University of Maine Student in Chile 

Americans have been watching from afar, as people in Chile deal with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake last Saturday.There is one University of Maine student who has had a front row seat. Amy Marchessault is planning to spend a semester at the University of Chile, and was there when the earthquake hit.”So I woke up to the lantern above my head falling on my head, I didn’t really know, I was really disoriented. I didn’t know what was happening. My bed was moving all about the room.”20 year old Amy Marchessault describes the moment the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit. She was in her apartment on the sixth floor, and very confused. After all, she grew up in Maine, and really didn’t know what an earthquake felt like, not to mention she had just arrived in Chile four days before.”I texted my parents and said hey, we had an earthquake just letting you know, i’m ok. I didn’t think it was gonna be a big deal and my dad looked on the news and responded back to me and said, Amy, Chile is in a state of emergency this is a big deal, so then I kind of started panicking. O.K. I’ve been involved in something big.”Amy is in Santiago, the nation’s capital. She says there is damage around the city.She says some basic necessities are running low, but for the most part buildings around the city are still standing and conditions are good, Amy says amazingly people in Santiago are in good spirits.”which has kind of set the mood for me cause I don’t know how to act. I don’t want to be that crazy American girl who’s freaked out.”Amy also knows conditions in Southern Chile are much worse. Hundreds are confirmed dead, and the infrastructure has been devastated.Amy thought about returning home but has decided to stay put. She was supposed to start classes this week at the University of Chile, but doesn’t know if that’ll happen. So she’s just concentrating on living life in new surroundings on foreign soil, and grateful she survived this major catastrophe.”In a new culture, a new language, and a new situation all at the same time. I think it’ll make me a stronger better person, and like I said, right now I’m just living day to day.”