One of the things that first made an impression on me in thhis region was the generousity and friendliness of the people. On my first bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, unable to speak Spanish and confused by how long the ride was, the woman next to me shared her book and peanuts. She was super-welcoming and kind to what must've looked like a mildly terrified foreigner. Great first impression, Patagonia.
Every week someone continues the warmth and friendliness. Oh, you don't have food? Here, sweetie...eat half my sandwich. Oh, let's talk on the bus the whole three hours. Want some coffee? Here, sweetie...I'll give you a special price. Oh, you don't know how to knit? Come over to my house on Sunday and I will give you lessons and lunch. After talking to you for five minutes, I see you are a good person. Meet me here with my four sisters and they will teach you how to make a hat.
This week I needed it desparately...because I needed to be reminded that I am welcome here. That people are usually inherently nice and stress or circumstance warps them. The tingle of meeting good people and connecting with them makes it all tolerable, if not fantastic. and I am learning to let go and be extremely generous like all the Magallanicos...I plan on giving away most of my possessions to my students and community when I have to leave, and when I get home. Stuff is only stuff...People are what are important.