Right after Rick took his Board exam, he and I went on a much-anticipated trip to Chile. This happened over a month ago, and I am now forcing myself to make some time to post about it. (I grade Spanish tests online, and the job is really only busy during the Spring. But boy is it keeping me busy right now!)
So, I decided to post about Chile in segments. I'll post about a different part of Chile, or about different people there (whom I love) each time. I'll use this as a way to document not only our trip, but also to record memories I have from being a missionary there. This is more for me to have documented and to someday make into a book than anything, so I apologize if some things don't interest you.
Segment One: El Cerro San Cristobal.
This is sort of a must-see in Santiago. We took the funicular up to the summit, but you could also walk up in about an hour. Halfway up the hill there is a zoo and a park and some other attractions, but we just headed straight up. Once you get to the top, you are greeted by a huge white statue of the Virgin Mary. It's beautifully peaceful up there, which is a stark contrast to the busy city. There is also an open chapel and places for worshipers.
The panoramic view of Santiago from up there is pretty amazing. (If it had been a smog-less day, it would have been even better!) Looking down at the city, I thought of the three times I have been up there: The first time, January 2005, I was a brand new missionary, unsure about how I felt about the city and what I was doing there. I felt quite uncomfortable in a new place, especially not understanding Spanish or the new culture. The second time, August 2006, I had returned from my mission and was visiting with my parents. Now Santiago had become my city; I knew the language, loved the culture, and had made life-long friends there. My 18 months in Santiago had changed my life forever, and the city would always have my heart. And now, April 2010, I am showing my husband this city that I love so much. Santiago has changed: the old rickety buses have been replaced with an extensive new metro, new apartment buildings have popped up, and the city has proven its strength during an incredibly powerful earthquake. I feel like my life has sort of experienced similar changes. My life has changed with the addition of a husband, two good little boys, and added strength through some personal little "earthquakes." Santiago and me; we are just going to keep getting bigger and better! (Wait... I am not getting bigger; at least I hope not.)