Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Teachers Day, School trips and Football

Stepping in Simon Cowells Shoes

So school continued as normal except for the fact most of my classes had tests so my job was to act as a judge for the kids oral presentations. The kids were free to pick their own topics, as predicted One Direction featured heavily and surprisingly Miley Cyrus despite her recent fall from grace. I was pleased to hear something a bit different when one girl came up to present about Iron Maiden. I would have enjoyed it more had every third word not been death or dying, I'm not sure whether the girl was unaware what she was saying or she intended to have a beaming grim when talking about such depressing topics. After talking to my co teacher and discovering that last semester she did a presentation about the positive aspects of Adolf Hitler's character I think she was in full knowledge. Needless to say I gave her a good mark, didn't wanna mess with someone who idolized Hitler. Some presentations were not so fluent and it was quite clear google translate had been used heavily with some sentences making absolutely nosense or being unintentionally comical.

My role as a judge extended to auditions for the schools English talent show. Some kids were evidently more talented than others but it was enjoyable all the same. There was one incredibly eccentric boy who sang a rock song and proceeded to kick his chair over and scream YEAHhhh at the crowd. It took us a good few minutes to quieten the room.before we could proceed. Wasn't quite sure who I most resembled as a judge but unfortunately I think I ended up being more of a Louis Walsh rooting for the eccentric underdogs more so than the truly talented kids. Overall we picked some great acts and if I was a betting woman I would fancy our chances in the talent show in November. GO Santa Maria!

Celebrated both my host mum and co teachers birthdays this week which of course in true Chilean style meant more food and drink. We had an asado prepared in the wood stove in the kitchen with mounds of meat and sprinkles of salad. Lily was a tad tipsy making a toast to Queen Isabel, you know, Prince Charles mum (:S) and even more randomly to Monica Lewinsky, I didn't even attempt to question that one but joined in raising a glass.The next night we headed for girls night out with a Chinese and then onto a quite flyte (ghetto) pub for karaoke. We sang (questionable use of the word) to Bohemian Rhapsody, everybody wants to rule the world and the most peculiar version of American pie. The words were not English but not spanish, it was as if they had stuck it in Google translate and hoped for the best.



Got to experience Chile's qualification for the World Cup. After the match we were driving through the city centre which was in gridlock with beeping horns and flags flying. Was a great atmosphere. Lucito was so happy he actually broke his car horn from excessive beeping. Found out Chile and England are to play each other in November for pre world cup friendlies, allegiances will definitely be split then.

Sugar ahhhh honey honey

So I have always wondered why there was a box full of bees in the garden but I never had sufficient spanish to ask the question. Turns out Pepe makes honey and decided to give us some honey for the house. Me and Lily were given the job of filtering the honey and after exhausting all the kitchen utensils none being appropriate for the job we used a pair of lilys tights and a cut open pop bottle. It worked a treat but looked like a Blue Peter experiment. Funniest thing was Lily gave the tights a wash and informed me how she still intends to wear them haha. The honey was delicious and will definitely be a welcome change from manjar for the next few weeks.


Officially the longest day ever 

So for some unknown reason I volunteered to attend the school trip to Santiago (6hours away), thinking it will be fine I will sleep on the bus. Think again Laura, I was on the bus with the most notoriously disruptive of my classes. The director boarding the bus to check some of the boys weren't drunk before we left pretty much set the scene for the rest of the excursion. The kids danced reggaeton the entire way there. A 5 minute toilet stop turned into well over an hour at 6am when almost 400 Chilean kids spotted a food vendor and queued for chips and burgers. After a few more buses breaking down we eventually reached University Catolica in Santiago, beautiful campus. Lunch was chaos, you wouldnt think they were aware they had to feed 400 kids and the queue snaked round the cafeteria, nearly two hours later we were finally fed and watered before another University exhibition. The bus home was equally as lively, and although I normally have a soft spot for SEAN PAULLL I can not say I appreciated it blasting all the way home after almost 2 days with no sleep. Back to school 1am- followed by a morning of classes the next day. EXHAUSTED!

Teachers day/week

Listen up all teachers, if you want to feel truly loved come to Chile. Not only do they celebrate teachers day it turns into more of a week of teacher appreciation, free food and drink, gifts and kind words. Tuesday night we had a cocktail at the primary school with food and drinks and one teacher receiving a lap dance from some lady singing, Wednesday classes were suspended for a showcase of dancing and singing by the kids.The teachers including me all received a flask with the school emblem (perfect I looooove tea) and enjoyed another buffet. Friday night we had a sit down formal dinner all paid for by the school with drinks and canapes followed by karaoke and a disco. Shame I was too exhausted from the Santiago trip to bring out my beyonce but it was probably for the best, I have to work with these people afterall. Despite leaving early (or more specifically as soon as dessert had been demolished) it was a good night.


  • Being told by my students my eyes were AWESOME because they are so blue and I have such blonde hair (I am genuinely considered blonde here). 
  • Singing all the way to town in the Collectivo to Duffy Warwick Avenue on the radio. Definitely scared the driver that evening. 
  • Eventually finding out what ASS is that I has always intrigued me on Chilean restaurant menus. It is not nearly as exotic as expected and is just essentially beef hot dog! 
  • Amazing new Zumba routines including Love Shack (Chile is definitely stuck in the 80s). 

Only 6 weeks to go 

Chao Chao 

Laura xxxx

Monday, 7 October 2013

Chillin in Ovalle

Now I can not promise that his entry is full of deserts and adventures but life continues in quiet Ovalle....... 

Celebrations continue

A commune 30 mins away from Ovalle, MontePatria was celebrating its 408th birthday. Now, I am not denying that that is a great age, but 408 seemed to warrant a concert and a range of different food stalls in the Plaza. After waiting for two hours we watched Los Vasquez a Chilean male singing duo who I am told are quite famous. Their music was described as cebolla pop, or onion pop as it is the kind of romantic music that makes you cry. If my grasp of the Spanish language was better perhaps it would have had the desired effect on me. We stayed for a few songs and it was actually nice to watch a concert where the whole audience were not absolutely intoxicated as not a single person was drinking, albeit in true Chilean style there was an abundance of food.

Last week Vivien and Emilys schools were celebrating their anniversary. Which in Chile means a week of competitions, games, dancing and random parties. Mine and Stephanies schools have no such celebrations during our volunteer service so we tagged along to Emilys school fancy dress party, where we definitely felt underdressed as airhostesses (with homemade pillbox hats- thanks Emily) when stood next to a whole range of princesses, superheroes and celebrities. Some of the competitions definitely left us shocked and a tad/ a lot uncorfortable. In the Mr and Miss category there were prizes for best legs, and some of the dance routines involved the kids dancing reggaeton rather suggestively whilst taking off their tops. The audience and the panel of judges, mostly teachers, seemed to enjoy the spectacle but the three of us were definitely left speechless- probably not for the right reasons. On a more positive note it was a good night and nice to see such a good school spirit.

Getting Pisco Crazy

We decided to treat ourselves to a meal out at a Peruvian restaurant in town. They serve ceviche a delicacy with raw fish/seafood with different citruses and seasoning. I would like to say it was very tasty, but the pisco happy hour which preceeded and house cocktail which followed my meal left my memory of the meal a lil hazy. 

Family time 

Still enjoying all the craziness associated with living with a family where neither of you share a common language. I do not think I will be forgiven for showing my host brother Potter Puppet Pals on youtube, with the constant singing of Hermione, DUMBLEDORE which is now in the house. Had a great laugh over dinner time finding out that the new dog they get in December will be called Facu, which sounded dangerously close to F**K U! That is going to be one confused dog "Come Back F**K U"... More bad language was exchanged in my car home from school with 2 non-English speaking teachers, whilst explaining the correct pronunication of I can´t. You can imagine what word follows but the whole ten minute journey home involved 3 teachers repeating the word see you next tuesday, over and over. Hopefully my legacy in Ovalle extends beyond teaching this word to the staff- here´s hoping.  

Too big for Chile and spontaneous ear piercings 

Well the bottoms of my work shoes are starting to wear thin which is worrying considering after scouring every shop in town I cannot find a shoe to fit me, and I am ABSOLUTELY unwilling to buy mens shoes. In the last shop we came to we found some sandals which I can squeeze into. When asking the shop assistants for my size I was merely met with a laughing response, once again confirming if you are relatively tall, Chile is not the place to live. After the shoe drama I decided randomly to get my ears pierced again, not sure how legit the shop was however as the back room was full of interesting phallic looking objects and hmmm shall we say, "different" fancy dress outfits. My doubts about the womens abilities as an ear piercer were confirmed when one side is completely unequal with the other, much to the amusement of my lil bro Emiliano. Not sure how to rectify this situation without my ears looking like a pinboard but we shall see in a few weeks.  

England Wish List
So I feel like I am far enough through the course now to start making a list of things I am craving/miss from England

  •  Weetabix- this one is urgent, it is impossible to even buy an alternative out here and I literally cannot wait for a bowl the second I touch down in England. 
  • Oddly enough I really miss rain. After not seeing it for over two months now I would definitely enjoy a good storm. 
  •  The great people from India never really made it to Ovalle so I am absolutely craving a good Chicken Bhuna with onion bhajis! Will accept all invitations for a curry night the minute I am home. 
  •  It is no secret that I am a MASSIVE Strictly Come Dancing fan- not to mention the fact that this series has THE LEGEND that is MR Chalk from Waterloo Road. SUSAN- clear the SkyPlus Planner!! 
  •  Although I have yet to meet him I already miss this lil chap Alfie.... although it is probly for the best that I am not there in the initial months, as the minute I return I will be teaching you as many bad habbits as possible!
  •  I miss having a long bath with some tunes playing in the background. Just to clarify- I do wash here, but showers everyday are not the same as a long lazy soak.
  • I miss listening to the chart show every Sunday- brings back 88 Old Ashby Memories with expert running commentary on the weeks offerings from Andy Clarke. When I return I will be completely out of touch with good music so if anyone wants to make me a playlist of the last 4 months that would be greatly appreciated! Mucho Gracias! :D 
  • And OF COURSE...  I massively miss all my family and friends. But only 8 weeks til I return and you can help me catch up on some of the things on this wishlist (not the bath of course- that would be weird). 
Until Next Time

Laura xxx