We have arrived safely in Pennsylvania. Meranda was a terrific passenger and slept most of the way home. We are adjusting to the cold weather and enjoying spending time with family before the holidays.
So far the re-adjustment to American culture has been quite easy. It was amazing how quickly we made it through the checkout line in Walmart earlier today. The lines at stores move incredibly slow in Santiago.
December 8 is a national holiday here in Chile. Immaculate Conception day is a Roman Catholic holiday which celebrates their belief that the Virgin Mary was born free of sin. We took advantage of the holiday to travel an hour outside Santiago into the Maipo River Valley just Southeast of the city. The sights were fantastic and we enjoyed our time at Cascada de las Animas, a park with a restaurant, grills, picnic tables, a zip line over the river, hiking, a pool, white water rafting, and many other things. We enjoyed our lunch at the restaurant and Meranda took a nap by the pool. The highlight of my time there was the 1.5 hour hike to see the waterfalls. Bethanne did the hike in flip flops! (because I forgot to tell her to bring shoes) I carried Meranda in a back pack carrier and she loved it! Here are many pictures of our day in Cajon del Maipo, read the rest of the page to see them all.
We were shopping yesterday after church and there was a Santa station st up – we wanted to have Meranda get a picture with him. Meranda had other plans.
One benefit of being a teacher at an American school in Chile is that we observe both Chilean and American holidays. Thanksgiving is not a Chilean holiday, but we enjoyed a nice break. The missionaries with ABWE all got together to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and watch football. Meranda enjoyed the time with some of her young friends.
The run (and walk) a-thon was a fun time. The younger students did a really impressive job. Due to my diligent training, I ran over 6 miles! I have run three miles about once a month since I’ve been here. I ran 42 laps and Bethanne did 40. Bethanne also checked on Meranda twice while running – so she did great!
Thanks to all our sponsors and the other people who contributed, the school has raised more than double its goal!