The familiar rumble of the van next door reluctantly cranks to life, it’s three on the tree shifter grinds into reverse as it prepares for a day of shuttles.

The clouds that have plagued us for the last couple days are starting to wear off.

The river that was starting to drop has now refreshed its stocks of water.

A new day starts in Chile.  The students are down stairs working out math formulas.

The teachers in the next room are discussing what is to be done about tomorrows plan.

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The kitchen below my room is bustling with the cooking ladies.  They crank out bread on an old set of rollers.  The meshing sound of the bread makers gears pressing out its uniformity.  Pots of food sit simmering on an old wood stove that glows red in the evening when the lights are off and the day is done.  Chile is indeed an amazing place.   The rivers like the people are beautiful pure and clear. The hospitality is reminiscent of the rivers, inviting, warm and full of mystery. The vista of snow capped volcanoes and treed landscapes both compete for your attention again and again. An old bridge at the put in still hangs defiantly under the new more modern road above it.  Old pieces of the original wood hang on the last vestiges of cable strung across.

The students and teachers pile down the rocky slope to put on.  To our left an ostensible ski hill of white and Bombay gin creeping upward, around another treed corner and out of sight.  To the right, a horizon line of excitement, anticipation and opportunity awaits us all. You can see the trout swimming on the bottom as you swiftly float over them the water like glass.  I pick out my first boof of the day and wonder if the children can see it too.  Selfishly and secretly hoping they don’t and I greedily have it to myself. Each on of them too busy tucking throw bags and water bottles into their boats to notice or so I hope.  Some of them I know fighting off the feelings of doubt, or reveling in the confidence of what lies ahead. The van pulls away stopping briefly on the bridge above us to watch, then with a plumb of unburned diesel it pulls away.  At the same time casting a fresh air of necessity into the hearts and minds of the students that are uneasy.  The river waits patiently for us, blades swing their arcs as we float toward our destination somewhere in Chile.

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