Saturday, June 30, 2012

I don't want to say goodbye

Our time here in Chile has reminded me very much of things my parents tell me. I'm not talking about the advice they give you like "don't talk to strangers." I mean the sentimental things like "I blinked and you grew up! Where has the time gone?" With only fifteen days left in our South American paradise, it's hard to believe we've been here four months. Seems like just yesterday we were scared, little gringos stepping off the plane in this long, skinny country. But enough with this sappy dialogue.

J. J. Harting: speaks Spanish, English & German. Loves jazz.
Great news! We scored high enough on the third test in our business class to be exempt from the final! It was an interesting class to say the least, and we learned a few new things. Overall it was just a great experience to meet some new (spanish-speaking) friends, and watch some interesting documentaries we wouldn't have seen otherwise. This experience also makes me smile when I think that we (and by we, I mean me) were worried about doing well on the tests and whether we'd have to drop the class. We'll also never forget that our professor changed the class meeting time halfway through the semester, which enraged us! Alas, as with all things Chilean, you just have to take them in stride.

Ortofonía- we had too much fun learning. Carlos, Brandon, Rachel, Katie,
Allyn, Joven Mike, and me.
As for our other classes, we're pretty much done. We lack a dialogue test with our Ortofonía class, and a final in our grammar class. (If you were wondering how we were going to celebrate July 4th, we'll be taking said grammar test. Happy Birthday, America!) Our classes have all been great, but in different ways. Sometimes the material is the great part. Other times it is the teacher that makes class worthwhile. We'll take something special away from each class, mostly the new friends we've made here!

Now that school is almost over, Rachel and I have been trying to make a list of things we'll miss. (A daunting task, mind you.) However, here are some things/people we'll miss for years to come.

¡Maní confitado! Sugared peanuts, the best snack for $500 pesos.
Doña Raquel is one of the nicest Chilean ladies we've met here. Basically our relationship began with Rachel and I coming by to buy maní confitado every three days or so. She always smiled and exchanged pleasantries with us. After a few weeks we got to the "Do you like Chile? What are you studying?" phase. Nowadays when we go by it's full of hugs and smiles. I'll miss her terribly.... and her sugared peanuts. ;)

Rachel, Raquel, and me!

Me, Macarena, Maria Jose, and Rachel
These are the practicantes (student teachers) we had the privilege of knowing while volunteering at Colegio Paul Harris. They are in college as well, quite close to finishing and they hope to be English teachers at an elementary school someday. It was nice to talk to them and relate as one student to another.

Not pictured are Mauricio and Ricardo. Between the four of them and the two of us, our classes on Thursdays had no shortage of help for English class!

Side note: We didn't have to wear those ghastly orange aprons ever week. They were just for our closing program for volunteering the other day.

Teacher Rodrigo. He's totally boss.
However, our volunteer experience would not be complete without the help and enthusiasm of one man-- Teacher Rodrigo! This guy is awesome! He was welcoming when we arrived on the first day and even invited Rachel and me to his house for once last week. Apart from teaching English at the elementary school, he also teaches a class at a university. He's a lover of all things Beatles and Rock & Roll, and has a flair for technology. I'll really miss some of his expressions like "We have to fly!" and "Let's go lads." (He learned British English in college, so his accent and phrases are colored by the UK.)

From N. Carolina to Chile. She's bacán.
At our school, there are many people who have welcomed us with open arms and hearts. We'll be content to mention two today.

Kathleen Lowry is.... well to tell you the truth, I don't really know her title. Suffice it to say she is a BOSS! She's been able to handle any problem we've thrown at here and she's always ready to fill in as chaperone on the trips Carlos can't make. She's also a fan of chorillanas! (She once took us to one of her favorite places to eat them.) She's kind of like Rachel's role model since she moved down here to live in Chile on somewhat of whim. We'll definitely miss her mucho!
He told us this WAS his smile. 

Don Juan de Dios Gay is the best guard this side of the equator. He's an interesting guy who's worked in Chile, Argentina, and Portugal. He always smiles when walk up to the school. We usually spend a few minutes before class talking to him. He has taught us quite a few dichos or sayings in Chilean.
We have an ongoing argument on whether it's going to rain or not that day. (He usually wins.) At any rate, we've been blessed to know Juan. I only wish I could take him back to los estados unidos with me. I'd sleep more soundly if I knew Jaun was guarding the perimeter.

Poor quality, my apologies.

I have gotten somewhat addicted to juice in this country. I mean, back home I was quite partial to cranberry juice, but here I had to substitute. Luckily I came across this tasty liquid about a month ago. There is almost nothing better than Jugo Naranja-Plátano that I know of to quench a thirst. (Could be the copious amounts of sugar in it.... nah!) Sometimes it is rather hard to find, so it can seem like a treasure hunt. Watts is a Chilean brand so unfortunately there probably won't be this exact juice in the States, but I'll manage... somehow.

A little update: Rachel and I were supposed to go to Mendoza, Argentina this weekend. Lamentablemente, the pass through the Andes Mountains was closed due to all the snow! I feel as though the expression "You snooze, you lose" applies here. We won't get to meet Argentina this trip, but we both have a desire to come back to South America in the future, so we're not terribly sad.
We are most definitely going to Peru next week, however. We leave here on July 5th, and shall return on July 11th.
We can't wait to tell ya'll all about it!



  1. Great blog, great photos...thanks for taking us along for the ride! I'll miss Chile (via the internet) too! But I'll be one happy mama on July 16th!

  2. I'm so happy you were able to blog about your trip. It helped me with my Colin and Rachel withdrawals! I'm so sad you have to leave, because I know it was wonderful and maybe you don't want to leave yet? Or equal want/ don't want. But I am so excited to have you both back in the US! Safe and happy travels!