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Pan-Am Maccabiah Diary: First Impressions -- December 27, 2003

(Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of diary entries by the
Schwartz sisters -- Becca, Sara and Leah -- all members of the U.S. team competing in Santiago, Chile, in the Pan-American Maccabiah Games.)


SANTIAGO, Chile, December 27. HELLO everyone. We arrived in Chile safely yesterday around 12 noon Santiago time after what seemed like an eternity traveling. Starting in Philly, driving to NYC in Xmas eve traffic, flying to Lima, Peru, and eventually into Santiago, Chile.

The time difference isnt too bad -- only two hours ahead of Eastern time -- so no jet lag, thankfully. Our hotel is beautiful and so is the city, nestled in the Andes. It is definitely nice to jump back to summer. The weather is warm and sunny and the sun doesn't set until about 9pm.

We made it to the pool this morning and even though it was only about two thirds full, hey, that's the sort of thing we have to be patient about with international competitions. The Chileans are great hosts and are doing a great job so far. We met some of our Australian and Mexican competition this morning. It really starts getting exciting when we see all the different countries that have brought delegations.

Today we took a tour of Santiago by bus. Some of the highlights were seeing the national palace, driving up a mountain that had a giant statue of the Virgin Mary on top and a little shopping place that looked like an old mission. We learned a lot about the country, such as copper is the main metal thats mined here, and the Chileans are famous for their clay art.

We got lots of great stuff from Speedo yesterday so we really look like a
team when we travel. We have a Shabbat service and dinner tonight that we
are looking forward to.

Adios!

Becca, Sara and Leah