We’ve arrived in Chile! Our group gathered at the airport as the sun set over Atlanta and boarded a plane bound for Santiago. Some slept on the nine-hour flight; others… not so much.
We arrived in Chile’s capital around 10 a.m., took an uneventful trip through customs, and were greeted by Miriam and her team, who transported us (and our luggage) to the Happy House, a quirky, colorful hostel in the heart of the city. The building is beautiful, with 20-foot ceilings and detailed molding… we’re wondering what dignitary or wealthy family might have lived here years ago.
Following a pizza lunch, we took off on foot to explore the city (an attempt to power through day one on little sleep). We ended up at the Centro Cultural La Moneda, which sits under Citizenry Square and serves as a cultural facility for the city. Some of us took in the Picasso exhibit on display, while others wandered throughout the Centro, checking out the shops and exhibits inside.
The Centro is adjacent to the Palacio de La Moneda, the seat of the president and other government offices. Prashanth, a Latin scholar who’s determined to learn Spanish while we’re here, attempted to strike up a conversation with one of the guards, who wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the conversation. Prashanth will no doubt keep trying.
After a stop for water and sweet treats, we’re back at Happy House, enjoying some R&R before our Habitat host, Rachel, joins us for dinner and our orientation. She’ll tell us more about what to expect in the coming days and provide additional information about the family we’ve partnered with this week. Then, it’ll be off to bed so we’re ready to go tomorrow morning. Our itinerary includes some of Santiago’s must-see sites and a trip to a local marketplace. Stay tuned for details and photos!