Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Friday, January 24

Today I woke up early and went for a run. Then when I got back to the house everyone was packing and preparing to leave. The program that had invited Maxi to the US as a translator for the team of Chilean underprivileged kids who are going to compete in a robotics competition was having a meeting today in a town called San Carlos that is about 2 hours south of Talca. We had a quick lunch in Talca and then all 9 of us piled into the car and drove the distance to San Carlos. When we arrived, there was a huge group of people waiting for us including the leaders of the program, the principal of the school, and all the kids who were there every day all day for 6 weeks building the robot.
They gave us a presentation on the program, the competition, Los Angeles (my favorite part of the presentation), and Maxi’s role as a translator. Then we went into another room where the kids demonstrated the robot and explained the mechanics behind it. Then Eric made a speech about how thankful he was for the opportunity they were giving Maxi and then he asked me to give a speech about California. I just said how excited I was for Maxi to see my culture and my home in person because it’s impossible to communicate everything there is to know about a place or a culture through just words and pictures. After the meeting the kids came around and chatted with Maxi and I for a while and I even got to drive the robot. Then we left and made our way down another 2 hours to a town called Salto de Laja. We rented a tiny cabana on the side of this really gorgeous waterfall. By the time we got there it was kind of late and we were all starving, so we fired up the grill outside the cabana and had a barbecue.
It was great to spend some quality time talking to my family and we were all in really good moods. Then we walked down from the cabin to the bridge overlooking the waterfall and through the artisan fairs that were along the side of the road. We were all together, talking and laughing, and I felt truly happy and truly in my family. It was a great night. Then when we got home, we sat around talking and drinking mate a while longer before going to sleep around 2.

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