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  • Writer's picturestrykerk2

Chileans eat chocolate-covered babies

Hola dear friends!

Since we last spoke, we celebrated fourth of July and you guys at home have had 1 or 2 heat-waves. Personally, I’d much rather be swimming in the pool than holed up in my apartment for 3 days straight because of heavy rains. The temperature this winter has been melodramatic here in Santiago. One week it’s pretty cold, the following week it’s pushing 70’s.

Shortly after my last post, I became very sick with sinusitis again. The air in Santiago is so horrendous –I truly can’t breathe here. This was my 3rd sinus infection in one year. After a scan, we found that I have 3 cysts in my sinuses that most likely became infected. I was feeling terrible for about a week, and using my nasal spray religiously to try to drain those cysts. At the end of the month I will have another scan to see if the cysts are gone or if we need to go to further measures to remove them.

^^ Same day, 5 minutes a part. One of my favorite things about Chile is the sunsets.

A little while ago, news broke that some “punks” beat and tortured a poor stray dog and left him to die in the streets. The poor pup suffered tremendously. They burned him and cut him all over his body. One of his legs was 80% detached from his body. He was brought to the vet where they did everything in their power to save him, but in the end, his condition was too severe and he passed away. The vet and his staff named him Simon.

The news of this heartbreaking story sent waves through the animal-lover community of Santiago, especially since a similar incident occurred the year before. The vet himself organized a peaceful march against animal cruelty that asked for harsher punishments against animal abuse in Chile.

Of course, León and I were there in a second. As you all know, all animals are so important to me (even pigeons), and I have several stray dog friends here in Santiago that I care for tremendously. Even though I was very sick, it was too important for me to miss.

The protest was a huge success! More than 2,000 people showed up with their dogs! My heart felt so full being surrounded by dogs and people who shared my same morals and beliefs. Simon’s vet even greeted me as I arrived to the protest and personally thanked me for coming. León was the only dog at the protest who had his own sign so everyone was asking to take his picture. León is featured all over social media now. He was featured as the cover photo for a major news publication in Santiago covering the protest, on the vet’s Instagram page, as well as many other stranger’s instagrams. It’s safe to say that León has more followers than me now!

Fourth of July:

It’s always felt a bit strange celebrating The Independence of The USA in Chile. Just like in previous years, Santiago College always does such a nice job honoring us and our country’s special holiday. This year, they tried to open it up to celebrating all countries and their Independence days, which I fully support. I’ve always said that while it comes from a good place, I feel that all the foreign teachers at SC should be celebrated for their efforts and sacrifices, not just the American ones –whether that be on one special day, or throughout the year.

We had our annual grand breakfast hosted by the Head Mistress of SC. While the school is making strides, I was still disappointed to see that only the American teachers were invited to this very exclusive and grandiose breakfast. Like every year, the staff puts a lot of thought into the food they serve, trying to make us feel at home. This year they served fried chicken, bacon, donuts, bagels, waffles, cheesecake, mini-cheeseburgers, pancakes and much more. And yes, all for breakfast. Afterwards we had a school-wide assembly celebrating the 4th and I was called on stage along with fellow American co-worker Marie, to receive flowers. It’s very embarrassing and strange, but again, I know it comes from a good place.

We’re officially half-way through the school-year if you can believe it. This past week was filled with a lot of stress and headaches as we scrambled to finish grading and our end-of-semester tasks. Now we are all on our much-needed 2-week July vacation (can I get a hallelujah!). I’m headed to Rio de Janiero to visit Flo and Joaquín.

Laughable Moments:

  • My students always confuse the word kitchen with chicken. "Where is the stove?" "In the chicken!"

  • I have a student who is really struggling with English. His latest thing is he is confusing thank you and your welcome. So after you tie his shoe for him he says "your welcome!" and walks away.

^^ Chili's in Chile while it's chilly

^^ All very healthy foods as you can see...

^^León's new girlfriend

^^ So that's how those balloon arches are delivered

^^ I asked my students to bring me plastic bottle caps for my bulletin board and one of them brought my a bag full of beer caps

^^ When will this terrible trend end?!

^^ These are literal gummies shaped like babies. Sometimes they cover them in chocolate.

^^This only took me 5 minutes... and by 5 minutes I mean 5 hours. It will stay up for the rest of eternity.

^^ I asked my sisters if in the US we have elevators that only go to odd number floors and others that only go to even numbered floors. They replied "um no... what the hell?"

See you soon, baboons!

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