I started my Christmas celebration at my Uncle´s house in downtown Santiago on the 24th. It was a fun evening filled with family, good food, and presents. Once the clock struck midnight we began the exchange of presents. I stayed at my Uncle´s house until 1:30 or so. I was exhausted but eager to get back to my new apartment. My roommates were hosting a party for locals and foreigners they have met through Couch Surfing.
Quick side note: For those of you who are not familiar with Couch Surfing you can do one of two things. First, check out their website, conveniently named CouchSurfing.com. Or, you can continue reading and I´ll explain it to you because I am just that nice. The Couch Surfing community is composed of a few types of people.
1) Travelers from around the world looking for a couch to crash on while in a new city.
2) Wonderful locals who are willing to take in the above travelers for the night.
3) People who are interested in meeting others from around the world.
Additional side note: I once read a blog about a girl from New York who couch surfed across South America for several months.
Okay, back to my roommates. Paula is involved with couch surfing. Through her involvement she has met a group of people living in Santiago, both Chileans and foreigners. They plan get-togethers, parties and other excursions across Chile. It´s quite nice really.
Anyway, Paula and Julia (my other roommate) were hosting a Christmas party for locals and foreigners, many of who are a part of the couch surfing community. So that is how I found myself spending the wee morning hours of Christmas (until 5am!) with people from nine different countries. Which countries? Well I´m so glad you asked.
And of course I was there to represent the US, making a grand total of nine countries in one apartment. I´m not sure I can remember the last time I had that much fun. I really enjoy meeting people from around the world. And it definitely helps being around people during the holidays who are away from their families as well.
*In case you´re wondering, like I was when I heard the name of this country, Eritrea is in Eastern Africa. It is bordered by Sudan to the west and Ethiopia to the south, with the Red Sea running along its northeastern border. You´re welcome.