A lesson in “Judging Books”

When invited to go to Chile to spend a few weeks with Leah and Gillian I was somewhat hesitant. I had an image of a Latin American country – overpopulated, dangerous, very poor, and a developing nation with few amenities. I am sure you are familiar with World Vision and their television shows which air on Sunday mornings. They present the poor, hungry and homeless children who desperately need someone to care for them. Well this was my impression.

Talking a stroll down O'Higgins Avenue in central Sanitago, feeling the Chilean pride

Brittany (my companion who would protect me and make sure I made it safely to Leah and Gillian) and I arrived in Santiago after a wonderful non-stop Air Canada flight from Toronto. The airport was beautiful and modern and clean. The people were gracious and more than helpful. We were directed to a taxi that would take us to our hotel; a lovely two bedroom apartment with a modern bathroom and full kitchen.

A view of the Santiago skyline and the Andes, almost smog-free

Our taxi ride was uneventful as the streets are well cared for and everyone respects the rules of the road. No one drives recklessly, they are very courteous, seatbelts are the law and they have zero tolerance policy for drinking while driving. All cars, trucks, buses and taxis appear to be very new, probably a result of their strict rules with car emissions. As we entered what I anticipated to be a very large and dangerous city in Latin America, I was beyond words at how clean the city is – no litter or garbage to be seen. Yes there is smog on the horizon, which makes it difficult to see the Andes.

Terreza Neptuno in Cerro Santa Lucia in central Santiago

There are also a few homeless dogs needing love and attention. But the sky is blue and the city is alive. Men and women in business suits scurrying to their next appointment, families walking their babies in strollers, students in their school uniforms playing games as they race to catch their buses. Santiago may be home to 7 million people (with a 17 million total population in Chile) but it is just a typical exciting city with many adventures for the four us.

The Germain Ladies reunite