Let's Dance!

Day 5: December 31st

Happy "almost" New Year! In Chile, people make a huge celebration for the New Year holiday. The streets are packed more than usual with people coming to see the fireworks. Valparaiso is known to have one of the top 5 New Year fireworks shows so we are all excited to experience it here! We finished our last day at the construction site and wow, did we come a long way! We all put together some money for a gift card for what would be equivalent to a Lowes back in the states and donated it to the family we were working on the home for. The total ended up being about $200.

We went to Francisco's sister's house for New Years which required walking about three miles there and making the trek back after some serious dancing. (Chileans don't stop dancing.) ;) Everyone was so excited to dance the night away and that we did, until 4 am. It was the best New Years with some amazing people and some incredible dancers!!! The fireworks were beautiful with about 5 or 6 different synchronized shows going on all in our view. It was like walking through a legitimate sea of people on the way back to the YMCA at 4 am. Even though it was slightly overwhelming it was one of the most thrilling experiences!

Day 6: January 1st Boat Tours and Sightseeing 

After partying until 4 am, we were looking forward to having a chill day. The first activity was a boat tour of the Pacific Ocean. Talk about stunningly beautiful!!

I can't express how beautiful the boat tour was and how blessed we are to be here together. The group has grown so close in such a short amount of time. This is one of the million reasons why these mission trips are worth every second. There is such a team building element involved, you have once in a lifetime experiences, and you are able to help those in need in the process. 

We were able to walk around and do some shopping after the boat tour which turned into qhite the adventure. We decided to stop at a restaurant called entre masas. The food was delicious but they were CRAZY busy. We spent a total of at least two and a half hours there with about two of those hours spent waiting to order and waiting for the food. All was well and we got our drinks for free. A lot of us ordered the fresh fruit juices: strawberry, honeydew, peach, and pineapple. Oh my delicious! So worth it. 

We walked around the beach area after lunch and got to see more amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. I am amazed at the beauty of this country but also amazed by the fact that the less fortunate areas still seem to be happy and living their life positively. A lesson for many people!

After some walking and sightseeing we came back to the YMCA and made our dinner, "completos" which is hot dogs with avocado, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and of course bread on the side. Bread is served at every meal and I've gotta say it is delicious. Wine is also a big commodity here which you can never have too much of. ;)

Day 7: January 2nd

Shopping, a visit to the supermarket, and MORE DANCING! Today we celebrated te baptism of Jasmine, Francisco, and some more of their family. Again, Chileans are all about the dancing so we had a great dinner with the family and ended up dancing to some more. 

Tomorrow we are heading to a camp in the mountains for three days. I have a feeling it will be an eye opening experience. We will also be without internet for the time we are there which is an adjustment in itself. Honestly, it will be nice to not have to worry about technology for a few days and will be a vacation alone. Happy New Year and here's to 2015!!! :)

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