Hooray! We have an apartment! And Jeff has permission to work! Feels like we are in full on Chile-party-mode. Things are looking up, and some important lessons have been learned.
First, when your rent is due in pesos and you only have dollars, call your friends. They can become money changing angels and successfully thwart the wicked landlady who refuses your American currency. Our friends Paula and Harrison have been so incredibly helpful and kind to us, and Paula chastised me for not calling her sooner when we ran into this little problem. I told them we would have left Santiago if they had not been here to help us. Words cannot express our gratitude to this couple. They have adopted Rayna as their niece (We can’t find her plastic spoons? They get her some. We need to move our stuff? They play with her so we are free to wheel our suitcases and her belongs two blocks away without worrying that she’s being crushed by her pack & play. We think she is learning to tantrum? They charm her into giggles). They have taken us shopping (Imagine everything costing thousands of ($, pesos, francs etc.). Then imagine seeing different brands of everything you need. Frankly, stores are utterly overwhelming. And this is coming from a woman who takes retail therapy very seriously). And they have been willing to help us learn reflexive verbs. These are true friends. Though we hit a rough patch, we realized this week that despite all the crappy things that we were dealing with, we were actually beyond blessed by the people we’ve met. New friends have invited us over for incredible dinners, lent us an air mattress and provided house warming goody bags, and been willing to give us copious advice. For these people, we are SO grateful!
The next very important lesson is that there is good food here. Yes, I know, I know, we are in a city full of restaurants, of course there is good food. But this week, we had the energy to actually enjoy it. While most menus are still full of mysterious words that describe various veggies and seafood(we mostly steer clear of the beef and pork portions, so we aren’t even trying to understand those words), we have managed to enjoy some delicious stuff. And taking the suggestion of one transplanted Chilean/Oregonian, Rayna and I have started having lunch dates where there are multiple courses for a fixed price that’s advertised on a chalk board outside the restaurant. This has been good for a couple of reasons: first, I can stand by the chalk board and read it a few times without awkwardly wielding our massive stroller to a table, only to find out the food sounds unappetizing. Sure, I feel a little embarrassed that it sometimes takes me a good two minutes to read and comprehend the offerings. But it’s better than sitting down, opening a menu, and realizing the only thing the restaurant specializes in are intestines. Second, I feel like I’m going out for a little celebration each meal, despite my lunch dates propensity to taste food and then promptly spit it out. It feels like an occasion both because there is often a dessert course, and because eating anywhere other than McDonalds feels like a win!
While we still have a lot to figure out (this week I used a coffee cup to measure laundry detergent because there was no scoop in the bag), we are making progress. I have unpacked suitcases, which makes this situation feel more like real life and less like a weird trip we’re still on. We ordered furniture, and we had our first little Chilean miracle, because it all ououarrived the day the stores said it would (we were warned to expect things to come weeks after they were promised). Jeff has an office and I plan to stop using his anti-balding shampoo this week, because I can finally buy my own stuff and not have to worry about lugging it around the city. And the sun is shining! So many blessings, so thanks for caring about us and praying for us and keeping in touch. Love!!!
P.S. Sorry there are no photos on the blog, but I can’t seem to get my iphone to email pictures to my computer. Will keep trying!