Chloe’s impressions

April 3rd 2011

This is our third day here in Parque Pumalin and it is absolutely stunning. The paper thin grey clouds hang over the bare-backed mountains. The fluorescent green grass lights up the acres and acres of this amazing park. Although I do not speak the native tongue, the people who live here are some of the most welcoming and gorgeous people in the world. There is a man named Dan staying here at the park who was born and raised in Costa Rica, he has been deemed “The Translator”. Everyday he has shown us around the property and taught us things that once were just fantasized dreams. His ability to interpret and communicate with the locals make him more of a “god sent child” to us.

Being here in Chile still seems like a dream. I never thought that I would have to take four planes in the course of 24 hours to arrive to my final destination. The first we took from San Francisco to Dallas but that plane was delayed for a few hours because of a ventilation problem. We all had to exit the plane and re-board once again; only this time they did it by name. The second plane was from Dallas to Santiago and that was a nine-hour flight. The third was from Santiago to Puerto Montt, which was roughly two hours.
 The final plane held only six people. When we finally arrived at the private hanger, and I saw the plane we were going to fly in, I thought it was a joke. I said to everyone that there was no way I was going to get into that plane. Contrary to my wishes, it was reality. The pilot Rodrigo (who also took us shopping, as we looked like lost ducks in a giant pond) started to wash the plane. The only way I could tell that we had taken off was by looking at the ground, because the takeoff was like dragging your finger through whipped cream. Smooth.  As we flew over the mesmerizing Chilean mountains it felt so good to get away from everything. The plane has to have an equal amount of weight distribution. That being said I was in the very back squished against the luggage, my cheek against the window forcing me to look down at the breathtaking scenery. I felt like I was flying through the spacious clouds and over the high mountaintops.

I have always taken the fact that I have food for granted – when we need food we buy it. Being here in 800,000 acres of Parque Pumalin there is no way of going and buying food when there is a shortage of it. When we were in town we bought food for only a few days because we were told that there would be food provided for us to dig in after our long journey. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding; there was no food here in Parque Pumalin waiting on our arrival. There are, however, a few gardens here, so for the last two nights we have had huge green salads with all of the different components of the plentiful gardens. There were bushes and bushes, rows and rows of blueberries which I ate almost two pounds of because that was all we had to eat for a good two days. I have also always taken for granted the fact that I have electricity. Here in Parque Pumalin, the electricity only comes on from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm which the only time to charge our camera batteries and such. Not having electricity has made me realize and be more conscious of all of the problems eating away at our world. These are some of the many life lessons I have learned here, but NEVER take anything for granted. Now I see how lucky I am to live where I do with so many plentiful resources right at my fingertips. I could never have dreamed of something like what I am living at this very moment, and it still doesn’t feel real.

-Chloë

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