After Nine days of training and meeting some amazing people about fifteen of us boarded a bus to head towards Antofagasta. Antofagasta is a city in the Big North Region of Chile. It would take us twenty hours to get to the city. After packing and saying goodbye to the chilly city of Santiago (ha ha) we hopped on a bus. The bus was wonderful, two stories with large leather seats that reclined. Between the scenery and comfortable seats the twenty hours went by quickly and I have no complaints about my journey.
The road to Antofagasta is mostly desert but we took the majority of that part of the trip during the night. We boarded the bus at 1:00 p.m. and drove through the lush Small North Region. I took in the sites of hills scattered with crops, and farmers out in the hilly fields harvesting. In some sections there were hills filled with goats and cows. A river ran along the hills for some time and horses were grazing by it. The view was stunning. The hills parted for a short time and we drove along the coast. Around 6:00 p.m. the sun sank behind the hills and a pink glow filled the sky for about an hour. It was an absolutely beautiful site! I watched a few movies and peeked out the window to see the hills slowly turn from green to brown as the desert became more prominent and took over. For the remaining hours it was dark and the only things I could make out, through the window, were sand covered hills.
Around 7:00 a.m. I was awoken by a friend and told that we were fifteen minutes away from Antofagasta. I couldn’t believe how the time flew by! A city suddenly arose from the sand and soon enough we could see the beach again. When we got off the bus we were greeted by Rio, the regional coordinator. She was extremely nice and seemed very well organized!
In Antofagasta we would be spending a night in a hostel for some additional regional training and then go to our host families in the afternoon. From ten in the morning to around three in the afternoon we had free time to explore.
Jeanina, Sarah and I walked out of the hostel and trekked the short distance to the coast. I was immediately blown away by the uniqueness and beauty of the city. It was like no other place I had ever seen before. The shore here is lined with sandy beaches with splashing waves. Fishermen in small boats scatter the water. When you look to the land, massive sand hills arise and houses cover the bottom half of them. Eventually the houses fade and all that is left is rolling desert hills. It is breathtaking.
As I walked the coast I was blown away and I felt so thrilled to call this beautiful city home! As I experience the world I am so thankful each day for what God has given us. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach here and live in this stunning city. In the vast world we live in, it is unbelievable to know that things can be so different. But when we dip our toes into the water, the very water that touched our feet can mix with the current and eventually touch the toes of those at home on the other side of the world. In the same way, no matter how far away I am I always feel God right next to me, showing me his world and giving me the security of a best friend in a place where I know no one. Antafogasta is nicknamed the City of God and as I take in the beautiful scenery and begin to meet local people I feel God everywhere . I can’t wait to continue to experience the plans he has for me.