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". . . and that type of bravery will take you places." -Evan Sanders

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When it rains, it pours [in Santiago]

April 18, 2016

Hi friends

 

It’s been quite a strange week to say the least. Mon- Wed were normal days for Dani and I. We are constantly putting out emotional fires left and right in our classroom. Thank god there are two of us, because I don’t know how just one teacher would survive with this bunch.

 

On Thursday, as I was eating breakfast, my floor started to rumble more forcefully than the average tremor here (still not extremely strong). Since nothing happened, I proceeded normally to work.

 

We rolled up to completely pitch black school. Since we’re approaching winter, the mornings are extremely dark. We were so confused as we pulled into an equally pitch black parking garage. Other teachers were arriving and using their phone flashlights to light the way. The security guards informed us that everyone needed to go to the lunchroom. It felt like a scene from Titanic.

 

As the children began to file in, things started to get chaotic. The entire prek-12 school was filing into the lunchroom with no order and no lights. Teachers were shuffling kids around using their phone flashlights. The little ones were crying because they were scared. We did our best to collect our kiddos and keep them together. After a while, the headmistress dismissed first and second graders to their classrooms.

Once in our classes, we didn’t really know what to do. We did a morning meeting and read a book (by our phone flashlights). We didn’t have any water which was quite inconvenient since we have kids who need to go to the bathroom every .4 seconds. After about an hour and a half, the inspector told us that the parents were coming to pick the kids up. It took about an hour for all of the kids to finally be picked up and then us teachers were free to go.

 

We later learned that the loss of power and water was due to a problem with the school’s power generator (and unrelated to the tremor). The rain had leaked into our power generator deeming it extremely dangerous. For safety precautions, they intentionally cut the power. It was going to be a long cleanup process, so much so that school was canceled on Friday. Its one thing not to have lights, but its another to not have water.

 

Since that day, it has been raining non-stop. The river has flooded here in Santiago and the water companies have cut the water supply in 27 areas - close to 3 million people are without water. The water level is very high at some points in the city (actually in my neighborhood). But not to worry, the streets by me are not flooded at all and I live on the 12th floor. Luckily, I never lost water either. This morning, the news reported 4 people are missing and 1 person has died as a result of the flooding. Many businesses and schools (including Santiago College) are closed tomorrow as they work to cleanup this mess.

León and I have been stuck in my apartment going stir crazy. I have watched too many Lie to Me episodes on Netflix to count and I’ve thrown the tennis ball enough times to pull a muscle. 

Laughable Moments:

  • While corralling children in the dark, I felt like the “WOMEN AND CHILDREN ONLY” man in Titanic. “FIRST AND SECOND GRADERS ONLY!”

  • This week we got a Flat Stanley (A very popular children’s activity to see how far Stanley can travel in an envelope) n from Scotland. One of my students wanted to write a letter to send back with Stanley. She addressed the envelope “To: Scotland”

^^ Flat Stanley from Scotland

  • ^^ To Scotland: Hello, thank you for the letter Chile is a country and very beautiful. 

     ^^ First grade love is true love

     ^^ It was raining while eating dinner at a restaurant with a friend. We were eating outside, so everyone took out their umbrellas and continued eating!

     ^^ León and I made a friend while walking. The 3 of us had a great walk together.

 ^^ How cool did the clouds look after it finally stopped raining?!

 

Heres to a more normal and drier week!

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