On our first morning in La Serena, my daughter opened her eyes and said, “This is going to be the bestest day ever.” We had plans to go to the beach and fly the kites Jorge bought before our arrival.
At breakfast, about an hour later, Jorge looked out the window and said, “Está lloviendo. ¡Fuerte!” That means it’s raining really hard. And it was raining, sort of. In Western Washington we might call it drizzle or a mist, but things are different here in the Chilean desert. Regardless, we waited for the weather to turn before heading to the beach, and that sadly never happened. After our late lunch, my daughter declared that the rain broke her day and my heart sank.
Traveling is not easy work. With our senses on overload, everyone–young and old–is more fatigued. On top of this, the kids are not getting the amount of sleep they are used to. Chilean meal times don’t necessarily align with ours back in the US, so we’ve rarely found time for a nap and the kids have gone to bed much later than normal, yet their internal clock wakes them early.
From my perspective, we’ve had a great time spending the past week in La Serena and the surrounding area. I’ve loved the conversation with old friends, walking around the historic downtown, and practicing my Spanish. But I wonder which parts of the trip may make an impression on my kids when they are older? I’d like to think they will be inspired by the wildlife we saw at the Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt, or the solar flares we saw when we went to an observatory in Vicuña, or maybe the fact that they became just a little more interested in speaking a word or two in Spanish.
As for now though, I think the experiences they’ve enjoyed the most are playing at various playgrounds, seeking out treasures at the market, buying treats like helado and manjar postre, and of course going to the beach to fly a kite.