what i brought back

I’ve been back in the motherland for one week now!  Last week Thursday I was greeted in the Grand Rapids airport by my mom, Lydia, and Bryn, who brought me balloons and peanut butter.  I had an amazing trip to Peru the first week of December with my three best friends from my study abroad program.  We went to Lima, Cusco, and even made it up to Machu Picchu.  My last week in Santiago was good, but bittersweet.  Lots of hard goodbyes, but I know I’ll at least be back to visit someday.

I brought a lot back to the U.S. with me…

Vicho with my luggage!

Here’s just a few of the things that I acquired abroad:

  1. 12 scarves…but most of them are presents!  I promise!
  2. 4 sweaters, 2 shirts, 1 pair of really cute shoes.
  3. 2 llamas.  Obviously not the real thing.  I don’t think I could get those through customs, although Bryn would be ecstatic to receive a llama for Christmas.
  4. Wooden spoons, a stash of reusable grocery bags, 2 mugs, a thermos, etc, etc.
  5. The Chilean greeting, besitos y abrazos (kisses and hugs), as a hello and goodbye.
  6. Chocolate bars and packaged cookies.
  7. A vastly improved (Chilean) Spanish vocabulary!
  8. Earrings, earrings, earrings.
  9. A love for “Aqui Mando Yo,” only the best Chilean soap opera (teleserie) ever!
  10. A bottle of wine, smuggled through customs.  Success!
  11. Upwards of 2000 fotos.  And a new way to spell “photos.”
  12. A family.

And one more thing: In my first blog post, I wrote that my goal for my time in Chile was to dream in Spanish.  And it happened!  Actually it was a while ago, I think sometime in September or October, but never really got around to writing about it.  I already miss speaking (and dreaming in) Spanish, but hope to keep in touch with family and friends for many years to come.

With my family, my last night in Chile

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