chile: part 1

estoy aquí en santiago! after almost 24 hours of travel i arrived yesterday morning and took a taxi to my apartment, staring wide-eyed through the windows at my new city. "ha viajado a chile antes?" "no!" "primera vez?" "sí!" i put my stuff down inside and set off with my roommates, hannah and elenna, to explore a little. we walked to barrio bellavista, a ~hip~ neighborhood across the river with lots of shops & restaurants, and got cappuccinos and lunch, and then came back to do some work at a precious "cafe literario" overlooking parque bustamente.

the city is grungy and active and beautiful, with graffiti-covered buildings and intricate church façades nestled beneath the backdrop of the andes mountains.

today is my first day of work. i'll be researching at the universidad católica de chile, studying cell surface proteins involved in cancer and autoimmune diseases like lupus. i am really looking forward to starting, and hopefully practicing my scientific spanish, though i know there are people in the lab who speak english if i'm confused so i don't accidentally kill one of the test rats or something.

i am so super excited to be here, in a part of the world i've always wanted to visit, and i can't wait to explore more and travel and see everything i can this summer! (aka winter, #southernhemisphereproblems)

<3 maria

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