Just arrived in Santiago and learned my very first travel lesson - do not take a cab if you don't know how much it should cost and if there is no official company it's related to (I paid almost double what I should have). Actually, no - that wasn't the first lesson. Lesson number one was take every opportunity you can to go to the bathroom - public bathrooms are just not a thing in South America.
The first thing I did was meet a friend of a friend at the university where she lectures and go out for lunch with her. She told me all about the messed up Chilean education system; the history, the implications it had in the past, recent developments and people's thoughts on it. Being an archaeology professor I also learned about her current research project on the movement of peoples in the pacific by looking and plants and the spread of various plant materials used in different ways. A very educational lunch. I was also educated in Chilean eating habits. No proper breakfast, a pastry outside the metro station at about 10, a big hot lunch at about 3 or 4 and a small dinner later - around 9 or 10. We'll see if I adapt or not. It's already 11 now and Andrea (the woman I am staying with) is still working...but I need to sleep.
The flight was not terrible but there was a baby in the seat in front of mine that has a GREAT arm - every couple of hours a headphone or biscuit or pillow would come flying over the headrest to land in my lap. His poor parents were so embarrassed, but it was generally pretty adorable.
So, day one - I feel like my little sister when she was 6 years old at the top of a fairground ride about to be dropped at great speed. She looked over at me and said "Jule, I don't want to do this anymore..." - that is me now. I have no idea what I have gotten myself into and I don't even know if I want to be here but the big sister voice in my head says "well, you're here now, you wanted this for a long time, just do it. You'll be ok. In fact, you'll be more than ok - maybe instead if falling, you'll fly". So here we go blackbird, let's fly.