Published: July 7th 2009July 6th 2009
It's been along time again. My laptop is giving me more hell than I could ever have wished on my worst enemy. Ok, so maybe that's a bit dramatic but it has been giving me trouble. My current issue is that it won't connect to the internet so I am using an internet café. I actually don't mind it so much. It keeps me from spending all night searching the web for useless information. It would be nice for looking into graduate school though.
Well, where to begin. I am heading on an amazing vacation in a day and a half. I will be travelling to Valparaíso, Buenos Aires, and Puerto Natales all within 2 1/2 weeks. Valparaíso
is an International Heritage site. It's supposed to be beautiful and is the hometown of Noble Peace Prize winner, Pablo Neruda
. It's known for its cerros
or hills and the colorful houses and buildings that hang from them. I'll be there for 3 days then it's off to Santiago to catch my next flight.
is the next stop. It's the capital of Argentina and known for its steak (and food in general) and euro-latin culture. It's also just a short ferry away from Uruguay. I figure why not make this a 3 country tour? So, I'm probably going to visit Uruguay for a day and spend the nigh in some hostel in a small coastal town on the Atlantic, South American coast. Not too shabby. From there I will head to the southern tip of the southern cone.
Though it's a few hours from the most southern point of South America, Puerto Natales
will still be like visiting the pan handle of Alaska in winter. It's the closest city to Torres del Paine
, one of Chile's, and South America's, most famous geographical assets. I hope to make it there for a day. I'm not sure how long I'll have and I think there is only day light for about 6 hours a day there during the winter, but we'll see. If I do you'll all get to see some amazing pictures. I'll be in Puerto Natales working, however. I signed up to be one of the instructors at the annual English Winter Camp there. It's a week-long English immersion program for Chilean high school students.
I've been keeping busy around home. Classes are coming to and end and I'm saying goodbye to my high school students. I'm really going to miss them. I am excited to be moving on the the middle school students though. They seem to be a little more motivated and willing to try new things (fingers crossed). There have been a lot of activities around the school including a really fancy, catered dinner for the profes (teachers) last Friday that went until the wee hours of the morning. I left at 2:00am and the crowd was still strong.
The weekend before I spent my first full night out with the Chileans. I think my head actually hit the pillow at 6:00am. It wasn't until 3:00am that we decided to leave the house party we were at and go to a club to dance. 3:00am. I had a blast though. I was hanging out with some of the funniest people I've met here.
I've been heading back and forth between here and Copiapó much more than I would like the last 2 weeks but it's necessary. There was work meetings to take care of but more importantly the local Public Speaking tournament for middle school students took place the last 2 weeks. First, was the local tournament in which a studnet from my school participated. I didn't get to work with her and she ended up being too nervous to do it but the other students were great! I think some of them stole their speeches from the internet though. The following week was the regional tournament. Seeing all these students talking in English at such a young age was pretty inspiring. Made me wish we forced our students to learn another language and that we offered them earlier.
We celebrated the 4th of July in style with cheeseburgers, mac & cheese, apple pie, and budweiser at Jason and Anna's. Afterwards we watched my pirated copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was a blast. The next day we had the 4th all over again at my house and a I made sloppy joes. No fuegos artificiales
unfortunately, they are quite illegal.
That's all for now. No pics this time but I will download some soon!
Love and miss you all!
Besos y Abrazos!