Hello friends,

Whew.  It has been a wild few days.  I don´t really even know where to start, I have a lot to report on.  As I write, I am already trying to use Spanish words, which is most likely a hint that I need to be studying more, not writing in English.  My main challenge is not going to be learning Spanish, but to stay away from English so I can learn. 

 Getting here was exhausting.  The worst traveling experience I´ve had.  For those of you who know me well, you know that I don´t particularly care for flying.  I get nervous when the plane makes any little movement it shouldn´t and when turbulence is really bad, I get scared.  My body has an this automatic response that when the plane starts bumping around my heart starts beating and the adrenaline starts rushing.  It seems a little silly and I don´t like it, but it is my reality.  At any rate, I flew to L.A. to catch a flight to Santiago.  Simple, right?  No.  I got to L.A. and found out my flight was cancelled.  The incompetent man (sorry if that seems like an insult, but it is a fact) told me the next flight to Santiago was out of Dallas.  I had waited an hour for him to deliver this information and I was not happy about it.  I was trying to supress the anger and it seemed to make it worse.  I didn´t say anything (to him anyway) that I regret, I just told him that there was nothing right about this situation.  So.  He gave me a “coupon” to get the ticket to Dallas and I went on my angry way out of the international terminal.  I called Mom and Dad to tell them of my predicament.  I was about to start crying and my Mom was doing her best to console me, but it wasn´t working.  Then, as we continued to talk, we changed the subject and I remembered to tell her about a card I had received from Leah and my mood was brightened.  Thankfully.  I was able to approach the lady at the ticket counter with less drama.  However.  She could not put me on a flight back to Dallas because this “coupon” would not work.  Incompetent, I´m telling you.  Back to the international terminal.  Yes.  Back to the international terminal.  I approach a different lady, who seems to know what she is doing, and tell her about the situation.  She confers with a group of people (in Spanish), hands me off to another lady, the other lady pounds on the keyboard for about thirty minutes.  I asked her about my flight to Dallas and she informed me that I was not going to Dallas, but I was going to Lima, Peru.  Immediately.  From there things were pretty smooth…except during this ordeal, I forgot to mention they put my luggage on the wrong plane.  That little problem didn´t turn out to be a big deal, it was delivered to my house later on Sunday afternoon.

 That brings me to the house I live in.  Right now, I´m living with five other students in a house with about twelve rooms.  Three students are from Germany, one is from England, and the other is from the United States.  The Brit and one of the German guys are in my class.  Right now, there are four people in my class.  The two I mentioned and two from Switzerland.  My professor is really good and I enjoy class.  This is the first time in a long time that I look forward to and pay attention in class.  I can affirmatively say that the last semester of grad school had little to offer that would hold my attention.  I am enjoying learning.  I can understand more than I can speak, which I imagine is normal.  In addition to school, we took a tour of downtown Santiago and went to a museum today.  I was under the impression that they would offer an activity about two or three times a week.  Try everyday of the week but Sunday.  This weekend we are going trekking in the montañas.

My favorite things so far?  The Andes mountains.  I remember when we lived in Denver the mountains were a constant sign.  My Mom liked them because they were always in the east (in relation to where we lived) and she knew what direction we were going.  Now that I´m older it is a constant reminder that the Lord made those mountains and He holds them in the palm of His hands.  If He can do that, He can change hearts.  It´s interesting though, because you could see the Andes clearly on Sunday and on Monday.  Today, the smog set in.  In the early evening you could barely make them out and by evening, you couldn´t see them at all.  The constant sign that God is the Creator was clouded over and I can´t help but pray that the Lord would remove the smog from eyes of the souls here.  Not so they can see the mountains, so they can see their Creator. 

 There is so much more to write, but I should go.  I miss you much, but know this is the right time for me to be here, and I find great comfort in that.