Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another gorgeous day of weather! We ventured to another local park Jurasica. In the afternoon, we headed to Parque Alessandri, a privately run park (by paper mills) that educates youth about tree growth and recycling. It was good to see some recycling education; it feels like such a sin to throw paper away here.  This week the boys head to school so we are going to start working the clock back day by day. Fortunately we have until Thursday. Jenna and I got the car in the slot in reverse so that is progress. It is such a small space with concrete walls about 6 inches from each side of the car. Fortunately my old tires that I replaced were left in my trunk (unbeknownst to me) and are serving as a good "bumper".  Spanish words: papel, arbol, saltar, hoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not sure driving was completely legal, we decided to forge more locally and head to the Laguna Chica and Laguna Grande. Grande, true to it's name, ironically had no bathers. Chica was "llena" although the water was as cold as the Pacific. Regardless, the weather is beautiful. I head into work tomorrow. . . hoping to get an email address and access to the on-line classroom management system.  And, to all those worried about our driving (me and Jenna), we are officially legal as of this pm. Thank goodness I hired a middle man to do all the leg work (registro civil, notaria, etc etc).  Besides some obscure school supplies Jenna and I can't figure out, most of the "tramites" are done. Words for the day: empanada, papas fritas, que frio!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So, we made our first journey in our (new) car (not sure it is totally legal yet). Other than driving thru a toll without taking a ticket (fined .75 cents with a good gringo accent). We went to Punta de Parra today up the coast from Concepcion. Lot of re-building after the tsunami, but a very enjoyable day. Next outing to a Laguna off Bio Bio river, then heading to work on Friday. End of "summer" vacation!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Here is a photo of our apartment. I learned at work yesterday that stairwells are NOT the place to be in an earthquake as it supports most of the building's stress (that and falling down the stairwell in the temblor). So stop, drop and roll under something to protect yourselves from falling objects, and wait it out. Other than personal safety, somewhat ironically related, I bought a car today. Not sure how, and I not 100% convinced it is 100% legal but I am now the proud owner of a Nissan Platina (?). We are off to the beach tomorrow!.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Splash pool at the park and gorgeous weather!!! Repetition of new words: quieres jugar conmigo, pinta (tag), te toque, espera, ven, para, bajate, camina, despacio!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The new bicicletas are a hit. Despite the fact that it rained all night, the sun came out, we went for a ride at the University of Concepcion (my alma mater), fed a black swan (although we weren't supposed to), walked downtown to do more back-to-school shopping, and partook in a very Chilean activity; eating ice-cream around 4-5pm.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A full day! Run in the am at the park with the boys, lunch while watching "Esponja Bob" (crude humor is transnational), then off to the school to have an "entrevista" (assessment) of the boys' level. Cole was taken to a room for a test, but I got to watch him on closed circuit tv!! Wow!! Tj got to hang in kindergarden and they both seem very excited. New words: colegio, clase, and they are starting to kiss on the cheek when greeting folks without much complaint or frozen bodies.  I bought the boys bikes today too! They need to get out, enjoy the weather (for now) and the Univ. de Conce. is perfect because the interior is all car free.  I also drove a car for the very first time in Chile....a stick shift to boot. Circling in for a purchase it seems.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spanish update: mas o menos, tirar un pedo, me gusta helado, vamos al colegio manana, manzana, bus/ micro, uniforme

Back Online! The cable guy arrived on time but it took awhile!! These photos were taken during our trip down South to a town called Curacautin near the National Park Conguillio. The volcano in the background is Llaima (most active in South America) and the lake is called Lago Conguillio. After our return to Concepcion, Dave returned to Texas and I started all the "back to school" hustle and bustle. Uniforms are a new experience for the boys. So is walking. We don't have a car yet so the boys are trucking in some miles!! BTW: our mailing address is Barros Arana 1327 Dept 94 ( floor). Concepcion Chile.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Visas registered at Police (1 hour), ID cards obtained (3 hours (various fingerprint retakes), Notarized letter obtained for emergency travel without both parents (2 hours), and apartment contract signed, keys to be given tomorrow (1 hour). . . . Phew.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today, a wonderful summer day, was spent by all at a friend's "campo" near Concepcion in celebration of his parent's 50th wedding anniversary and his daughter's birthday. Several selections of meat, veggies, and cakes were worked off by watering the 20 or 30 trees recently planted by the family in their efforts towards preservation and biodiversity.  The children spent the day eating plums, climbing in a tree house, and playing tag and hide-and-seek (new words, along with ven conmigo and ven aca).  Dave sustained several conversations in Spanish, and the kids disappeared for several hours into the woods allowing me time to reconnect with friends and forge ahead with my recollection of Chilean slang.  Since we have been so active, and the sun shines bright, we have been consuming a lot of bottled water.  Throwing away plastic water bottles feels like a mortal sin, but we have only found recycling centers that take glass.  Fernando uses plastic bottles as a sort of "drip system" for his trees, so it is good to see some environmental concern and one can only hope recycling quickly comes to such a gorgeous, mountainous country.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Two full days on the ground exposed to Spanish and these are the phrases/words the boys have already picked up:  me gusta pizza. manzanas. quieres jugar conmigo. como se llama el juego. jugo. departamento. bicicleta. queso. pan etc etc. They aren't even in school yet! Dave is right with them. I sent him out to buy bus tickets and he did it right all on this own. Life is good.

How fortunate I am to have friends here on the ground in Chile. Without them, I wouldn't have a home to stay in (instead of a hotel), nor a ride from the bus terminal with 6 bags, nor an apartment found and rented for next week that will be our new home (address forthcoming). Gracias Carolina, Monica, Fernando y Mono!! Because of all of this, we are going to take care of paperwork on Monday, securing our national ID # and visa registration (which will allow me to buy a car at the end of the month), and take off for the hills to enjoy the mountain air, thermal hot baths and pools, and horseback riding with the kids before Dave has to return to the grind.  Check it out!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Well after a near disaster on the flight to Dallas, where they informed us there was no overhead room and we would have to check ALL our carry-on bags through to Santiago (yea, right!! and entertain kids for 11 hours and feed them and change their clothes should mishaps occur), we managed to charm a New Yorker with our Texan charm and finagle the bags on board.  No one slept, so after a beautiful sunny day in Santiago, where we forced the kids to walk a few miles to get "used to it," we are heading to bed. Glad to be here safely!