This blog entry was going to be called, We blinked and it was over but even on the last day plans can be altered.
Indiana had been asked to prepare a small speech on behalf of our family for the last day at school. She’s gone from having an idea of Spanish colours and numbers to being confident enough to talk in front of two hundred of her peers in Spanish. We are very proud of Truce and Indiana’s enthusiasm and energy they have given for our Chile adventure. Sometimes it felt like this was their adventure and we were the chaperones. They’ve been surrounded by a great social network and immersed in the language.
Truce and Indy enjoyed their last day with their classmates, a farewell party and presents. We rarely got to see the girls in their classrooms and when the bell rang for the end of school we saw how respected and loved they are. This was the first time the school had non-Spanish speaking students enrolled and Talluah and I are glad they agreed to it and took the time and patience while our girls learnt Spanish.
The children at the school are very loving and while the Pre-Kinder kids don’t quite understand that Truce is leaving for several years we saw tears from Indiana and her friends as they said goodbye for some time. It’s hard to articulate but part of the reason we did this adventure was so our children learn that, in life, we make friends that we may not see for some time but they are still friends. Some of our painful memories are connected to our best memories.
This was to be our final day and during the ride to the airport (which had been kindly organised by a student of mine) we talked about the last ten months. We arrived at the airport and checked in our luggage and went to border control, showed our passports.
This is our advice to anyone travelling to Chile. Don’t overstay on your tourist visa in Chile. We thought, after some anecdotal research on the Internet, we could pay the fine at the airport and be on our merry way. The customs officer told us that we had to go to an office in Santiago and sort out the paperwork before we could fly out. This was 21:00 on Friday night; our flight was three hours away. The office doesn’t open till Monday. We went to the LAN office, changed our flights, waited for 80% of our luggage to be taken off the aeroplane and arrived at a hotel at the stroke of midnight. We’ve been forced to have a little holiday in Santiago while we wait to fix our visas on Monday. It feels very surreal because we didn’t plan to be here and all the while we keep thinking I should be cramped on a plane somewhere over the ocean.
But we are taking it on the chin and using this weekend to explore Santiago, last time we were here we were very green and jet lagged. Fingers crossed that our baggage that did make it home to Australia is safely waiting.