How quickly things become familiar. Right now, sitting rugged up in thermal underwear, I am in my room, in my bed, looking out a window onto a bougainvillea that is now a familiar sight. Just 48 hours ago, it was an unknown view.
Just 48 hours ago we landed in Santiago after 27 hours of travel and found our way to 1239 Keller in Providencia, Santiago; the home of Stella and Francisco, our hosts for three weeks.
The house is locked behind a tall wall and gate. There was no one home – except a cat sitting on a square of cardboard near the front door, and a dog which looked lonely.
Had we arrived on the right day? At the right house? What on earth where we doing thinking we could come to South America and learn a language at our age? And what for?
It started to rain.
Then, around the corner came a jolly looking woman and two young adults.
We looked at each other, could this be our hosts? As it turned out is was; it was Stella and two of her children. After kisses from everyone, we are ushered into our new home. Past the cat we go accompanied by a barrage of Spanish. Thank goodness the kids came to our rescue and spoke English.
Francisco Junior is an engineer. Our discussions ranged from the making of mate, a drink something like tea, to gently correcting us when we said though this was our first time in South America, but that we had been to America. No, we were told, we were now in South America, and we had been to North America. The continent, he said, is America.
And since then we have noticed a fellow student who hails from North America introduces himself as being from the United States. We have learnt to say that we are from OURstralia, not AUStralia.
It doesn’t take long for things to become familiar.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!