I’m currently writing to occupy myself in the awkward silence as the handyman installs a new porcelain throne in my bathroom. Why you ask? Let’s backup to yesterday afternoon.
I was trying my best to enjoy my Sunday afternoon (Sundays are my least-favorite day of the week) when I had the urge to pee.
Like most, I went to the toilet and completed my mission without issues. I had recently dropped one of those things into the toilet tank that makes the water turn blue, so I wasn’t surprised when the flusher just went on and on. I knew that the blue thing was stuck. So, since I’m so independent and self-sufficient, I lifted the lid to jiggle the metal string. As I was doing so, I lost my grip of the toilet -tank lid (aprox. 1,000 pounds) and it slipped -no crashed, into the tank. It sank like the Titanic and shattered the bottom of the tank, spilling water everywhere. This all happened in a split-second. I was suddenly standing in a pool of water and the bathroom was quickly flooding. Again, since I’m so handy, I knew to turn the water off (really you should hire me for all emergencies).
After rushing to sop the water up as fast as I could, I realized there was no way the toilet could be saved. So now I have the guy who works in my building replacing my toilet. All of this only cost me about $170 and my afternoon nap! What a steal!!
Anyway… all I can say is, a day in the life. Other than that, I’ve been crazy busy preparing to flee the country in December. My co-teacher also had a serious accident which she is thankfully going to make a full recovery from, but she won’t be returning to school this year –so I have some more responsibilities and work.
October was a month of many high highs and low lows. We lost our beloved Ginny dog and 3 weeks later our Great Dane Dobbin passed away. In my non-medical opinion, I think he died of a broken-heart and wanted to be with his best friend, Gin. Dobbin and Ginny were the greatest, and largest dogs a girl could have asked for. My heart is still very broken and in shock. I don’t think I am ready to return to a house without them clomping around. My co-workers were so sweet and all got together one day to bring me an "SOS Box" and a very sweet card saying they know things have been hard for me lately, but that they are here for me. It was so kind. I'm confident that I will never work with such a kind and caring group of people and that makes me sad.
We also went on a field-trip to a very cool farm. Basically, it was a giant farm/nature preserve run by hippies. I loved every minute of it. It was our first time visiting this place as a school. Basically we walked around with a guide who taught the kids about the different plants and animals. The kids planted a plant, and fed the animals. I was in my element, except for when the guy put me in charge of passing out the worms . After the field-trip, at school, it was apparent that we were hanging out on a farm because we all had a certain stench to us.
On a more positive note, we celebrated Halloween in Chile, gringo-style, as always. As most of you already know, Halloween is my favorite holiday ever. I was ready with my costume since January… This year I was the infamous Cruella de Vil, and León was my Dalmatian. This year my gringo friends rented a house (since last year the cops showed up super early). I’d say 150 people showed up to the party, which was impressive since Halloween is not a Chilean holiday.
^^ I did their makeup (PSA it's hard to put face-paint on a beard)
^^A Much needed spa day
A Series of Strange Events:
One Saturday, I suddenly woke up to a loud boom at about 6am. I knew I wasn't dreaming because León ran to my side. I thought it was a thunderstorm and became very excited since it never thunders in Chile. I ran to the window but it was sunny. I thought it was strange but went back to bed.
Later that day, I was selling my bike to someone who needed an ATM. I told her there was one just on the corner. She looked at me seriously and said "you didn't hear? I saw it on the news this morning. At about 6am they blew up the ATM and stole the money" Later on, I walked by and the window was completely shattered. I can't believe it was so loud, that even a block away, it woke me up!!
^^I think I need to find a new ATM for the time being...
León living his life:
One of the chaperones brought the whole class Fruit-by-the-foot’s (which are not sold in Chile). The kids were so excited about it but had no idea what fruit-rollups were. Since their manners are lacking, they kept yelling “quiero foot” “quiero foot” or “I want foot!” “I want foot!”
During library, the librarian was reading the class a story and everyone was very engaged. One of my students leaned over to me and whispered in my ear “Miss, in one year, I grew 9cm”
We were talking about endangered animals and about how some people make fur coats because they think it’s fashionable. One of my students raised his hand feeling very guilty and concerned because he had a “jacket made of tiger”
We were brainstorming with the kids on what to do to help endangered animals. One student wanted to tell the people killing animals “if you kill the animals, you will have bad karma”
Our final project for the unit was to make a poster explaining why an animal is endangered and how we can help them. One student decided he wanted to save fish (which aren’t endangered…) and his solution was to tell the birds to stop eating so many fish
Another student wanted to make his poster to help save the German Shepards (again, not endangered…)
One student did his project on a Chilean deer called the huemul that people like to hunt for fun. His solution to the problem was to tell the people to go for an ice cream and see a movie for fun instead.
On my blog I have created several travel-guides for places I’ve been to. A friend was reading over “what to eat in Santiago” when he mentioned that I had written “empanada de pico” instead of “empanada de pino”. Pico = dick. So basically for 3 years I have been encouraging people to eat dick empanadas…
Since I’m leaving Chile, I’ve started to sell some things. One guy asked me if I’d be willing to mail him something, if he paid for the shipping. I said of course and he sent me his address in Los Angeles. I was telling him that the electricity would be different and that it might not work where he is. And that the shipping might be super expensive. After a long and strange conversation I realized he was asking me to ship the item to Los Angeles, Chile not Los Angeles, California.
One morning I woke up late and had to meet my carpool in 5 minutes. I got ready so fast that it wasn’t until the end of the day that I realized I was wearing my pants backwards all day long.
My Uber driver was trying to practice his English with me, he told me we were “10 apples away” from the destination. After a few minutes I realized he meant we were 10 blocks away.
My co-worker brought us back some treats from a trip. That day we were having a bake-sale and one of the moms thought her treats were for the bake sale. Once my co-worker realized they were selling her things, she ran around the hallway buying them back from the kids.
^^ Somehow, I don't think this would go over very well in the USA...
^^ Perhaps one of the greatest spelling errors I've found so far!!!!
^^ Earthquake drills during planning
^^ A student gave this to my friend Colm for teacher's day...
^^A portion of French Fries translates to..............
^^ A PORTION OF FRIED DAD!!!!!
^^ My neighbors asked to borrow León for their Christmas-themed Halloween costumes
^^ After 6-months of work, hundreds of dollars spent, 1 lawyer and some tears, I've officially submitted my request for my Chilean pension money and the thieving pension system of Chile has no choice but to give me back the money that is rightfully mine.
My final weeks in Chile will be very hectic and busy. My friend Nick is coming to visit along with my Dad and stepmom! I've got lots to do before I board that plane, but I got this. Keep on keeping on!