Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Friday, December 27

Today I got up around 10 and went for a run, and then packed up and got ready for the day. Around 2, Katie W came over to my house and we then walked all the way over to the Homecenter shopping center. It was nice to catch up with Katie after not being alone with her for such a long time, and she was also in a really good mood today because we were going to pick up her real parents from the airport that night. In the shopping center, she bought some gifts for her parents, and we bought gifts for the white elephant gift exchange we were doing with the other Rancagua exchange students today. We took a micro back to Katie’s house and waited there for Sally to arrive. Then we all went in collectivo to Katie H’s house where the party was being held. We tried to catch a collectivo all together, but there was none with 3 seats available, so finally I let Katie and Sally go together and I went alone. It was a little nerve wracking because we didn’t know exactly how to describe where we were going and I had only been to her house twice before, but I ended up making it there okay. When we arrived, Pierre, Nigel, Julius, and Katie H were already there sitting in the backyard and talking. We talked for a while, and ate cafĂ© helados, and then played a long and intense game of boys vs. girls soccer. We all took our shoes off to play in the grass because some people were in sandals and it wouldn’t have been fair. Half way through the game, I stepped on a bee and it stung the bottom of my second toe. It hurt pretty badly, but I just rested for like 10 minutes then put shoes on and joined the game again because it had stopped hurting fast. Later, we were all dying of heat stroke, so we went swimming for a while. Then we did the white elephant exchange and ate completos while talking for a while. I really like the other exchange students (even the boys and Christine whom I don’t get to see very often because they live farther away) and I have an awesome time with them. Around 9, Katie W and I left and took a collectivo over to the bus station, then took a bus to Santiago while we watched Pitch Perfect. We then took a taxi from the bus station to the airport and got there around 11. We bought some sodas to wake us up and Katie bought a big paper to make a sign and we sat on the floor and watched the rest of Pitch Perfect while Katie made a welcome sign. Around 12:30, when their plane was supposed to land, we went over to this hallway of glass windows that overlooks the baggage claim so that we would be sure to see them right away. We were so excited to see them (well Katie was excited to see them and I was excited to see how happy Katie would be when she met them), that the minutes dragged by like hours and we just made short, nervous conversation, while Katie kept her eyes glues to the hallway where people were coming out. Finally after what seemed like forever, they came out and saw Katie and me waiting above. I had Katie’s camera and I took pictures of all their reactions. Then we went downstairs to actually greet them, and although no one cried or screamed, it was still cute to see their reunion after 4 months apart. Then I met each of them, and without thinking, I greeted each one with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and they were all pretty weirded out, but I couldn’t stop myself. I feel like it would be more uncomfortable now not to kiss someone on the cheek when you see them. We took a bus to the hotel because it was too late to pick up the rental car, and the conversation was pretty normal. I think because they talk on Skype so much, a huge debrief and “I missed you” session wasn’t really necessary.
We got into the hotel rooms (I shared a room with Katie and her brother Cameron) around 2 am and her parents immediately went to sleep. We stayed up longer. I helped Katie plan where she wanted to take her family in Santiago the next day, and then Cameron caught Katie up on all the drama that went on in their town while she’s been away. I was pretty tired, so once we all got in bed they kept talking but I went to sleep.

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