So now we have been living and teaching in Valparaiso for over a month now. The weather has been very similar to California in late August and September, in other words delightful. We have rented a beachfront apartment in the neighboring town of Vina del Mar. We are lulled to sleep by the crashing waves at night and wake to the sun over the ocean everyday. No complaints there. As the weather has been so nice we have been on the beach swimming, and playing volleyball or frisbee around 3 days a week. There is a skatepark at the far end of the beach which I have a lot of fun skating at and meeting Chileans. Skateboarding is as popular here as it is in California or Oregon. We have also been going on hikes in the surrounding areas. There is a national park called La Compana, the bell in English, named after the large round exposed rock on top of one of the park's many mountains. There is a plethora of wildlife there, sometimes more than desirable. We have encountered wild foxes that are very hungry and turantulas as big as my hand crossing the trail. Valparaiso is an incredible
city with more murals and public art than I've ever seen before. The streets weave up from the port in all directions and it is necessary to navigate a network of painted stairways to maintain any sort of defintite direction. It would be very easy to get lost but the constant view of the sea as you guide makes it easier to stay on track. As for teaching, we both have 5 classes that meet twice a week for an hour and a half per session. I only teach 3 days a week with longer days while Tracy teaches around 2 classes a day. All of our students are complete beginners so it was no easy task teaching them the basics, especially for Tracy who does not speak as good Spanish as I do. However I lack the teaching experience which made the first weeks equally as difficult for me. Now the classes are going better as the students learn the basic commands and concepts and as we become accustomed to being university professors.
Currently Eric and I just finished up teaching English in Chile for a year and are now traveling around South America. We dont know exactly where we are going or when we will be home, and that is a beautiful feeling!... full info