Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sunday, May 4

We had to wake up at 5:30 today to be out the door and on the way to the airport by 6. We got to the airport by 6:30 and began the happy greeting process with the exchange students. It’s great that we’ve been able to see so much of each other lately. We checked in, went through security, and then waited at the gate to get on the plane while drifting in between groups and catching up with everyone. There were also new people to meet—the district from the north of Chile had sent about 10 people on the trip whom we had never met before. They fit in pretty quickly though because all exchange students are just automatically friends by nature. We got on the plane and it just so happened that Katie W and I were sitting next to each other.
We talked to the people around us while the plane took off, and then everyone stopped talking and settled in for the 6 hour ride. There was a personal screen in the headrest in front of me with movies on it, so I watched We Are the Millers and then The Invention of Lying. They were both hilariously funny and I couldn’t stop bursting out laughing and distracting people around me from their movies. After a 6 hour flight completely over the water, we finally caught sight of a tiny island. When we landed on literally the only tarmac there, we started to realize just how small and remote Easter Island really is. We got off the plane and it was humid, sunny, and raining. The tiny baggage claim building made out of wood was cramped with people. When we got out bags and got outside, they put leis around all our necks before we got into busses to take us to the hotel.
We drove across the island to the cabanas where we would be staying the week. In my cabana were Katie W, Madison, Ruth, and Kyla. We claimed beds quickly, changed into shorts, and went to eat lunch because we were all starving. Lunch was good but dessert, this awesome island fruit called Guyaba (or something like that), was better. After lunch they gave us free time to go down to this pool nearby and swim and explore the island. We walked down to the coast from the hotel (5 minutes), and saw our first moais.
They are literally everywhere along the coast of the island. We took pictures with the moais, and then went swimming in this natural pool even though the rocks on the bottom hurt my feet and the water was incredibly salty.
After I got tired of swimming, I got out of the water and joined Katie H and Ruth on their island exploration.
We went up this little cliff and looked out over the water, and then we walked a little ways down the coast to this line of 5 moais and sat in front of it and marveled at where we actually were for a little while.
I kept having to pinch myself to realize that I was actually seeing these moais, the things that you see on TV and in pictures all the time, in real life. Also, the island in general is just absolutely gorgeous. The greens are greener, the sky is a gorgeous blue, and the water literally sparkles. I had already fallen in love. We walked home and hung out by the pool talking to people for a while before dinner. After dinner, we all stayed up until about 11 just talking to each other and enjoying each others’ company. I love all the exchange students so much, and it’s hard to think that this trip is the last time that we will all ever be together.

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