For the last couple of days we’ve had torrential downpour. The news seems to think that it’s the end of days and has put the country on Yellow Alert while they show pictures of flooded streets and women in flip flops wading through the veritable river. I have always been a fan of the rain. I love seeing the world all wet and different. I love hearing the rainfall outside my window when I’m drifting off to sleep. I even love getting my shoes wet while walking around in it.
But mostly, I love how clear the sky is the day after it rains. And that day just happened to be a Wednesday. I got off the bus coming home from my internship and there right in front of me was the most spectacular view of the Andes I’ve seen since being in Chile. They were topped with snow and clear like the pictures on postcards. It stopped me dead in my tracks. It’d been a while since I’d taken the time to look at the mountains. They are usually covered with a dull layer of smog or cloud cover and are easily ignorable. But that day, right after the rain cleared, I couldn’t look away.
I ran home and dropped my stuff off and grabbed my camera. The best view of the Andes in Nuña is from the 5th floor at the La Chile campus. So I pushed my way though the protestors, walked past the riot police and climbed the stairs to get my view. I was once again awe struck by the mountains that seemed to be suddenly looming over the city. I snapped pictured and stood there for a moment just watching them.
I remember my initial reaction to picking out the Andes from my plane window on my way into Santiago. I had been so excited, practically jumping up and down in my twelve inches of space. Those are the Andes! I’m in South America! But the initial excitement wore off and the Andes became just another mountain range behind another city. And all I could think was, isn’t that how it always is? How many times have I taken the time to look at the Berkeley Hills, or the Golden Gate Bridge? Too often in life we stop seeing the things around us as anymore then a backdrop.
Seeing the Andes on that Wednesday re-instilled a sense of adventure in my surroundings. There’s so much I have yet to see, and so much I have taken for granted the more I’ve settled here. It’s reminded me to see my surroundings and really appreciate them, back home and here in Santiago. I owe that much to the girl who could barely keep her butt in the plane seat.
The Andes from the Ground
The Andes from Up Above