After a 12 hour flight we arrived in Santiago four hours before we left on Easter Sunday. Crossing the international date line is a very strange thing. We fared alright on the flight using the little Spanish we knew to order drinks so thought this wasn´t a bad start. We were pretty much whisked to our home stay by taxi so trying to listen to Spanish when you are very tired is pretty hard. Managed to string a sentence together saying we were tired and then went to catch up on some sleep. Our family seems very nice there is only Monica and her daughter who is four so not too many people to worry about conversing with. After the first meal which was very good vegetarian food we were some what frustrated after understanding next to nothing she asked. This hasn´t really improved that much either.
As soon as we arrived at school the next day we were handed an exam full of verbs something we did not understand but luckily there was another girl there who felt the same so we built up a rapour straight away. The people in the school are great and we have made lots of friends some who speak Spanish very well which always helps when we go out even though it does stop us speaking as much Spanish as we should. Each lesson we are taught so much and we have a hell of a lot of homework. Written spanish is easier to underswtand than spoken as in Chile they speak so fast. The phrase ´Hablo un pocco espanol´ has come in very useful.
We went with school one day to a museum. We were shown round by someone who spoke to us entirely in Spanish manged to catch a few things but found it easier to quickly read the English when she wasn´t looking so as not to offend her. The second part of the museum deffinatelty lightened the mood as it was about people from Peru a long time ago and their sexual perversions. Not sure how much was true as it was all gleamed from the artefacts by one very strange man. The artefacts consisted of naked clay models of men in many different position some that looked very wierd and they must of thought a lot of them as the size of their parts was pretty unbelievable. We all had a laugh though.
On our first solo visit into the centre of Santiago as we were getting off the metro Aaron was pickpocketed. He is an easy target with one arm in a cast. The worst part about it was that he stole both our passports something we can´t even work out why we had. The next minute two locals were talking at us trying to tell us what happened. We were dragged to several different people who tried to help. One of the ladies stuck around to give a description for us but it did no good they were gone. Probably in the bin somewhere. The rest of the day was spent trying to sort it out. The first set of police couldn´t help us as they were guarding the streets as James Bond was visiting. Typical. When we found the police station a form was thrown at us which was at least in English. We then headed off to find the Embassy. We got the forms and returned to school feeling utterly depressed. Aaron was deffinately thinking some one had it in for him. At school we spent the night watching an excellent spanish film and eating Pizza. Just what we needed after all the healthy food we get fed at the house.
Next day we went back to the embassy and handed over 250 pounds so that we could get new passports the day before we fly to Lima. For the rest of the day we didn´t take much in, in class. After all of this we thought that it would be better to take some one from school the next day to get Aarons pot changed as we didn´t fancy doing it on our own the way we were feeling. The doctor was great and it turns out that Aarons break in his wrist has almost healed. The doctor was shocked how well it had healed in a week. This probably explains why he had never broken any thing before. Aaron feeling happy that he might get his cast off cheered up only to end up with a new cast that strapped up his thumb up as well and left him with practically no movement in his fingers as it turns out he also broke a very important bone in his thumb. We dare not tell him that his finger on his other hand is broken. He wouldnt be able to do very much with both hands strapped up. We have to go back next week so we will hopefully sort that out then.
At the weekend we headed out of the city to Vin De Mar and Valpariso with a group of friends. On Saturday night we went out for drinks and food and ended up in a little locals bar where they only served beer. I reckon this would go down well at home. We did stand out like sore thumbs though! The next day we headed for Vaslpariso which is a beautiful place. Very colourful buildings and lots of art all over the buildings. It was very tranquil and a lot slower pace of life. More my sort of place. For once we had no bad luck and had a really good time.
Monday was back to school. I didn´t have a very good day I don´t particularly gel with the teacher. It is a known fact teachers don´t make good students so I thought that was enough for me. I have left Aaron attending on his own. He was a bit apprehensive about this as I am usually the one that whispers him the answers in class. I am sure Claire and Helana will help him out.
Another few days in Santiago and then we head for Pucon for a couple of days. Lots of lakes, mountains and volcanoes to climb. Sounds great.