Well you don’t need me to tell you what an interesting week it’s been… but I can tell you that the election results of the U.S. have been felt all over the world, even in Chile. I won’t go into much detail about it, but like many Americans, the Chileans are in shock and don’t understand how this happened. They are very much informed about what is happening in our country. Which goes to show how ignorant we as Americans (in general) and the media can be when it comes to world news as we know very little about Chile and other countries. Many Chileans this week asked me how I felt about the new president and I felt ashamed to answer.
I will turn the tables from some very disappointing news to some very good news. Two weeks ago, I found out that one of my first grade students had cancer. I was stunned and couldn’t believe that a six-year old, a brilliant and beautiful little girl, could be diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. Her parents immediately flew her to Boston and get tests done at Harvard. Last week, they reported that the cancer had not spread from her finger! They are now deciding which treatment will be best for her before heading back to Chile. I’m so glad and grateful that she will continue to have a normal childhood and a healthy life.
This past week or so has been increasingly difficult at school. We have two very difficult students in our class and with no outside support, it’s nearly impossible to teach the 25 other kids in the class. Luckily there is only a month left of school, because my patience with the no-outside support thing is wearing quite thin. This is a concept I definitely miss about the United States school system.
Another interesting thing that happened since we last spoke, is that I’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Hyderabad, India with my Mom in March while she continues to teach the local nurses on how to provide the best healthcare to the sick babies. I ran into some issues with the dates because we will be going the second and third weeks of March –the first weeks of school.
I requested for the time off (2 weeks) and explained how important this trip was to me and waited for “the board” to review my case. My co-workers told me it shouldn’t be a problem since I’m a Gringa and we are two teachers per class. In the end, my request was rejected and I was a lot more upset about it than I had anticipated. This was the first time I cried at my job. I took a week to weigh my options and decided I’d schedule a meeting with the headmistress of the school –basically the president of everything SC (very scary).
I spent time preparing what I was going to say and basically said how this is a trip of a lifetime and that I’ve made many unnoticed sacrifices to be in Chile (I don’t get to go home for Christmas, I’ve never met my niece etc.). I told her that I don’t want to work at an “International Minded” school that promotes solidarity if it doesn’t allow the teachers to practice it and in turn, model it. Basically, I told her that I was questioning if I would continue working at the school. To my relief, she changed her decision and allowed me to go. I don’t think I would have actually quit, but I was so mad that I needed to believe in my heart that I would. That was one of the bravest things I’ve done here in Chile so far.
Other than that, things are quite normal here. We had a somewhat larger than the usual earthquake (6.4) last week in school. It was very fast, and not so concerning where we had to hide under the desks. I actually pretended I didn’t feel anything and that the kids were all crazy.
León got groomed this week by a new person -well technically she’s not new in that she was León’s owner before I got him! She owns his mother and two sisters. She told me how difficult it was for her to give him up. She was so excited to see him again that his haircut was free! I’ll definitely be using her in the future as it is clear that she cares about animals as much as I do!
One of my students was quite upset, she told me “My brother is traveling to a country that starts with a “u” (The U.K.) for seven years!” I asked her if she meant 7 days instead of 7 years. She laughed and agreed it was 7 days. Thank god!
I was playing ball with León in my apartment and I threw the ball from the couch of the living room into my bedroom and turned on the light on the far wall. It was amazing!! And no one was there to see it.
At the dog park, there were two boys playing Pokémon. They would throw a tennis ball at a dog to “catch” the Pokémon. It was hilarious, creative and a little cruel.
The other day, we were explaining to the class about making mistakes “The thing is, everyone is going to screw, and that’s okay. We all screw in our lifetimes….” It was hard for me to keep a straight face. She meant “screw-up”.
To a student: “Why did you put two cookies down your pants?”
To León: “Well, I’d rather you hump my pillow than chew my bra”
^^I really like the hands