I won’t bore you with a list of 101 items; I just couldn’t resist the cliche title. However, I do think that a list of things I’ve learned on this continent could easily amount to thousands. It’s been an incredible experience that I will never forget, even with my less than perfect memory. As I reflect on and bid farewell to many of the things that me ancantaban here in Chile, I would love to share a few pieces of my journey that I will take back with me…

Chileans show their love with food, big hearts = BIG portions.

There are 73 Spanish translations for every one word in English (okay, that’s not proven, but that’s what it feels like).

It’s easier to forget your own language than you might think.

You get a receipt for everything, even for using the public bathroom.

Mullets and rat tails are in, baby! So are acid washed jeans.

Metro systems are a great method of transportation, more cities should have them.

No one knows you better than yourself.

If you want to be heard in Chile, you protest.

Graffiti is beautiful.

Ketchup and mayo come in bags.

Ketchup and mayo go on everything.

My brain doesn’t speak Spanish or English in the morning.

Chile endured a military dictatorship for 17 years between 1973 and 1990. During this time, thousand of civilians disappeared. Many were tortured and murdered.

Although there is a lot of bad in the world, there is also a lot of good.

Having a host family is one of the most precious experiences one can have.

You have to cross the street three times when you want to get to the other side. Think it’s impossible? Think again.

They don’t drink brewed coffee. It’s all instant, all the time.

Friendship is a wonderful thing to have in your life.

Family is even better!

There are more stray dogs on the sidewalk than gum. I wish I could rescue all of them.

It’s amazing what a little friendliness can do for your day.

God’s hand is always at work.

Advice is a gift, don’t take it for granted.

Hay millones de modismos en Chile, cachai po?

“Bubbles” is a really hard English word for Chileans to say, and even funnier to listen to them try.

Every family is different, but most are very machista, wife and daughters cook and clean while husband and sons watch tv.

Salt is not a topper in Chile, it’s a food group.

It’s weird to drink plain tap water. It’s usually replaced with tea, coffee, coke, or juice.

In a restaurant, it might take 40 minutes for the waiter to take your order unless you call them over. More time to enjoy the company of others : )

Don’t ever wait until the end to tell someone what they mean to you.

Happiness is not determined by your bank account.

Students make a University, but professors give it soul.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13.

This has been one of the most memorable five months of my life. What I learned in Chile is unforgettable, and the love I felt from it’s people is even more priceless. I am so gratefully for my new friends who showed me such a fun time and my host family who showed me so much love and laughter. I hate to say goodbye, so like my mother always says, this is not “goodbye”, it’s simply “I will see you later.”

Nos vemos, Chile. Te quiero y te extraño muchisimo!

Peace and Love, Sarah