Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday, May 7

Today we woke up early again and ate breakfast, preparing for another full day of exploring the island. We split into 3 different groups and went on this super long hike.

First we explored caves under ground. We had to crawl and try not to slip and fall and even at one point we had to climb directly upward out of a hole in the ceiling to get back to the path.
We followed the path through fields of green and around the edge of the island with the deep blue water smashing against its cliffs. I walked for a long time with Evan from the US, Victor from Denmark, and Alex from Germany. They’re all super smart and politically aware kids, and the amazing discussion we had about world politics and the different philosophies on what politics are correct and incorrect around the world is an experience I will never forget. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of talking to people from other parts of the world because their points of view are so different and so interesting. After the hike, we went back to the hotel and had the whole afternoon free.
A bunch of us went down to the center (giant trucks drive by and you can just stop them and jump into the back and they’re usually nice people who will take a group of 15 exchange students down to the center of town).
First, we drank some freshly squeezed juices in this little cafĂ©, and then we started the souvenir shopping. We bought stuff for ourselves, our host families, and our families at home, which ended up being a whole lot of buying. My favorite purchase was a Rapa Nui sweatshirt. I always see Chilean exchange students who went to the US with their Disneyland sweatshirts and whatnot and I finally have a cool sweatshirt to wear in the US when I return. I also bought about 50 million postcards (they’re what I collect). We also brought our passports and got them stamped with the official Easter Island stamp in the post office.
Rapa Nui people do not consider themselves Chilean, and most do not like the fact that Easter Island is a part of Chile.
After spending a long time buying everything we needed, we walked back to the hotel to eat dinner. During dinner, Pascuense dancers came in and did a traditional dance show for us. After dinner, we hung out with our friends talking and chilling for a while before going to sleep.

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