Soooo, I’ve been here for 11 days and I’ve finally managed to find a Hostel with vacant volunteer positions! After sending out at least 45 emails to most of the hostels in Santiago, and getting only 2 replies, one hostel kindly took me on. The deal is that I have to help behind the bar, and at reception 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, in exchange for a room and breakfast. Bartending is definitely a great way to practice your language skills, on my first night I had a 3-hour conversation with this Colombian guy… well actually I lie, he had a 3-hour monologue! He was basically talking to a brick wall with ears which was half-deaf. I felt tetraplegic, with all my thoughts trapped inside me, and the inability to express them. But that’s what I’m here for, so I’m not going to complain!
The staff are cool and pretty welcoming, they’re nearly all spanish speakers, from all sides of South-America, except for the manager who is… french! It is nice to have a lifeline though, if ever I need to ask something urgent I don’t need to mime to him. Talking about miming, I’m trying a new technique where I have to keep my hands behind my back whilst speaking spanish, so I can’t take the easy way out, which is sign language. Hopefully it’ll help me develop my basic communication skills. I’m also translating a piece of spanish literature everyday in order to learn new vocabulary and sentence structure.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures of my day to day life:
Night & Day in Santiago:
A stroll around Yungay, another very artistic neighbourhood in Santiago.