Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Chilean cultural education continues with Pablo Neruda's gorgeous home at Isla Negra. One of my favorite spots in the world, and I was on cloud nine sharing the view with coffee, hot chocolate and the boys.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Having passed my Chilean Driver's test and tying up the last of the "getting settled in Latin America" process (after 6 weeks I think I can say I am done), we were off in a flash to mix work/research with personal interests in Santiago. After attending a Fulbright meet and greet yesterday, we were treated by the Chile Fulbright Commission to a wonderful tour of the Indomita winery in the Casa Blanca valley. The boys were fascinated by the wine making process, and although they didn't get to partake in the sampling afterwards, stole a few grapes and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Plans for the weekend after meeting with my research collaborators is to head to Pablo Neruda's home in Isla Negra, one of my favorite places in the world.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Well, here is my first post about work. Students in Chile are surprisingly like the students in the States. I needed to remind them today that there was an attendance policy (80% to pass/ department regulation) and that talking in class and texting on their cell phones is rude. Go figure. It felt actually nice to be in familiar territory!!! So despite the disparate signage around town, I almost felt at home. . .

Monday, March 26, 2012

Well, many of you have asked what the boys reactions (new keyboard. . .cant find the punctuation since they dont use the apostrophe) to the 7.2 earthquake felt here yesterday (the epicenter was 2 hours north) (I think we "only"  felt a 5.7 but it was a long one).

TJ: (After making him come under the dining room table with me. Two minutes later we were still under the table). "Mom...I really want to get out and play legos."

Now, I also need to preface all of this with the rumblings of the nearby Volcano Llaima (most active in South America) that was just north of where we were this weekend in Pucon. When I heard that they had evacuated the National Park there, and that we may be able to see the lava if it did indeed start to "blow", the boys quickly threw on their shoes in their pjs and headed up the hill to "see the sights." I would say that the boys are taking things in stride!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gorgeous weekend in Villarica and Pucon, Chile. Some of the most beautiful scenery there is in Chile. Tj made huge strides walking approximately 5km without complaint. Dave almost reached the summit of Volcan Villarica. Some concern about rumblings at nearby Volcan Llaima, but we were fine down south. The real action happened when we returned to Concepcion and experienced our first real tremor. 7.2 at epicenter..guessing 5.8 here. We definitely moved!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Given the activity at the Y (pelota y balon son palabras internacionales), we are eating pizza more often. Funny to buy 1 METRO de pizza crust!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

One of the comments the boys first made here in Chile was that there was tons of graffiti on walls, doors etc. I decided that it might be interesting to catalog some of these. Most of the pixs are from the student movements down here, which I am nearest to for obvious reasons.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Our first complete week of school. I think we may have passed the hump of 50/50% but I am not sure what this week will bring. ! (?) This weekend, we had our first play-date at la casa de Felipe (5) y Francisco (9). We lucked out on that age range, and two boys to boot!! A gated community, the boys trolled the area without Mom and called it their great adventure. Saturday we headed to a friend's cabin at Las Termas de Chillan. We walked in a lava field and enjoyed the (again) wonderful weather. Back to the grind this weekend. Counting the days until Dave visits (7!!!).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Discovered today when I went to City Hall that the written driver's test has 250 possible questions from which they select 35. Guess I know what I'll do this weekend. LOL

Did I mention Chileans like their "helado"? We treated Cole today at the mall to a HUGE sunday for his 9th Birthday. FELIZ CUMPLEANOS COLE!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Did I  mention Chileans like their "helado". We celebrated Cole's b-day at the mall (Lego store and huge ice-cream sundays that fortunately didn't burn down when 30% of the mall did). We brought cupcakes to school, and for the few days he has been there, they have seemed to embrace him and helped him celebrate (although there were a few moments of sadness for missing his pals at home).  Wednesday is early release, a new experience. Also new experience is that 4 different students are showing up for my class each day. !! Not sure that is customary or the word on the street that an "extranjera" is teaching the course is about. Time will tell!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Beautiful days at the beach make it hard to go to work and school! These photos were from Dichato, Chile. We had an awesome day in the sand and even got a little boat ride in. Palabras nuevas: valde, palo, arena, lancha.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hopefully not our last day at the beach, but we had a wonderful day in Dichato. Words: lancha (boat), valde (pail), palo (shovel). And of course helado. Mucho helado. Learned Chileans consume the most ice cream per capita in the world!!!

Blowing off steam on a Friday afternoon. First two days of school. Cole loves it, Tj is ambivalent. Coe is already starting to speak in (broken) sentences!! Tj has a friend name Felipe and Cole's friend is Igor.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A mixed day of a lot of emotions. First day of school at Colegio Thomas Jefferson. Cole was really motivated to learn Spanish and came home trying, but was ultimately more interested in organizing school supplies (so different here) and his packback, and talking about his locker than anything. Said he made one friend. Tj was happy to go, and had his face painted and a balloon when I picked him up (1/2 day), but said at bedtime he didn't want to go back. A LOT of stimulation going on for these young minds. Words: ciencia, formacion moral, lenguaje, (Cole), and not sure about Tj yet!!. I'll take 50/50 right now. We are a tired bunch!