Student Entry: Snapshot in Chile

Alzar School | 10.04.13
Lucas and McKenna playing across the fence
Lucas and McKenna playing across the fence

Throughout our six weeks that we spent in Chile, we all experienced some amazing events. We hiked volcanoes, backpacked in the Andes Mountains, kayaked Chilean rapids. The list goes on and on. But one of my most memorable experiences during our expedition was not an accomplishment to be boasted about to family and friends upon arrival, but nevertheless it is an experience that I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.

Three of the weeks that we were in Chile were spent staying in cabaƱas in a small town called Choshuenco. An owner of the raft company part of the hotel has a five year-old son named Lucas. I first saw Lucas in the garden while were washing out coolers from our week long camping trip. Excited to try out my Spanish skills, I asked him a few simple questions, inquiring about him favorite color, his name and age and if he liked Bob Esponja (Spongebob in Spanish, since he was wearing a shirt with him on it). Eventually, he warmed up to me and began to tease me by threatening to spray the garden hose at me. Eventually he did. I went to bed that night and I could not stop thinking about how great it was to have an interaction with this cute kid.

The next day, I saw him again. He approached me, and we made some small talk. But then, I decided to start playing tag. I tagged him, and ran away, then he tagged me. He climbed up on the seat of a motorcycle and the owner, an old man, got mad at us. But as we were running around, throwing some of the many blackberries that grow like crazy down in that part of Chile, I recognized what a raw and pure human experience. Although I only understood some of what he was saying, that one single experience showed me that smiles and laughter can transcend even the strongest barriers of language, age and culture.

I will remember this amazing experience for the rest of my life.


Click here for a brief snapshot video of Lucas and McKenna.

McKenna Nowak

Student, Spring 2013