of my favorite things in Chile while sharing the experiences with some of my favorite people in the world: eat helado, hike in the Andes, eat dinner with my beautiful host family, tour vineyards, etc. While I am a very big fan of taking time to myself and regularly doing “me” time or, more accurately, “me and Jesus” time, I am also a very big fan of doing life with the people I most care about. I have a busy life here in Santiago, between school and El Oasis and spending time with people — and then you can add the transportation time of about an hour to get anywhere; however, I also have plenty of moments to myself. In those moments, I can let emotions happen and enjoy my reality and reflect on life things and thank God for how good He is to me. I value those moments. But when my estadounidenses came down to visit me, I got to let them into that reality and have quiet moments while sitting next to or across from my people. And I thank God for those times with equal genuineness and contentment.
I stood on top of the tallest building in Latin America and climbed to the top of a hill to stand at the feet of a giant Virgin Mary while my visitors were here. So I literally saw this city from new angles. Their visits also provoked thoughts, though, that gave me a renewed sense of urgency to take advantage of the opportunities unique to this place and time in my life – to learn Spanish in Chile, to invest time in these friendships, to see these sights, to experience (all facets of) the culture. Seeing my Dad and Glenn and Nancy made me think…
I have less than two months left here in Santiago, Chile. When I leave, I know I will miss it. When I leave, I will be returning to all the people in the United States who I miss right now. So in this moment, I am going to let myself miss those people, but, at the same time, I am not going to miss the opportunity to show Santiago love while I’m here. I am here for a reason.
Right where I am is where I belong. Right where you are is where you belong. God’s timing is perfect timing. I will be where I am; now you go be where you are — fully.
Peace and Blessings and Good People and Good Works x
(From Santiago de Chile)