Published: March 16th 2012March 11th 2012
It has been pretty busy with school starting so I haven't had much time the past couple of weeks for updating! Kurt has also started his new job and is staying busier these days (and nights) with that. He is teaching English to adults and seems to be enjoying it quite a bit! Today is his first super-long day...8 am to 10 pm with a 2 hour lunch break. Poor guy but at least I can take a nap and be ready to go to dinner when he is finished! :)
I adore my little chicaditas! They are very cute and very affectionate (I have been trying to teach them to kiss on the cheek, not on the lips:)! I like that a lot about this culture. It doesn't matter who you are--it is customary to greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek. My parents kiss me every morning and afternoon when I see them. Very endearing! The only really tough part is that my kids really have no English. I had feared that a bit since they are so little, but it is getting better each day. I am just not able to teach how I always have
(and how I love to), which is tough. But I am figuring out little tricks and universals that I can incorporate to make it more my style. I am told that by 2nd trimester (June), that it will be worlds different in this area, so I look forward to that!
The parents are definitely high-maintenance. I thought Pembroke was bad...It was nothing compared to this! I teach at one of the most affluent schools in all of Chile, and with that price tag comes a sense of entitlement for sure! Also, there is a huge cultural difference in terms of child-rearing beliefs. A mom told me at open house last night that she thought I should be feeding the children. HA! 4 years old! The children are very babied, to say the least. But you all know me, and I have a strong belief in encouraging autonomy and independence, so that is a major goal of mine and an apparent battle I will continue to fight! My Chilean assistant, Pamela, is quite interesting as well, but I will save that for another time... :)
As you will se from the media--we attended a pretty fun beer fest. It
Sorry for this one, it is a bit graphic...but there is a funny story...
Kurt has been enjoying photographing the endless graffiti
was funny because we met our friend, Alex, a Canadian we met in a bar when he heard our poor attempt at speaking Spanish :). He is an engineering professor and just finished his dissertation. That day was one of the last days for him to work on it, and we happened to catch him at the tail end of his work. His wife, who is currently with her family in Michigan--ended up seeing a photo of him in that hideous hat carrying 3 beers in the Anto newspaper! Pretty funny! We are bad influences :). But he is finished now and they are celebrating at Disneyworld. And it was OK because he had already spent like 12 hours working that day!
We are definitely settling into a routine. I am exhausted after 8 hours a day with 4-year-olds, and I have an hour and a half per day (total) bus commute to and from school, so we are pretty much living for the weekend and my upcoming vacation time! Kurt has been working many evenings the past couple of weeks, so I have found myself spending more time with my new pals and am slightly addicted to Netflix.
Special tower in plaza
There is an old belief that one who walks under this structure before leaving Anto will always return...several of our friends here have done it and are all back! :) We will do it before each journey (except, perhaps, the final one home:).
We have been trying new places to eat (and drink, of course), but have been trying to cook at home on the weeknights, which has been quite a change of pace for us!
A good pal taught us about a site (firstrowsports.eu) that has allowed us to keep up with our beloved Tigers, so that has been a nice little home connection! We hope that the winning streak will continue! I am actually watching and listening to the game right now (and am surprised at this point about how well Norfolk is playing!)...
Miche sent me an adorable pic of Ari in a KC Royals bandana (listening to the home opener:). I rest assured knowing that my little Jewish friend is in a good home!
The place where Kurt is working just started a project with the mines so he will be going there every now and then to teach. They are also looking for a couple more native English speakers, so we are trying to recruit!!! Let me know if you are interested. And my school needs a Pre-K teacher in June as one of our chicas has to leave to deal with some family
Stray dogs EVERYWHERE!!!
Especially German shepherds, Kurt's fave! :)
stuff. The classroom is next door to mine and the kids are muy tranquillo (calm--the best Pre-K class, unlike my wild bunch!:).
As I mentioned before, we are heading to San Pedro for a long weekend in April; we are looking forward to that! I like how we only go a month until a little break...and 2 months until a long break! That helps having something fun to look forward to!
We just remembered that tomorrow is St. Patrick's day!!! Never thought that this would be a holiday that would temporarily slip our minds, but don't worry, we have a party planned by now and there will be Gringo(a) celebrations for sure!
I always think of lots of stuff to say in the blog, but the brilliance is not coming to me right now, so chao for now :)
We love and miss everyone and enjoy our little Skype/phone chats! Keep us posted as well! Any KC gossip is greatly appreciated! :)
~Amy & Kurt xoxoxoxoxo
There are more photos below