Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wednesday, December 4

Today we woke up early and ate a big breakfast in the hotel. Then we took the bus over to this forest. We walked through the forest to a beach and we all got on a big boat.
We traveled on the boat for about an hour while I plugged my iPod into the speakers and we jammed out to super old music from our childhood like the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys. It was pretty cool to learn that the German and French kids watched the same kids TV shows and listened to the same music when they were little. I felt really connected with them when we were singing those old songs. After about an hour we all braved the freezing cold and wind to go outside and look around.
We were at Glacier Grey, a famous glacier. It was this amazing blue color that I can’t describe, and it was absolutely massive. We went around it a few times and took about a million pictures. Then on the way back, we were all hanging out on the top deck and people from each different country sang their national anthem and we had a competition to see who could sing theirs more loudly and proudly. The Germans won by a lot.
When we got back we hiked back through the forest and got back to the bus to go to a restaurant nearby for a pretty lunch surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Then we left the park and got back on the bus to return to Punto Natales. When we got back we left our stuff in the same hotel we were in before and then went to walk around the town some more. We stopped in this adorable little chocolate cafĂ© and I drank a coffee and bought a chocolate bar for Nancy’s birthday (which was today). We went back to the hotel and some of us changed into shorts and sports bras (or boxers for the guys) and went down to the beach outside the hotel. We were all shivering in the cold and wind but we wanted to go swimming in the almost Antarctic waters just to say we had done it. We all met at the beach, left our towels on the shore, and ran together screaming into the water. We all dunked our heads before running back out. We did this three times until our whole bodies were red from the cold and there was a crowd of random people watching us. Then we went back to the hotel and Katie and I left our clothes on and jumped together into the arm shower just to stop shivering! Then after we showered and got dressed, the whole group walked to a local place to get dinner. When they served us dinner I was disappointed because it was steak and French fries. I asked them if there was another option for vegetarians, and after looking very put out, they agreed to make me spaghetti. I waited a long time and they finally brought out this spaghetti. After one bite I almost had to spit it out because it was so salty. I decided I would just eat cereal in the hotel later, but then the counselor walked by and asked me why I wasn’t eating after I’d caused such a stink about wanting something else (which I hadn’t I had only asked nicely). I told her it was salty and she looked angry with my pickiness until I told her to try it. She took one bite and apologized to me immediately and sent it back to the kitchen. Finally, after everyone else had already been done eating for a while, they brought me a salad and I ate gratefully. Then, a few of the exchange students got up on the stage (it was like a little mom and pop restaurant and we were the only ones there) and started dancing. One of them came over to my table and tried to get me to come up and dance. I said no and when he tried to drag me I held onto my chair. Then he and another guy literally picked up me and my chair and carried me to the stage and made me dance.
We danced the cha-cha slide, and cotton eyed Joe, and the Macarena in front of everyone. Then we went back to the hotel and got out our flags (I bought a Patagonia flag) and trading pins and everyone went around and traded pins for their blazers and signed people’s flags. We were down in the lobby till 1 singing and having a good time. I had so many great memories with these people that I could probably write each one a novel on their flag which is crazy considering how short of a time I’ve known them!

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