Part of my paperwork processing involved a trip to Arica, Chile. Arica is a beach town in the northern part of Chile which is surrounded by desert. My trip to the Peruvian consul in Arica took about 20 minutes one morning and the rest of the time Dawn and I had free! It was such a relaxing and refreshing time. I don't think I realized that I was stressed until I actually got to stop and rest! I suppose I have had plenty to be stressed about: new culture, new language, new job, new surroundings. Teaching really is a non-stop sort of occupation and it was a bit stressful to get ready to be gone for 4 days from school. Dawn and I were up until 12 or 1 am on the night before we left trying to get things ready for our subs (who happened to be Ron & Regina Shultz - a missionary couple here. Ron actually already teaches the 1st grade English classes. Regina taught my 4 & 5 yr old classes and Ron took on Dawn's 2 & 3rd grade English classes.)
Arica was a lovely refreshment from the craziness of life here. There were lots of fun shops and restaurants within walking distance of our hostal. If you kept walking down the pathway you came to the main square and then to the beach. We were in Arica from Tuesday night through Saturday. On Friday we were able to go to the beach and I got to stick my feet into the Pacific Ocean for the first time!! It was a little too breezy to actually go swimming but it was so nice to just sit on the beach writing postcards and enjoying the sun. I loved watching a little boy who was just delighting in the waves with his mom. He was shouting "Quiero las olas!" (I want the waves) and running towards and away from them and screeching in joy whenever he got a wave. It made me think about my attitude in my relationship with the Lord. I want to delight in Him like that little boy with such abandonment. I don't want to be like the stuffy adults on their comfy beach chairs...but to run towards Him and embrace all that He has.
Woohoo! I want the waves!!!
Here's a church near the main square.
Fountain in the main plaza with the famous Arica "Morro" behind it
The Pacific Ocean!
Dawn & I enjoying the Arica beach (Dawn was bending her knees not in an effort to make me look taller but in order to avoid her head getting cut off in the shot like our failed previous attempts)