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Published: March 1st 2010
We arrive in Santiago early morning and learn that the other teachers in our program are also arriving today. We spend the first day meeting everyone and taking a little walk though the city. Santiago is a very nice city, far better then what we have heard in the past. The smog here is really bad but is only noticeable if you look far in the distance. This is the first night for many so everyone is ready to party and mingle. Our hostel had a BBQ then we ended going out to the bars. The bars in Chile are really expensive so we didn’t end up drinking too much at the bars but had a great time meeting everyone in our group.
The second night was the night of the big earthquake. Eric and I were fast asleep in bed when it happened around 3:30am. We have already been through a little earthquake in Chile so we weren’t too surprised when it first happened but then the quake started to get more intense. We got out of bed to stand under the doorway. By this time the electricity had already gone out and it was pitch black. All we could
hear around us was things breaking and cracking. The hostel that we are staying at didn’t seem too sturdy and the floors were not in the best of shape so I though that next to us the floor had started breaking. This lasted for about two minutes, which at the time felt like eternity. It finally stopped and everyone was asking around to make sure everyone was ok. We found our little headlight and learned that it wasn’t the floor that had broken but it was part of the ceiling. We had to go outside because there were going to be many aftershocks. We stayed outside for about an hour or so then we were given the ok to go inside. Eric and I were staying on the second floor so we waited about another hour before we returned there. That morning after we fell back asleep we were woken three or four times by aftershocks. Each one being fairly large, large enough to scare us all. The next day Eric and I took a walk around the city to look at the damage. It seemed Santiago was doing better then we though. Lots of broken glass and pieces of
buildings had fallen but only a few buildings were completely destroyed. We learned later by the news that the poorer part of the city was a complete disaster though. The next couple of days there have been many aftershocks, a few of them large enough to wake us up and get us out of bed.
After the quake the city of Santiago completely shut down. We can not do anything in the city to get us ready for teaching so we still don’t know when we will be able to start teaching.
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