I overslept this morning and I have no regrets.  That’s all I’ll say about that.  I woke up to Sue knocking on the door at 11:15 and gave her one of the hard drives to copy data to her computer.  After I took a quick shower, we went to the office to copy the observing logs before Sue left for the airport.  As a little parting gift of sorts, I passed something on to her for her future travels.

A couple hours later, it was my turn to head off for the airport.  I gave Kadur my room key and headed out.  I felt completely out of place at the La Serena airport, although I’m happy to report there were two (!) people taller than me.  The airport is small enough that the man at the check-in counter was also the gate attendant.  He also threw on an orange vest and went out on the runway to help when a plane landed!  I think between my arrival and departure it’s safe to say I’ve seen the entire airport.  As we stepped out of the airport, everyone broke into a footrace to the plane (photo at right).  I couldn’t explain it if I had to, but it was hilarious.

Some sort of hidden camera show played during our flight, so that kept me busy.  Now I’m in the Santiago airport where I spent some time chatting with Patricio and Silvia, who were in line in front of me to check in.  I think I spoke more Spanish with them than I have for the whole trip.  They’re off to Washington D.C. for a month to visit their son, who’s a doctor.  They were really excited that I had been in La Serena for observing as well and warned me about the weather forecast for tomorrow… apparently some rain is coming.  They had a lot of questions about the Atlanta airport, first of which was, “¿Está grande?”  That made me laugh inside.  I pulled out a diagram from one of my printed boarding passes from the way here to show Patricio the terminals and warn him about the train.  He told me he made a dibujo in his head so they should be all set!

A couple of people have come up to me and chatted for a couple minutes, saying it’s good to finally see other English speakers.  That’s the price they pay for not knowing Spanish, I guess.

Everything’s all set for my last two flights!  As excited as I am to go back to the states, it’s bittersweet to be leaving Chile.  I honestly have nothing but positive memories of my time here and I’ve been telling Sue since night two (or maybe even night one) that I want to come back!  Everyone I met here was awesome: the carryall driver, Hernan, Arturo, Alfredo, Joe, Pat, Robert, Sauna, Chris, Valerie, John, Jennifer, Henry, James, Danielle, Jackie, Andrea, Claudio, Kadur, and of course Sue!  Now I just need to come back!