Adam told me it was one of the hottest days it has been, and though I would agree on the heat, it didn't seem that bad to me, mostly because it was dry. As soon as you got into the shade it dropped 5 degrees. Even though it was Christmas Eve the streets were packed with people and street performers. Apparently Christmas isn't such a big deal down here. We got a drink that was kind of like iced tea with peaches and rice, and it was delicious.
I saw some street vendors and got myself a new watch for 5000 pesos because the one I'd bought in Cuenca had broken on my last trip to Guaranda. It's a fake Swiss Watch and looks strangely similar to the real one I have back in the United States. We sat down for a while and talked about teaching and how life was in Chile. The language here is very different, and Adam has an entire book that just lists the words and phrases which are specific to Chile.
For dinner, we were invited by their Canadian friend for a Christmas feast of turkey and other fixings. The Canadian has no family here and wanted to do something, so with us three there was also a German friend and his mom who was visiting, and two Chileans. We had some appetizers while the food cooked and drank a little while talking about the differences between Ecuador and Chile. For some reasons, Chileans think Santiago is very dangerous.
I told them that it feels pretty safe to me and that Ecuador is probably more dangerous. The majority of Chileans live in or close to Santiago, and the main thing to watch out for is pick pocketing. In Ecuador, you're more likely to be held up with a knife or gun, however.
The main course was finally served around midnight, but it was worth the wait. Big helpings of turkey with gravy complemented mashed potatoes, stuffing with ham and meat with maple syrup, as well as vegetables laid out perfectly on the plate. I would have liked seconds but I was too full. For dessert we had apple pie that tasted a bit like pound cake.
By 1:30 am we were exhausted and called it a night. It took a while to get to Chile, but it was a good first day, and things are looking up. Today we're going to use the Internet connection to watch the Celtics vs. Lakers in a huge game. It will be the first American sport I've seen since I left, and I'm extremely excited, not only to be watching the game, but with my friends from back home.