One week from today I'll be starting a three month long trip to Santiago de Chile. Is it a trip for work? Yes. Is it a trip for fun? Also yes. Is it another one of those incredible and yet sometimes difficult life learning experiences? Oh third-time's-the-charm yes.
I'll be interning with Fundación Educación Popular en Salud (there's an English version of some site content here )
So here's the short and sweet version of my travel plans to South America:
- March 21st - I kiss my lover farewell at the Portland Airport, and board a plane that leaves at 9:30am.
- March 22nd - I arrive in Santiago at 8:15 am, and blearily stumble towards the housing coordinator's van, which will then take me on to my lodgings in Providencia.
Add in a day's worth of airports (Portland to Seattle, Seattle to Dallas, Dallas to Santiago), air-time, and layovers in between those two bullet points.
I'll have about a week to settle in a bit, adjust to a five-hour time change (moving my internal clock ahead, mind you. Santiago sits further east than Nova Scotia), meet and converse with my landlady, learn how to shop for food, learn how to use an internet café, and generally get used to the fact that I'm a whole continent away from what I know. On Monday, March 28th, I'll be starting a week of super-intensive (6 hours a day) Spanish courses at a local language school (I speak Spanish fairly well, but I need a bit more confidence in my conversational Spanish and particularly in my conversational Chilean Spanish before I start my internship with EPES on the 4th).
I intern at EPES, in El Bosque, from the 4th of April to the 10th of June.
- I board a plane back to the States late in the day on the 14th of June.
- I arrive back in Portland at about 1pm on the 15th.
- I sleep in my Pacifically Northwestern bed with mah sweetie and mah kittehs, and reconnect in meat space with Portland folks.
Easier said than done? Honestly, I'm quite excited. I'm also quite nervous. I've never traveled for this long before, and I'm afraid of homesickness (comprised of place and social qualities) spoiling my experience. I don't think that will happen, but that's something for me to keep in mind.
I'll try to update this bloggerific journal at least once a week (there should be a cyber café around the corner from my apartment), if not more.
¡Saludos desde Portland!
p.s. I'm not quite sure what my exact responsibilities at EPES will be, but, according to the original internship posting, they might include some of the following: