August 15, 2015
This past weekend was not what I thought it was going to be like. Chloe, my family, the Yévenes’, and I had been overly excited to take on “the Nieve” this past Saturday. We went and bought used ski clothes, couldn’t sleep on Friday because it felt like Christmas, woke up at 5 am on Saturday, packed the cars, and drove two hours to Portillo. As we were driving through, we got stopped and simply were told that we couldn’t pass through (something with Argentina and hotel reservations…who knows). Surprised with myself, I wasn’t even upset. Yes, I wanted to go skiing. But we all got out of the car, laughed it off, and moved on with our day. My host mom’s cousin happens to live about thirty minutes away in the Andes, so we loaded up on meat, salad, cookies, and drinks, went to her house, and spent all day there. How could I possibly be upset? That is happiness.
Now, I’m not going to tell you I know the perfect definition of happiness, because I definitely don’t. But, I do know that this weekend was happiness. Happiness is being smushed in the middle seat of a car with your Chilean family. It’s having your host dad sarcastically ask how the snow was and creating stories about everything we were going to tell people about our crazy mountain day. It’s playing card games with 10 kids, laughing our heads off calling each other cheaters. It’s playing solitaire and bonding over all the Disney movies we love, even if we watch them in different languages. It’s eating lunch with thirty people, half of which I had never met and probably will never see again in my life, but feeling at home. It’s teaching Rebe and Coty the whip, and having them laugh at me when I do it. It’s witnessing cousins getting together again and the strong bond of families. It’s learning a bunch of new words for “dating” and “boyfriend” and everything else a teenage girl would ever need to say. It’s staying up until 12:30 am watching the Hannah Montana movie and five girls falling asleep in the same bed.
Happiness is a ski day gone wrong. It’s a change of plans that turns out to be exactly what you need. It’s flexibility. It’s family. It’s love. It’s God at work.
This right here, a group of people that was so unfamiliar two weeks ago, but now feels like family….that’s happiness.