2nd to last week of teaching

Trip Start Jul 21, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

 So far this week has been really relaxed and easy.

Well this Monday we had classes as usual, although it felt particularly like a waste of time--Mondays I go in at 8, but don't actually have class til 11:30, so I just sit around... Then that afternoon I just ate and went to aerobox, hung out with Caroll a bit and that was it. 

Tuesday was also a relaxed day. Went to 5th grade, it went pretty smoothly, then walked home and worked on job applications and trip plans mostly all day. Went to aerobox, saw some students on the way back, and made a delicious "chilean" salad for dinner (tomato, garlic, onion, lemon and salt)

Wednesday was a full day of classes, but nothing particularly special happened. Except that I felt exhausted all day hah. I talked to Caroll and Loreto a bit after school and we planned the goodbye bbq we are having next weekend. Then Caroll and I went to pick up Alvaro, her littlest son, from daycare and went to her parents' house to eat. We had cazuela and a strange salad of tuna, peas, lettuce, lemon and salt...actually it was really good. Then we went to pick up materials from Miriam that she was supposed to give me when I first got here...

I also had to talk to her about when she is going to come observe me...which she was also supposed to do months ago. Turns out she isn't going to cause the only times she is free I don't have class..btw, "only times" meaning between thursday and friday in the afternoon cause she doesn't wake up early (even though she will talk about how early she gets into the office) and she is going to Santiago Mon, so she will be [even more] useless after that. 

Anyways I got my box (with SO MUCH useful stuff, at least Caroll can use it) and we went home. Dinner and some tv and it was time to call it a night. 

Thursday I went early in the morning to the "extranjeria" which sounds like "foreign people factory" to me, but is where I had to get my visa signed. It is completely pointless because it expires in 2 weeks..thanks again Miriam for getting it to me in a timely fashion. So I have to leave the country (go to Tacna) again before the 29th to change my visa back to a tourist visa, which is 90 days. I wish I could have asked them to just not take me off the tourist one..at least it went smoothly and Bria and I were out of there in about an hour and a half..and yes, that is things going quickly here. 

So then I ran some errands since I was already in the centro and didn't have to be at class until 11:30. I went home and made some food and then went to school. It was a normal day at school, I went home, was going to run, but instead talked to bill, and then Loreto came to get me around 5. We went to her apt. to get her dog and then walked around the park by her. We stayed there a bit and then went to eat at her house, we made grilled cheese and some manjar crackers, watched a bjork concert and drank tea. haha. Then we went to conversation class, where it was just Sonia, Bria, Loreto and I. It was fun, we talked about really random things, eclipses, Pilar, visas, periods, movies...I guess that's what conversation class is about, right?
Then Loreto dropped me off, I hung out with Caroll a bit and then went to bed. Friday the 7th graders had a test so I mostly just babysat them. It was very annoying for me because rules and acceptance of cheating/talking during tests is very different here, so I was freaking out trying to get them to shut up and stop copying, but it was pretty much futile. I do like teaching, but I think in some ways, especially when it comes to some respect and discipline differences, I am more than ready to leave. Anyways, then we had an easy class with 8a who had to do some government English test online, so we just helped them set up accounts for that. Then it was all school practice for the PE Gala this thursday, which is basically the way PE teachers show they taught something this semester I guess, it's like a dance recital of all the classes and the parents come to watch. Of course they haven't been practicing all semester, just recently, and during other classes..
Anyways, that was mostly entertaining, even though most of them were terrible. 8th graders were the best, dancing to a mix of Gangnam style and LMFAO's party rock song. Watch the video and mostly look at the boys to the left of the screen (who are technically in the front, but I was standing to the side).

Saturday I got up early and went to the beach with Loreto, her mom, and Armado. They were going to surf but there weren't really any waves, so we mostly just sat around and talked. It was really nice to get up and just go hang out on the playa with my friends. Then I got dropped off at home, hung out a bit and ate, took a nap, and then got ready to go to the goodbye dinner for our program. 

Caroll and I drove the beautiful drive to the hotel on the beach, adequately named "Arica Hotel" where the other volunteers, their families, co-teachers, principles and Miriam were waiting. We mingled for a bit, it was nice to see some family members that I hadn't seen since the beginning. 
 Then we went to the dinner room and it started to get weird. Mostly it was nice, it was a nice dinner, the thought was nice, people were happy and it was great to have all us volunteers and the people important to us in one place. The thing is, well there are a few. 1. it lasted 4 hours, that was too much. 2. I felt a little awkward because I was the only one without a family or a director (because he didn't want to "condone" what Caroll and I "did" meaning me leaving Pilar's house for hers..). 3. Most of the time was spent with people giving speeches about how great the program and Miriam are...which was very hard to sit through considering I don't think she is all the great. Basically the whole time somebody was talking on the microphone, a family member, a director, Miriam, someone from the ministry of education, or one of us volunteers. Obviously no one wanted to say anything bad, that's not what this was about, and we are all very happy with this program and I think would all say this was a positive experience, it was just too much praise of Miriam for my taste, especially from people who seemingly had nothing to do with the program. The other volunteers and I just kept looking at each other like, "really? we're part of your family Miriam? Oh, you're SO worried about us all the time?"...that's probably why there are 6 of us and you can't even remember all our names..

Anyways, it was nice, we had good food, they gave us thank you awards or diplomas or something like that, and generally we had a good time, so it was a good dinner, but also incredibly hard to understand that it was the goodbye one..how is it time for that already?!
Afterwards Caroll and I picked up Irene and Rodrigo and went back to the house to hang out. We ended up staying up and talking until about 4, mostly about teaching stuff, since they are all teachers. It was nice, but a true test of my spanish because 1. I was exhausted so it was harder to pay attention and 2. because man can they speak fast and full of "chilenismos" or slang. Eventually they left and I went to bed and had a wonderful morning of sleeping in.

So that's that for now, now to hit my LAST week of classes! WHAT?! 
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