Week three marked the first week of my internship abroad! Unfortunately, this meant that I would no longer be traveling, dining, and lodging with my cohorts as I did in the first two weeks. However, despite settling down, I knew I would not experience traveling withdrawals since I would be interning at a local recycling company with six other students in the same program.
Also, prior to beginning our internships, we had to fly to Santiago and take a bus to the city of Valparaiso, where we will spend the remainder of our time in Chile. There, I was able to finally meet my host family! It was a little difficult to communicate with them at first, but eventually, I got the hang of it… sorta!
The image above depicts the entire internship team ready to save the earth one neighborhood at a time!
I have noticed that the work culture here is a little different compared to those in the United States. I was told to show up to work at 9:30 am my first day, however, I found out that my boss and coworkers began to trickle in around 10:00 am. I later found out that this phenomenon of showing up late is what the locals call “Chilean time,” which is something I look forward to being accustomed to! Regardless, I became quite fond of my internship and the work that we will be doing. The mission for the next four weeks of the internship pertains to developing a method that would promote locals to become more environmentally conscious!
The image depicted above is an outline of how the internship team plans to promote environmental awareness throughout the community!
After a long day of work, I went home to find a mouthwatering meal. I knew that I was looking forward to having home-cooked Chilean food, but I did not expect to be welcomed with my favorite dish, steak and fries with caramelized onions!! Over dinner, my host family and I talked about our days in Spanish and afterward, I helped them do the dishes since it was the least I could do after serving me a gourmet meal. Dinner was delicious, but the best thing that day was finally being able to sleep in the comfort of my own bed in my own room. I knew from that day on that these next 4 weeks were going to be a blast!
The images above depict my very first meal at my homestay and my bedroom while in Valparaíso.
A couple of days later, I was able to get a day off of work, so my family decided to take me to the neighboring city, Viña del Mar, to enjoy a day at the pier. There, we took a stroll along the beach, enjoy some local street food, and watch some sea lions splash in the crystal-clear water! Even though it was winter time in Chile, the weather that day felt perfect. I thought that I had already seen the best of Chile within the past two weeks, but I was clearly mistaken!
The photo above is a selfie that I took on the pier in Viña del Mar with my host mother and grandmother.
The end of the week came as a surprise to me because I was awakened by the sound of my host mom screaming as my host sister came home from college. I then got out of bed and before I knew it, my host sister came and hugged me. It amazed me that somebody I did not even know exist could exude so much enthusiasm and eagerness to see me. I did not know what was in the water here in Chile, but the culture here was comparable to the southern hospitality we often see in the U.S and I loved it!
The image above is a selfie that I took with my host sister, Monserrat!