My first week in Santiago de Chile has been a real adjustment. Arriving in Santiago and jumping straight into classes after a busy week in Peru made for a very hard first week. First of all, we arrived in Chile’s autumn months – much colder than Rio’s summer. Aside from the weather, there was a new currency, language and city to learn and explore! Also, it’s been interesting to see how the differences in politics, geography, and economics affect the people in these two very different countries. It is very clear to all of us that we are no longer in Brazil and I wonder how we will all adjust.
So far I’ve personally felt much safer and more mobile in Santiago. I live close to a metro station and it’s not very far from the center. I also live in a very safe neighborhood, and Santiago in general is more welcoming. I don’t feel as nervous as I did in Rio because I quickly figured out my way around using the metro; and I feel confident traveling alone. I’ve also realized how many more products I can find in Santiago from the United States. In Santiago you can find Lider, which is a store owned by Wal-Mart, and inside you can find plenty of American products you never thought you’d miss.
Chile, just like every country and region will have its pros and cons, but right now I am very new to Santiago and still need to explore the city more. Having traveled through Brazil and Peru has made me miss a lot of things back home, like food, my home, my pets, and of course my friends and family. I think anytime you’re starting to settle into a new place it reminds you of all the ways it’s different from places you already feel are like home. I also think that moving around so much has helped me prepare to say goodbye to Santiago, but I’m not feeling very prepared to say goodbye to my classmates that have been traveling everywhere with me!
So here I am cold in Santiago because I’ve been used to the summer in Rio, and tired in Santiago from traveling non stop through Peru, trying to keep up with my classes and my commitments back home. I am beginning to figure out where I belong in this large and busy city, but wondering how I can come to call Santiago de Chile my new home for these next few weeks.
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<p>My name is Angie, I'm a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I'm majoring in Sociology and minoring in Linguistics. I love learning about people and cultures around the world through music, art and literature.</p>