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Published: February 18th 2012
The view from our balcony
Hola amigos y amigas!
Please take a look at my new photos and 3 videos...sorry for sounding like a total valley girl in the video from my friend's balcony...I had a lil vino blanco before at lunch 😊 MANY more to come as I am reading over what I wrote and realize that I left so much out! Just don't want to overwhelm all at first! xoxo
We have officially made it through our first week in Anto. It has been really amazing so far. Getting here was definitely quite a chore as we had 4 flights on 4 different airlines--AND we were routed through Toronto, which is kinda crazy considering we left out of Kansas City! But cheaptickets.com was a cheaper site so it was worth the lengthy trip to save a bit of cash. So much has happened in the last 7 days, but I will try to remember as much as possible to share with family and friends, and to keep a sort of online journal of our experience here...
We arrived Friday, February 10th in the early evening. We missed our last connecting flight from Santiago to Anto due to spending over 2 hours
waiting in line at immigration/customs. It was super packed and frustrating but we were at least happy to be done with our 10 hour flight! So, of course our bags did not make it to Anto the 1st day 😞 but that was no biggie because being the packer I am, I had enough in our carry-ons to last a while! They arrived the next day. We were picked up by the head of the school (Don Carlos). He doesn't speak any English, so that was kinda weird. We missed our 1st ride since we were delayed. As we were driving through the city, we were a little concerned as everything pretty much looked dirty and delapidated. But once we made it all the way south to our temporary housing (the teacher apartments that we are in now but have to leave soon because of Kurt and I not being married😊--we were blown away by the beauty! We are in a posh high rise on the beach and it has been great.
Anyway--the 1st night we went out for drinks and empanadas with the other 3 new teachers and a couple of current teachers and one of their husbands
El Centro Anto
(they just got married--Sam is amazing, she is from Jersey and just married a Chilean named Nico--and Allison is from Maryland and is engaged to a Chilean guy named Miguel--more to come on these new friends...😊.
The next night we went to a huge club where Miguel works and it was super fun. We got VIP and danced our faces off. That was when we heard the sad news of Whitney Houston dying 😞 So...later that night was the begining of one of the crazy adventures... to be continued below...
We started the night in true Chilean fashion. Kurt and I cooked dinner for our 3 Canadian neighbors as they were unpacking their stuff. We went to our friend Sam and Nico's apartment for a party around midnight (typical party start time). It was very fun and we met a lot of new Chilean friends. Everyone typically brings their own meat and veggies and grills a late dinner.
After much drinking and dancing (I learned my new fave dance--Au su te pego--all the rage here now--check it out!
), we decided to go to a club. It was very fun! But at the end of the night
(around 5 or 6 am), after the foam party ensued, some Chileans started being kinda jerky to us and grabbing rears and grabbing our friend Kelly's blond hair as a novelty. Obviously the Chilean guys (and Kurt😊 that we were with did not like it so a fight ended up breaking out. It was honestly the most civilized fight we had ever seen--the guys all agreed to their terms, fought, then shook hands at the end.
So Sunday morning was a little rough. We had to get up and clean our place because our new roommates were arriving. Michael is from Chicago and his wife, Yolande, is from Holland. She is 49 and he is 59 and they have been an interesting addition to us crazy youngins! So Sunday night we all just hung out on our balcony and some other foreign teachers from last year came down as well.
Monday we started our "training" at school. It was basically 11-1 and we just toured the school and soaked up the internet use!
Tuesday was Anto's 100th anniversary so there was a big firework celebration at midnight. --Another interesting fact about Chile--they celebrate EVERYTHING at midnight the
Shakira the llama
In the mercado downtown...stinky!
beginning of the day (or night before, to be more specific). That was really cool as we went to a very cool bar on the beach that is open air so we had a great view of the show.
Wednesday, Valentine's day, was very fun but crazy. Kurt and I decided that we would finally break from the group and celebrate V day American style. We had some pizza at one place and then went to another place for drinks and later dinner. We got a call that we needed to rush to see an apartment so we jumped in a collectivo (shared cab) to head up the hill. The apt. did not work as it was not at all furnished. We asked how to get back to our area and were misinformed about which bus to take so we ended up in a really seedy part of town. We jumped off the bus and walked through the red light district (sketch!) and then got on what we thought was another bus that would work only to end up in an even sketchier neighborhood about an hour north and up the hill. I was terrified! But we ended up
in another collectivo back to our original dinner spot and finally dined at around midnight! It was worth the wait for sure though 😊.
Today was great as well. We went a bit more south to a small fishing village called Coloso to see the village and have some fresh seafood empanadas for lunch. It was very grungey (sp) but really cool to see and the food was delish! Kurt and I did more exploring after that and now I am writing this! 😊
So--we found a place, Kurt has a couple of good leads on jobs at English language institutes (he has been plugging away taking his resume (yep😊 to different places. It is summer here now so that will all pick up in a couple weeks when people return and need English lessons.
Our place is a pension in Parques Brasil (basically the centerish of town) in a 3-bedroom apartment with another Chilean couple and a 27 year old guy. It is pretty cheap and nice and does not require a contract, so we can keep looking for our own place once we know more about the neighborhoods and what our actual monthly salary will
Kurt and Samantha
In a crazy Asian store in the market downtown
be. We will move our stuff on Monday or Tuesday. We will miss our pals here and the posh setting on the beach, but it will be cool to be more involved in Chilean lifestyle and having to use our Spanish more regularly!
This is a longer entry since I haven't added anything the whole time we have been here! I plan to add more shorter, frequent entries as we go so stay tuned!
We love and miss our family and friends and appreciate calls and skype chats whenever you can! It is great to stay in frequent communication and makes us happy to hear from everyone! 😊
If you haven't heard--our number is easy to call via skype--just go to 'call phones' and click on the Chile flag to get the country code of 56 and then our # is 97128776.
Chao (the proper Chilean good-bye)!
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