The week after our trips up north and down south, my parents came to visit. They spent three days in Rancagua with me and were welcomed lovingly by my host family. It was incredible to have my two moms in the same room, and it was obvious that they bonded instantly.
The first night, my host mom made a grand feast which we could hardly make a dent in. After three courses and dessert, my parents were ready to tuck in for the night. My parents aren’t quite night owls like the Chileans, so it was impressive that they even stayed up until midnight.
The next day, my parents took Cami, Laurel, and me to a vineyard in Santa Cruz called Viu Manent.
We went on a tour of the vineyard in a horse drawn carriage and later walked through the factory where the wines are kept in french oak, American oak, and stainless steel barrels (depending on the wine variety). The wine tour was much like those I took in Italy, but two wines in particular, Carmenere and Málbec, both which you can’t find outside of Chile/Argentina made the tour unique.
On Tuesday morning, my parents came with me to school and the kids went wild. Wild is an understatement since that’s their natural disposition–feverish is more accurate. They filtered into my room like wild animals, filling it up until there was no room to move. At one point, as I was surrounded by my kids in one corner of the classroom, I looked over and saw my mom trapped in a corner with a bag of candy, trying to answer their rapid fire questions in Spanish. I couldn’t help but laugh and silently thank my kids for proving that I was not exaggerating their insanity. They keep my hands full and I love them for it.
Tuesday night my parents took all of the volunteers, my host teacher, and my host family out to dinner at a nice restaurant in Rancagua called Doña Emilia. Ironically, the nicest restaurant in Rancagua is hidden behind a gas station. Had Kelly not noticed a small sign pointing into the darkness, we would have never found it. After six bottles of Carmenere, some squid fries, Spanish tortillas, and a table full of rare beef, we were a boisterous bunch.
Our table jabbered away in Spanish and English conversation combinations for hours until we finally had to face the facts and say goodbye. My parents and I were leaving for Valparaiso in the morning, so my two families had to say their goodbyes. Both of my moms cried and it broke my heart to see them walk in different directions. I hope I am blessed enough to see them in the same room again.