First time talking one hour in Spanish in front of what I am told will be a big audience. Yikes. Good introduction to June as I will be giving two more talks this month. (I think people finally realized my time here was more than 1/2 over!!)
Despite the 60 mph winds and rain storm this weekend, we broke out our new rubber boots to make basketball class at the Y (we were the silly gringos jumping in the puddles), and then heading to my friend's campo (after we loaded up with another round of 20 trees to plant) for another round of bow and arrows and a little hurricane wind fun.
We are making big strides here in Chile. Tj wants to stay at extension, and is playing tennis after school twice a week. Cole started playing basketball twice a week and is adding piano! I think this is a sign they are feeling more comfortable. I was pretty proud of them today heading off to an Open House tennis clinic. They did great! Rainy weekend in store for us: winter has finally arrived. We have had a good ride. . .
A great start to the three day weekend! Our plans to tour a war boat from the War of the Pacific were nixed due to the rain, so we took up Fernando's offer to return to his "campo;" the one we first visited upon arriving to Concepcion. The boys played soccer outside in the mud and made bows and arrows with a gang of 5 boys under the age of 13. It was exactly what the cooped-up-in-an-apartment-on-a-rainy day boys needed. Best of all, they understood so much more Spanish and felt confident compared to that first visit. Of course, rather than working on the hour talk I have to give in two weeks at the U, I spent the night conversing with adults, but boy did that feel good too!
Since I am teaching a course on Hispano-American theatre at UCSC this semester, it is only fitting the boys get their fill as well. Third play for the boys. . . loving the Children's Theatre series at the University's extension (where I will present a paper in a few weeks). Gorgeous run with the boys while they rode was a great mother's day celebration.
Phew..that was a busy day. The Kinder classes had a "Mother's Day Performance" followed by a bag of precious art work. Early release, followed by a birthday party, and the best of all we came home to HEAT. Yea..the furnace works. Just in time for the rain that is supposed to come in next week. Weekend activities hold sports (of course), and open house at el colegio, and Rocitos de Oro (another young theatre performance). Having city culture is certainly fun!
Kindergarten project. "Mi familia." Tj had a great time putting the tree together. I also loved shopping for school supplies at Lapiz Lopez--my favorite store (probably since I have spent a significant amount of time there trying to figure out what all these materials mean: cartulina, greda, plastulina, acroclip, carpeta vs. cuaderno etc etc.) While at the mall (yes, the one that caught on fire last month and smells less and less like smoke,) we discovered a new ice cream shop (Chile's favorite afternoon activity). Fresh fruit smoothie ice cream cones. Yumm. Helped make our bitter sweet goodbye to Dave a bit sweeter.
We are sad to see Dad go today. We had a really nice visit but they always seem too short. However, we are over the half-way hump! There are days it seems like it is flying by, but days like we have had lately (bug bites, broken kitchen sink, broken furnace, confusion (still!) at work) that it seems like it is going very slowly. Regardless, the Spanish is coming along very nicely. Both boys, including Tj, are trying to speak more. Their comprehension is quite amazing. Dave has a better take of their Spanish since I am with them every day and he reminds me that although the days can be taxing, this gift of language to the boys is incredible. I need to write that on my mirror some days. . . Here is a photo from the University. We have had amazing weather for the South of Chile. The color of the leaves is something we have enjoyed.
Today hasn't been the best of days: furnace is broken in building, Tj has 10 bites all over his face and body (mysterious bites redux (I was first victim)), the kitchen sink just busted and is spraying water everywhere. I was given 2 weeks to put together a 3 hour seminar on Chilean film, and I still have no intranet. Worse, Dave leaves in 2 days. Since I need a pick me up, I'm putting another nice picture from our weekend at the coast.
Forgot to add the best shot of the weekend: after hiking around the hills of Valpo, these boys were still smiling! Gorgeous view. Chile is just amazing and I am so thankful that I can share it with the boys. They are doing amazingly well; love school, love their sports, not so fond of being in an apartment, trying hard with Spanish, miss their dad, seem to miss their friends quite a bit though (friends down here are hard to make when each party only gets so far with the language) yet they are always game for an adventure!
After meeting up with Dave in the Santiago Airport (with which we are now very familiar), and spending a recovery night in the gorgeous hotel, we headed to Valparaiso for the day: watching the dock workers unload container ships, climbing the steep streets and taking the "acensores" up the ones too steep to walk! Valpo is a city unlike any other!
Since I am so far behind on my blog, I'll pace myself here. We took off from Concepcion on Saturday am to meet Dave in Santiago (3 frustrating hours late...spent at Dunkin' Donuts though) and then we headed off to Vina in an upgraded rental car due to the fact that the first car they tried to rent us had a flat tire. Our view from our room in Vina was just gorgeous. It was a rejuvenating weekend for all.