Hello! One again, this is a late update. We had a busy(ish) weekend and the last week at school as been slightly hectic as 4th grade, our students, are preparing for their Movers exam. As such, I’m only finding the time now to post this very brief update for the week of 24th September.
Our week of workshops went by generally smoothly, with our focus being hair colour and eye colour. The children really enjoy playing ‘splat’, where we call out a hair colour or eye colour and the first person to hit the correct flash card wins the point for their team, when they understand the instructions. The first few times we play the game there’s always a bit of confusion but once they get into it it’s a lot of fun.
Something key that happened this week was that I had a day of workshops solo, as Emily was ill and didn’t come into school. While it was scary at first and some things didn’t quite go to plan, I’m really proud of myself for actually doing that (a few months ago I wouldn’t dare lead a lesson alone so I think my confidence has gone up).
In preparation for Music Week at the school, I was invited to a music workshop after school on Friday by Filipo, one of the music teachers. The students were preparing for their day of concerts on the following Tuesday (more on this in my next blog post), so I got to watch them practice the theme song of ‘Gravity Falls’ and a German song from the 80s that I can’t remember the name of. Angie also came along to help the ukulele section of the band.
After the workshop finished, Filipo gave Angie and I a lift back to her flat, which she shares with Nicolas and Estéban (they’re all childhood friends). We ate empanadas for once, and later met up with Nicolas, Emily (who had gone into the city early) and Angie’s friend José. We spent the evening in Bellavista before getting Pizza at 2am and going back to their flat. It was a lot of fun but exhausting (I was the first person asleep).
On the Saturday, Emily and I went with Angie to meet her friend Jackie (the main reason we went into Santiago). We met up in Barrio Lastarria and had lunch at Wonderland Café (a place I only realised was named after ‘Alice in Wonderland’ when I got there). The café is owned by an English person, and when we got there we were (unfortunately) too late for the English Breakfast but too early for Afternoon tea, so instead we ate bagels (mine had roast beef in it).
The actual neighbourhood is very arty and almost hipsterish. Angie told us that every year in Santiago there’s an art festival where different artists are asked to create something in different areas of the city. While these artworks are supposed to be taken down once the festival has ended, the people in Barrio Lastarria don’t want the murals to be painted over, which is fair enough considering they are incredible:
After looking around some of the smaller shops in the arcades, Emily and I went back to Quilicura. We spent the Sunday relaxing and planning for the week ahead of us, as it was our last full week until the Movers exam (at the time which I am writing this the exam is now tomorrow…)
Another exciting update! If you didn’t know, Mónica became our host literally the night before we met her, and as such wasn’t completely prepared for us. This meant that for the first month of us living in Chile, Emily and I were sharing a bed. While it hasn’t been the most horrible experience of my entire life and we are still talking, it did mean that we were spending literally every second of every day next to each other. So, I am very happy to announce that we now have separate beds! Thrilling, I know, but it means that we now have our own ‘areas’ in a sense and we are also now more than 1m apart from one another for a large period of the day. Sleeping in my bed for the first time also made me realise (or really think) that this is a long-term situation, and that I am actually living here for the next 11 months. Having this realisation at 11pm on a Monday night isn’t exactly ideal as it does send you into a bit of a panic, but there’s something comforting in knowing that your place in a family has been made more permanent.
That’s all for this short update! My next one should be longer, Emily and I went to a lot of the Music Week events and I have a lot of photos to share!