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World of possibilities awaits: Columnist leaves for Chile Friday

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World of possibilities awaits: Columnist leaves for Chile Friday
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Just a few short days ago my father informed me that I would be departing Minnesota on Aug. 10. A mixture of sadness and happiness washed over me. The reality of actually going to live in Chile finally hit me. Despite the news, it just didn't seem real.

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Throughout my summer at camp, I didn't think about heading to Chile that much. I received occasional e-mails and texts with information, but I soon got caught up in camp business, which caused me to overlook said information.

At camp, I would only have Internet access from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. This got to be a slight problem seeing as there was no way I would ever wake up at 5 a.m. to check my e-mail and I was done with program at 9 p.m. This meant I could only check my e-mail on Wednesday nights. (My night off.)

As camp came to a close, I became more and more excited to depart for Chile. It seemed like everyone was asking me if I was excited or not. More than a few times I fought back a snappy response. Of course I'm excited!

This question made me think of a few things. Why am I doing this? What am I expecting? What is this going to be like?

Answers started popping up in my head left and right. The answer as to why I'm doing this is clear: Why not? This is a once in a lifetime chance that most people aren't lucky enough to experience. I am one of the few that have the guts to leave my life in Minnesota and go for something completely different.

It's true that I don't know anyone in Chillan, Chile, well enough to call them friends and family just yet. It's true that I'm just about scared out of my mind, but I'm a big girl and I know I can get over it. I've had this dream of becoming someone better through traveling the world ever since I can remember.

When I think of what I'm expecting, my mind either comes out blank or comes out swarming with ideas. See, when I think of this, I put what other people have told me into the picture.

I have, "Remember to bring a sharpened toothbrush with you at all times" engraved in my head thanks to my Director at the Water Front. I am not expecting to need that, but maybe he knows what he's talking about. I'll just have to bulk up on my toothbrush sharpening skills.

Other people have told me about the parties. They start at midnight and last until 6 a.m. I am already trying to prepare to be up all night. I'm interested to see how that one turns out.

Taking out what other people have to say, I'm obviously expecting for it to be life changing. No matter the outcome, I know it will make me a different person. It could be the best year of my life or it could be one that isn't so great. Who knows?

Maybe my host family doesn't want me there. I could get bitten by a scary Chilean spider. For all I know I could get run over by a bus. (I bet that puts happy thoughts in my parents' heads.) I hope to the high heavens that those things don't happen, but if they do I'll make the best of them.

What is this going to be like? This is the one question that I simply can't answer. Who knows what it's going to be like. I've never been there. I don't know their culture. This is just the beauty of the whole experience though. To learn something different. To become someone different. To be shocked, baffled, surprised, and even frustrated over and over again.

There is a world of possibilities out there. I know I can't find them all, but I will certainly be looking.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.

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