¡Hola todos! I’m doing very well, everything is perfect. I arrived last Thursday and hit the ground running. I went straight to the school and met my co-workers including our First Grade team who are the best! Everyone is so young, and welcoming. Santiago College, my school, is one of the most beautiful schools I have ever been in. It is gigantic! We have everything you could ever possibly need. I also love my first-graders. They are stilling learning English –some are very stubborn in speaking English. We meet in the middle.
My Classroom ^^ (I am a co-teacher, we have 25 students)
Moving to another country is very difficult –you are committing to live very outside of your comfort zone for a long time. But in the end, it is so worth it. Everyone here, from co-workers, to friends of friends from the states have welcomed me with open arms and have helped me with everything. I am so fortunate to already have such a great network of friends.
The first grade team surprised me with a little party and gave me a sweet Chile headband!
I have struggled with finding an apartment for a while –the one I wanted was rented an hour before I called. I have been living in a hotel (paid by the school). Finally, I have found one that I like and hope to move in this weekend –more on that later.
Santiago is such an interesting city. There are mountains everywhere –and not off in the distance, like RIGHT HERE. We are 1.5 hours from skiing in the snow covered Andes and 1.5 hours from the Pacific Ocean. Because there has not been much rain, there is a lot of pollution in the air. Sometimes, we cannot see the mountains. We are in Winter now - it is about 43ºF. Walking in the center of the city reminds me a little bit of NYC.
There is a shopping mall every few blocks -I can get used to that!!
One thing that I did not anticipate is how difficult the Spanish is here!! Chileans are known for talking very very fast, and in slang. The first few days I swear I got whiplash from some conversations I had. I am struggling with the Spanish here more than I thought and hope to get a tutor. Although each day I am getting more accustomed to the dialect.
An American Teacher and I asked the GPS to take us to the Apple Store –it took us to Applebees. Close Enough! (yes theres Applebees, Forever21, Steve Madden, Dunkin Donuts, Papa John’s, Subway etc.)
When talking about germs with my students, they told me they wash their hands with soup. They confuse the word soup with soap.
My friend told me they have doves all over the city. I told her doves are so beautiful, that is so cool. She made a strange face and said no they are not, they are fat, ugly and grey. She meant pigeons!
^^We have a map for international visitors to pin where they live -the first graders thought the pins looked better spaced out. So apparently some live in the middle of the ocean. The map changes every day :P
I will give a tour of my apartment next time. Until then, besos!