Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wednesday, April 9

Today I woke up feeling refreshed after sleeping for so long. Everyone asked me how I was doing at school, and I could honestly say that my side felt a lot better. The pain was manageable at least. School was nothing special, but when I got home I had a lot of packing waiting for me because today was the day that I was going to change host families. I already had all my clothes packed into one suitcase, but there was a whole lot more to my room and my life here in Chile than just clothes. I threw toiletries, books, shoes, school notebooks, and millions and millions of souvenirs into suitcases, duffel bags, and finally I just started using grocery bags to stuff everything in. I finished with 2 full suitcases, a big duffel bag, 2 full cardboard boxes, and 4 shopping bags full of stuff. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to narrow that stuff down to fit into two suitcases when I return to the US. After I finished, I ate dinner with Maxi and Monse, and then I kind of just tried to waste time quickly. I played the Rio play station game with Monse. I felt sort of weird knowing that this house that felt so familiar to me would no longer be mine in a few hours. It was hard to think that the family in it, who had given me so much, taught me so much, and with whom I had been through the hardest and best 8 months of my life, would also no longer be mine. I called my new family and asked when they would arrive, and they said in about 20 minutes. I went and got the framed photos and letters I had written for my family, and called them all into the kitchen. I wanted to say how much I loved them and was grateful for everything they had done and that even though we had our differences and our misunderstandings that they were the best thing that has happened to me in Chile and they have had a huge part in shaping the person I have become here in Chile, but I just gave them the pictures, said “Los quiero mucho” and burst into tears. I felt kind of dumb, but then I saw that Eric and Nancy also had tears in their eyes. They told me that they loved me too and that their home and family would always be mine too. I really do think we have the type of relationship that can continue once I leave. I want to see them at my wedding. Around 9:30, Sally and her mom and dad finally arrived. We unloaded all of her stuff from the car, loaded mine in, hugged and said goodbye again (I was crying a little bit), and then I got into the car and left my old house and my old Chilean reality behind and started a new adventure in a new family. We talked on the way home, and then when we got to their house, they helped me unload my incredible amount of stuff, and sat on my bed and talked to me while I started the unpacking process. It was so late though, that I unpacked only my clothes and then went to sleep because I had school in the morning. I didn’t really get the chance to talk too much with the new family because it was so late, but I guess I have plenty of time to get to know them now. A little background—I am now once again the only child. Their only daughter is currently studying abroad in the United States. Her name is Fran and I actually got to meet her back at the beginning of my exchange when Cristobal was here. My parents are named Manual and Lilian, and the last name is Stange Camus. Manuel is a retired police officer and Lilian works as a secretary for Pepsi. In the house, they have a room downstairs, and I have a private room and bathroom on the second floor. Basically I have the whole second floor to myself because I am the only one who goes up there. I’m excited about the food they will serve me here because first of all Lilian doesn’t bake so many desserts, so I might actually have a chance of losing some of the weight I’ve gained, and second because for both breakfast and dinner they serve me a simple piece of bread with avocado and cheese on top. That is honestly my favorite food in Chile. That’s honestly all I know about my family so far!

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