Tuesday, March 1, 2011


So on Tuesday night, we headed to the airport and went through security and all that stuff (I'm not sure if I've already talked about that on this blog, but we did normal airport stuff). AFS got us there super early (we arrived at seven thirty for a 11:25 flight). But we made it to our terminal and most of us changed into sweatpants (but we had to keep on our very attractive AFS shirts. It was our "uniform" they said).

The 8 Americans
The flight was how you'd expect a 8 hour flight to be. I had never flown that long in my life, so it was exciting, but also super uncomfortable and hard to sleep. I think i ended up getting about three hours of sleep. I was sitting next to a exchange student in college, and we had a nice chat about Chile when we weren't sleeping. He was going to Viña del Mar for the second time, which i hear is super beautiful.

We arrived at 10 local time, went through immigration, got our luggage, and headed towards customs. They took away my dried cranberries (i should have known!). After that, we walked through this crowd of people and found a guy with an AFS sign, who took us to some seats where we waited for a bunch more students. Suddenly, there were these random people dancing Cueca next to us! Cueca is the national dance of Chile. It was super unexpected and strange that it was in the airport, but fun to watch.

Orientation Site
We took a bus to our orientation site--this monestary sort of building that i guess monks go to during certain times of the year to pray. It was super beautiful and old with so many pretty plants and things. The company was great too--it's incredible that you can become such good friends with people in such a short amount of time. We did lots of orientation activities with incredible volunteers, danced, chilled in the sun, and slept.

On Saturday afternoon, my family came to pick me up! They came earlier than expected, and when I saw them I cried. They're super nice though and we had a nice ride back to Rancagua (very quickly in car not following very many tradtional road rules. Oh well, that's Chile!). I understand most everything when someone is talking directly to me but when they are talking to eachother I understand nothing. I've been able to communicate all right, but it's still hard sometimes. They are a wonderful family though and have been so welcoming.

Diego, Paula, me, Lorena, and Alex

I start school tomorrow, which is nerve-wracking but exciting. I'll make a post about my birthday celebrations soon (my birthday was on Sunday). But I'm doing great, and although this isn't the most organized blog post, at least I'm writing!


  1. Great to hear about your orientation and see you with your new family. Its looks so warm, sunny and green there! Good luck at school tomorrow. I can't wait to hear more about it. Glad you are doing so well. Love Ma

  2. Nikki, I'm so happy to see you looking so happy there! And your hike (saw the facebook photos) was amazing looking--love to see the photos. Good luck at school tomorrow; they will love you. Especially if you play and sing for your new school. ;) (steve is listening to the "Reading Rainbow" song right now. I loved that show. But I don't know why he is listening to the theme). Be well, I missed you tonight! xo,kj