I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
My class is making progress each day. While its exhausting, we’re truly getting to a point now where everyone knows what is expected of them. Their English is still lacking, so we are starting to push the English more and more each day. As stated in my last post, it’s impossible not to speak some Spanish to them, because they really don’t understand! I feel very in control and organized this year. I got this!
Last weekend, a co-worker invited me to join her and her daughter to La Serena with them. It’s a beautiful beach town 5-hours North of Santiago by car. I’d gone to San Pedro with them before, so I was excited that they wanted to travel with me again!
We left right after school on Friday and began the long journey north. We were going to La Serena just to get out of the city and do something new, but also because there is a little fishing town where there are many penguins. Paula knows how much I love penguins so she wanted to take me.
La Serena reminded me a little bit of Los Angeles. It was very clean, and there were palm trees down the middle of the street. The beaches had beautiful white sand and the water was a beautiful turquoise in some parts.
^^ This guy followed us into and through the grocery store
We drove another 2 hours to Punta de Choros to see the penguins. We hopped in a little tour boat and were given a tour of the surrounding islands. We were disappointed because we only saw about 3 penguins, which were very far away! I did get to see some lounging seals and we even caught a glimpse of 2 blue fin whales (the second largest whales in the world). The islands were gorgeous and the water was beautiful! I felt like I was somewhere in the Mediterranean, that is, until I touched the freezing water and was quickly reminded I was in Chile. The worst part was the everything was seafood! I had a diet of french fries and cheese empanadas the entire weekend.
The following weekend I headed to Viña del Mar with my close friend Colm. We had a long weekend and wanted to get away. We stayed in the most perfect Air B&B apartment and had the entire place to ourselves. We shared a lot of laughs and got to take our minds of the stresses of work.
^^ No, Colm and I are not dating. We both are interested in men.
We were exploring the parts of books and I was trying to show that them all books have titles. They weren't getting it so I said "all books have ti..." my whole group shouted "tigers!"
We were learning about how everyone is unique and special and we started talking about what makes us unique. I overheard one boy say to his friend "I have a mole on my ass!" his friend said "me too!"
I sneezed and instead of saying "bless you" someone told me "cheers!" by accident
While teaching a lesson on the rug, one of my students just blurts out "what. the. fuck." I ignored it and must have heard him wrong. Then they all start chanting "what the fuck! what the fuck!" They had no idea what they were saying and I have no idea where they learned that.
I was in the hallway testing a kid's reading when a second grader, whom I've never met before, brings me a pigeon. Like a live pigeon, in her hands, "Here, miss".
I was getting physically angry at my co-workers who chose not to get their flu vaccine at school. I'm very pro-vaccine and Chile has actually run out of flu vaccines for the moment!
^^I learned that penguins can climb! Unfortunately, that makes it quite difficult to spot them...
^^I like that the stray dogs get to lay on the beach all day, there are worse places to be a stray
^^ This cute friend followed us all around the hills of Valparaíso
^^Chile recently got "self-checkout" in the grocery stores. Chileans don't like change/ don't know how to use them, so everyone is still waiting in those long lines and I get to breeze right through now!
^^After making these in religion, I found myself saying "stop playing with Jesus!" and "put Jesus in your desk and take out your math book!" a lot!
^^ After taking this pic, the seal reared his head and growled like a bear.
^^ The kids had to write a sentence about the picture.
^^ Strangest incentive chart I've ever had to make!
^^Birthday gifts from my dear friend Dani -she knows me so well
^^ Trying to take a pic and this guy just wanted a hug
^^ Creepy photobooth van
I've been helping raise money for my neighbors by selling raffle tickets. Their son has severe down syndrome and epilepsy. They had a terrible year where the son underwent complicated brain surgery while the mom had to have something removed from her uterus at the same time. They spent almost a month in the hospital. Thankfully, everyone is doing much better now, however the hospital bills are starting to arrive and they're struggling. I'm so happy to report that I've so far raised about $235 USD for them! My friends and co-workers are so kind and caring!