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  • Writer's picturestrykerk2


Hey there!

Hope you all had a lovely Halloween! I’m excited to announce a new section that has been added to my blog. I’ve added a “Travel Guide” section. Feel free to take a look, and if you have any questions let me know!

This week seemed to fly by, except for Friday –that day seemed to drag on and on. On Monday we had a field trip to “el cerro” (the hill/ mountain) that overlooks our school. The purpose of the trip was to classify living/non-living things.

This kind of field trip would never fly in the U.S. Once we got to the hill, we had to climb through a fence with barbed wire on the top. The hill was very steep –we all were slipping and falling, myself included! It was quite a sight to see. I had two students who were scared the entire time and kept saying, “Miss! I’m scary! I’m so scary! Please hold my hand!” I told them they were scared, not scary, but the fear must have gotten the best of their grammar.

^^ View of Santiago College from the hill

On Tuesday, two of my students came in with identical broken legs. Of course they are the two students who cannot sit still to save their lives, so trying to get them to not move a lot has been a fun challenge. One broke his leg jumping out of a moon bounce, the other accidentally kicked a cement curb playing fútbol.

On Friday, we had our first emergency drill, or Operation Daisy. I thought that “Operation Daisy” was just a clever code so the kids would not know it was a drill. It turns out, “Operation Daisy” is a nation-wide code. I have no idea why they call it that. Anyway, our fire alarm sounds very similar to a quacking duck. It was hard to take it seriously! We had to evacuate our classroom, and walk around the entire school and down to the sports fields (which are super far away). I was in charge of the cripples so it was a quite a long walk.

^^ Getting in the Halloween spirit!

On Saturday, I went out and explored Parque Forestal, a well-known park here in Santiago. There were so many beautiful trees overlooking the park, it was very peaceful. I especially liked how many dogs were running around there. During my adventure, I crossed paths with a Halloween bicycle parade. It was so random, but so amusing at the same time. Next year, I'm definitely getting in on that! In Chile, they do celebrate Halloween –but not to the extent it is celebrated in the U.S. Here I’d say they kind of “half-ass” Halloween, thankfully I’m here now to help them ;)

^^ This horse is on some serious steroids

^^ I didn't know Snow White and Spiderman were friends!

^^ Fun fact: I found this costume in a thrift store -it is actually for a 6-foot man. I had to wear a bikini top because the very believable fake skin has nipples!!

On Sunday, I did so much! First, I went to an artisan market and bought several souvenirs for friends and family back home. Afterwards, I stumbled upon El Cerro Santa Lucía, a smaller hill directly across from the large hill in Santiago.

Afterwards, I headed over to El Museo de Derechos Humanos –or The Human Rights Museum. This museum commemorates and honors the people who were tortured and disappeared during Pinochet’s dictatorship from 1973-1990. This period in time is extremely important to the history of Chile. I wanted to educate myself more on what happened, as I didn’t know very much.

I spent about 2.5 hours in the museum, listening to the atrocities that happened during this period in time. It was definitely a heavy few hours. People who did not approve of the dictatorship were tortured in many different ways. They showed a metal bed where people were bound to and electrocuted. During this time, at least 35,000 people were executed, mysteriously disappeared or tortured. There were over 1,000 detention centers throughout Chile where torture occurred.

During this time, Pinochet ruled the country through fear. The civilians had a curfew and they couldn’t drive their cars past a certain limit. Many of the atrocities during this time are still under investigation. The government denied much of the torture and disappearances that went on. Most families never knew what happened to their disappeared loved ones. Most were disposed of in the ocean or in mass unmarked graves. Many many Chileans have a family member such as their grandfather or great grandfather that was killed or went missing during this time. The wound is still very fresh.

I think it’s important that we educate ourselves on such historical and significant topics such as this. I’ll be honest and say that I never learned about this genocide before –and it happened very recently. I knew who Pinochet was, but my education never covered what happened here in Chile.

All in all it was a great weekend! I’m pretty tired from my adventures, but loving every minute of them!

Laughable Moments:

  • The word for handcuffs is “esposas”, coincidentally esposa also means “wife”

  • Most books in University are in English here –they don’t care if the students don’t speak English

  • One of my students approached me very concerned during recess and said “Miss, I’m really worried because a long time ago I was eating seeds in the sandbox and now a tree is growing and I’m afraid the tree will take up the whole sandbox.”

  • We were making posters to raise awareness about endangered animals. One of my students suggested we write “Please do not kick the animals”-she meant kill the animals

  • While dictating the spelling test to the kids, I always repeat fragments of the test several times before saying the whole sentence. One of my students wrote word for word what I said, repeated words and all. “I think, I think that, I think that queen . . . “

  • One of my students informed me that there was no more shampoo in the soap dispensers in the bathroom

  • My co-workers refer to “white-out” as liquid paper which I find very clever

  • On the field trip, students had to write and draw things that were living and non-living. A bug landed on a student’s paper, all of a sudden I heard BAM! She smashed the bug onto the paper so she didn’t have to draw it.

^^ Just a princess outside her castle

^^ Even The Joker has to take the metro sometimes

^^ That sign ain't goin' anywhere!

^^This man has recently been working the street I walk home on, he scares me.

^^ I told him he won the "best shirt of the day" award

^^ I'm so excited!! I'm so excited!!

Have a great week!

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