Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Earthquakes, Halloween and Penguins!

Earthquakes

So for one of the most seismic countries in the world (sorry I did not make this very clear before I came out mum haha), Chile was seemingly peaceful for the first three months, until I was hit with two earthquakes, (no sorry tremours as the experienced Chileans call them), in one week! The first one was a meagre 4.6 in the middle of the night, woke up to my bed, which is on wheels, jiggling about! Thought I was just having a strange dream but found out it was indeed true the next morning!

Felt quite excited for my first earthquake experience surviving unscathed. Except I spoke too soon. Thursday evening myself and Emily were minding our own business preparing food for our halloween party when the ground started to shake A LOT! Typically Emily was slow to realise but when she did we sprinted to the door frame, her holding on to me tears in her eyes, and me screaming Lily to come down the stairs. Lily was similarly upset as Emiliano was out trick or treating at the time. The whole room felt like it was on an angle and everything was shaking like crazy even this GIANT metal street sign outside the house! Turns out it was a 6.6, I am no longer grateful for having an earthquake experience this was scary stuff!

Definitely added an extra scare to Halloween, especially as in its aftermath I was stood outside looking for Emiliano completely forgetting I was wearing an illuminous orange wig and princess Crown. I have became accustomed to the funny looks being unusually tall and extremely white compared to the Chilean population.

Halloween 

So after the earthquake drama our Halloween party began, slightly different to those in the UK. It is generally more frowned upon in a predominantly Catholic country to use Halloween as an excuse to wear as little clothing as possible. At the local market I found all the bits to make my own Princess Fiona outfit, the ears were a bit of a disaster however, stuck together with earphones and first aid tape! We played lots of games and ate lots of food, really good night!



Isla Damas

So we decided to use the long weekend to head to Isla Damas, an uninhabited island with beautiful white beaches and onto Pinguino Humboldt Reserve an island inhabited by Penguins, sealions and birds. All that was missing was David Attenborough commentary, and was really great to see the penguins in their natural habitat. I slightly underestimated just how small the Humboldt Penguin (the smallest in the world) would be and with my eyesight it was a challenge to distinguish the penguins from the rocks. Think I was expecting something like the scenes from Happy Feet (pic below)! The Sealions were my favourite, they had so much attitude just sunbathing on a rock, one roling over in full view of our boat, as it it was posing for our photos.

The sea was incredibly strong and there were some pretty intense waves! Emily spent some of the journey with her head over the side! With my life jacket, cap and waterproof camera bag I could not have looked more like a tourist if I tried but it was a great weekend!



More parties

Attended even more celebrations at a teachers birthday party, and as per usual it was a lot of food and drink. Could not help feeling I was the butt of many of the jokes but I just smiled and nodded along! I was encouraged to down one of my drinks, YES by a group of teachers and YES on a school night, how irresponsible lol! Another night we found a fun fayre in town and decided to ride on the Dancing Fly, famous last words! Chilean health and safety standards are definitely not the same as in England, and the ride would not have been half as scary if it wasn´t for the worrying screeching of the rides mechanics. We celebrated our survival of the ride with some very tasty churros!



Who run the World? Girls, GIRLS!

The past two Sundays have been spent choreographing a dance for us volunteers at the upcoming English Talent Show. We will be performing a mashup of the macarena, Run the World (Beyonce of course), and Gangnam Style! Not sure if it will earn me more respect from my students or completely demolish any that existed but we shall see thisThursday! This week I have been practicing with my schools acts and it sounds great, with some Beatles and Emeli Sande tracks! Fingers Crossed we are in for a win! 

Singing Assesments

Tests continued at school and this week some of the kids were challenged with performing a song in English for the class. It was a lot of fun and of course, Justin Beiber and 1D dominated the show, but some kids were a bit more creative. One boy asked if he could sing Happy Birthday, I could not help but laugh but had to kindly ask him to sing something a bit more challenging. Some of the boys decided to go solo, and I was serenaded with James Blunts "You are Beautiful¨and the Adele classic "Someone like you". It was a great atmosphere and at one point we had the whole class banging their desks to the beat of "We Will Rock You". One boy from my younger classes nearly made me cry, he similarly decided to go solo which I thought was a bold move but he had the most amazing voice and sang a really moving Church song! I managed to hold it together, but he definitely got top marks.

In the past few weeks I have started extra classes with one of my older students who is nearly fluent in English, and wants to improve before going to study in Australia. The class generally just involves us chatting for an hour and a half but I genuinely feel useful so its a lot of fun. This week the primary school had its annual English show which was potentially the cutest thing ever! I got to see them perform the skeleton dance, incey wincey spider and other nursery rhymes.  


Only 27 days to go! 

Laura Xxx







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