Good morning! So right now I am at Logan Airport waiting at my gate to board my first flight, which won’t be even boarding for a bit longer. After an anxious night of little sleep, my fiancee and I were picked up at 5:30am by my mom and dad and sister. We made good time to Boston and said a tearful goodbye at security. I was able to check my bag “all the way” so I won’t see it again until sunny Santiago on Sunday. Security was actually a breeze, probably because my first flight is domestic. Now I’m in the slowly filling gate, quietly panicking in a corner. It feels like I have a little person with a squeaky voice who is reciting all the things that could possibly go wrong at top speed, like Alvin the Chipmunk is trying to get me to turn back. You know that sweaty, anxious feeling right before you get a shot when the nurse is getting the needle ready and wipes your arm with alcohol? That’s how I feel. Or maybe it’s just the Red Bull.
Anyway, I will post again after this flight. I have 9 hours to kill in Georgia before my flight to Santiago, so I will be able to compose something lovely and interesting.
I started writing this post on Friday while my fiancee and I rode out Blizzard Nemo, the wicked nor’easter that pummeled the East Coast with two feet of snow. I consider myself a born and bred Rhode Islander; white clam chowder and Del’s run in my veins. But I am still not a fan of the brutal winters here. It’s a wonder the first settlers weren’t like “Screw this! We are turning this boat around!” Anyway, I lost power before I posted it and didn’t get it back for a few days, so here’s my belated post.
The three pictures above were taken as the storm progressed. The first is about three hours in, the second about two hours after that, and then as you can see in the last picture, things went haywire from there. My battery died, so I don’t have a picture of the full magnitude of two feet of snow.
Anyway, Thursday was my last day of work at Sam’s Club, where I worked for a year and a half first as a cashier then as a member service associate. Leaving my job with no new job lined up made this whole thing much more real (I can’t work on a student visa or they will deport me). I’ve really enjoyed my time at Sam’s Club, it’s a great company to work for and I worked for/with a great group of people. I consider all of my coworkers, past and present, as my Sam’s Club family. Everyone has been so supportive and excited for me as I embark on this great adventure and I hope some of them will follow me to Chile via this blog.
That’s all I have to say for now, I have 11 days left and I am scared to death but so excited. Join me next time as I attempt to pack 5 months of my life into one suitcase and a carry-on!
Today while I was getting the oil in my trusty Ford Escort (named Curtis) changed, I checked my email on my phone and received some VERY EXCITING NEWS! MY HOST FAMILY HAS BEEN SELECTED!!!
My Chile family is made up of four people and a dog. Gloria is the mother, Camila is close to my age and is the daughter, and Sebastián and Benjamin are twelve and ten, respectively. The dog is an old beagle, I don’t know his or her name yet. The boys like to play soccer, and as a family they enjoy going on walks in the park and spending time with friends and extended family. The message also had pictures, but I won’t post pictures of them until I have their permission.
I am super super excited. Knowing who I will be living with really helps to lower my anxiety and worries. I will be sending them an email soon to introduce myself and to let them know how excited I am. I don’t think I could have picked a better family myself. I especially hope Camila and I will get along. For the first time, I will be the younger sister! (My sister is four years younger than me, and Camila is one year older). I hope the two boys are like most boys that age-I hope they want to show me interesting things and ask me lots of questions! Maybe I can help them with homework, since I’m not very good at soccer! And my host mom seems really kind and patient, just like my own mom.
I won’t have to wait too long until I meet them. My flight leaves in just 24 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes, and 3 seconds! Eeeep! On a related note, I submitted my notice at work. I work at a local Sam’s Club, and my last day will be February 10th. I will miss my Sam’s Club family, but I plan on reapplying when I get home.
Not a ton left to do in terms of preparations except to wait. I have a countdown to when my flight leaves Boston on my phone that tells me to the second how much waiting there is left. I fluctuate between sheer terror and excitement. This is going to be such an amazing experience, but I’ve never lived outside of the country before, I’ve never been away from my family and fiancee this long, and I’ve never lived in a city. I think a large part of my anxiety is because I really don’t know what to expect. I don’t know what my host family will be like, I don’t know what my living arrangements will look like, I don’t know what classes I’ll be taking or how hard they will be. So much unknown! But I am also excited for the challenge, the novelty, the excitement, and the experience. Logically I know I’ll be okay, but could someone tell my subconscious?
I went to my local Sprint store to talk to the folks there about the possibility of getting my iPhone 4s unlocked so I could put a Chilean sim card in it when I got to Santiago. If I just took my current phone, every time I wanted to tell my host family I would be late for dinner, it would be like calling Chile from the United States. Muy caro! (Very expensive). Unfortunately unlocking is against company policy and would void the warranty as well as the insurance plan I purchased, so I won’t be doing that. They recommended instead I just put my phone in airplane mode or disable the text and call features while I’m there, essentially turning my phone into an iPod Touch, and getting a prepaid flip phone down there, which I will do.
My typhoid pills are almost done, I just have one dose left. Some people would prefer just to have the one needle and not have to mess around with pills that have to be taken 2 hours after eating and 1 hour before, with a glass of water, every other day. I say Boo Needles! They are nasty poky things that make me anxious and sweaty. No thank you!