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Mis Amigos Por La Vida - theyre like really really really thin pancakes

Santiago, Chile

We just finished up our halfway point here in Santiago, and one thing that has become painfully apparent to me is how absolutely blessed I am to be on a trip in a marvelous foreign country with 20 of my best friends. Granted, some people have developed tendencies to hang out with a specific group, but I can legitimately say that I have had the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy everyone's company, and with the caliber people that I am surrounded by, most of which I consider to be among my best friends, I am simply honored.

Today we got the opportunity to do some community service! It was one of the things I was most looking forward to, because back home community service is a large part of my life, so I was interested to see how that would transcend any kind of cultural boundaries or setting changes. We were able to work with a company called VE global that is a nonprofit that specializes in the maintenance of orphanages here in Santiago. We went to one of their properties and repainted the interior of a house and redid a basketball court so that the girls that resided there could have means to enjoy themselves. Most of them were either homeless, had drug problems at some point, or were from broken or unhealthy homes, so it was a blessing getting to be able to get a glimpse into their lives so that I could gain further perspective into my own.

The girls themselves were alot of fun to play with, and were surprisingly easy to communicate with. Also, the Chilean affection certainly transcended, as when we met the me were greeted with a kiss on the cheek, which is their customary hello. I felt like I got initiated into the culture!!! Also they loved playing with us, as we began playing games with them like telling them so and so were dating and that Abby had lots of boyfriends and dancing and singing with them and numerous things along those lines. It was awesome!

Also tonight we finally were able to venture out and experience the night life in Bella Vista, one of the more famous parts of town. We had some of the most delicious seafood I have ever had, including calamari, octopus, shrimp, shark steak, grouper, ceviche, and salmon. From there we went to the famous plaza to enjoy some authentic french crepes (!Delicioso!) and we had a few drinks at a patio bar enjoying the scenery and the people watching. Once again, I felt absolutely blessed to be surrounded by my best friends, as the smile was not able to be removed from my face all night.


permalink written by  tjshepherd on May 13, 2010 from Santiago, Chile
from the travel blog: Neeley Fellows Trip to Chile
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