Lessons Learned in Chile


My first day of Spanish language school started yesterday en la Escuela Bellvista here in Santiago, Chile. I went through all the first day of school ‘feels’ or emotions.  What should I wear? What should I bring? Who will I meet, and where will they be from?

It was a swift walk to the school, exactly .9 miles, from my apartment. It was the first cloudy day in Santiago since I had arrived, I didn’t mind though since I would be inside learning Spanish all morning. When I arrived to the school I thought it had character, with its worn blue façade, tucked between a small café and a run down convenient store. Inside the walls we’re filled with pictures of previous students, all wearing grande sonrisas (big smiles).  Lined on the opposite side of the walls were photos of professors. After I poured myself some complementary coffee I noticed a small French guy, who I later found out was 30, he was alone so I struck up a conversion… everyone should feel welcomed.

My first professor of the day was Johanna, she has a smile that can lighten up any room. She is very patient with the girls and I, which I am grateful for. At break time, we were told to help ourselves to some coffee, tea and cookies for a few minutes, before our next session. For this I was grateful, I left the enclosed room, #11 upstairs for about 8 minutes at the most. After a few sips of tea and chat with my new German friends we went back to room 11. After break we were introduced to our second teacher, she has beautiful skin, and you can see kindness in her eyes.

After class ended I looked in my purse to put my pens and paper away. I gave the inside of my purse a second glance “Kara, did you not bring your wallet with you here?” I had walked to the school earlier that day, so maybe I did leave my wallet at home, on second thought my purse wasn’t THIS light when I walked this morning. I got asked to go to lunch with some friends, but before leaving I went to the office to see if there was a lost and found. Nothing had turned up, but they would “keep an eye open.” I didn’t get anything a lunch, just socialized and talked the whole time, when we departed I bee-lined it back to my apartment.

My walk turned into a jog then into a full on sprint. When I got in my apartment I ransacked the whole place, turning things upside down, inside out, and vigorously examining every square inch. Panic came next. WHERE DID YOU PUT your WALLET CUR? WHERE COULD IT BE? I contacted my third party provider first, who placed me at the school and she gave me the whole spiel on how I have to be safe in international country and keep my belongs close. All things I have heard before, but I never thought it would be me.

Long story short, my suspect wasn’t even likely to be the suspect, just socially awkward and smelled.

 So day two and still no wallet, but I do have a better attitude after much contemplation on the meaning of life and listening to a friend’s wise words.

 My best friend said “Maybe that person needed it more than you.”

Who knows maybe they did, but they could have just asked.


Don’t stress yourself out with things you can’t control or change. Just trust and let go and see what happens.

Update April 2015: FOUND THE WALLET :)  click here to see the post  https://karacederquist.com/2015/10/13/6-fears-you-face-as-a-solo-female-traveler 


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