The Adventure So Far
Chile has been a fantastic experience so far. I’ve loved every minute that we have been here, even the long drives are fun. We have done so much in the past 3 weeks and I have had so many amazing experiences. I’ve improved my Spanish in leaps and bounds. I’m no longer afraid to go and converse with a local or to go buy a bottle of coke. I’ve paddled so many different rivers that it’s hard to remember all their names. We’ve driven through so many different little villages, some so small that if you blinked you would miss them. All of them told a story and I was fascinated by the major differences between the villages despite the fact that they were in such close proximity to each other.
I paddle as much as I can back home, but I don’t get out that much so Chile has been amazing. We paddle almost twice a week on some of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen. I remember one specific moment when I had just finished running a rapid and looked back up at it. Instead of seeing the rapid I saw the Andes mountains looming over me, some still snow-capped, outlined by a light blue sky that didn’t have a cloud in it. Whenever I think of paddling in Chile I think of that moment. In that moment realized how amazing our world is and how lucky I was to be able to come here to paddle.
Spanish has been a huge challenge for me. It just doesn’t come naturally for me, the language just doesn’t sound like it would work. Since we got here 3 weeks ago I think that my Spanish has improved a lot. I have learned so many different short cuts to follow and different ways to say things that had been difficult for me. It has been a great learning experience to realize that I could go up to a local and ask them how to say something and then have them not only help me say it, but to then teach me more. Coming to Chile has helped me more than I thought it could I the past 3 weeks and I am so exited to see where I am after the next 3 weeks.