Apologies for the delay, been soooo busy!
Don´t really know where to start, we´ve been here nearly four weeks now and can´t believe the time has passed so quickly.
We´ve been working full time for four weeks now and its been an amazing experience although very tiring and at times rather stressful. For the first few weeks we were in bed every night at 8 o´clock however now we have adapted to our Chile lifestyle and are regularly up past 9 o´clock!!!! On Monday we travel to the school in the country. To say the least it´s very different to our school in Lautaro and is definitely more challenging. There are about 50 pupils who are mostly mapuche. The kids are lovely and we bonded well with them. The teachers were very welcoming too and we get fed everyweek at the school cantine as a gesture from the school. On our first day we quickly learnt that the English teacher doesn't in fact speak any English. Something which is apparently very common in the country schools. The poverty here is definitely more evident and alot of the children actually board in the school. We also take the bus home with the pupils, it takes about an hour and a half because it goes around all the remote houses of the children. Although scary at some points (due to the steepness of a hill it is possible for a rickety old bus to manage up) it was really interesting to see all the more traditional mapuche homes scattered around the countryside.
When we´re not in "el campo" we work in "escuela seis" Tuesday to Friday. Here we split our time between the 2 English teachers, Miss Ingrid and Miss Fernanda, both of whom have gone to a huge length to make us feel at home. Miss Ingrid lastweek took us shopping at the supermarket to show us the names of all the food. We spent about 1 hour in the shop writing notes and then left without buying one thing! Most of the shop were laughing at us by the end, but what a lovely thing for her to do for us!! The kids at this school are soo lovely and always greet us with a big kiss on the cheek we always hear a chorus of "hola tia" wherever we go. At moments a little cheeky but never nasty. At the moment we are still shadowing the English teachers and have one class on our own with kinder. However the school are in the middle of building a new classroom for us and in the meantime we will be moving into computer room next week. Looking forward to having our own classroom!
This weekend all of Chile has been engrossed in dieciocho celebrations, Chile´s 200th year of Independence.Its safe to say we celebrated this in true Chilean fashion. To start of the celebrations the Mayor invited us to a show at the cultural centre. This is clearly a multi-million dollar project that seems to be out of place here where the schools are falling apart. It was great and there was such a huge turn out of people. this lead to us being invited to breakfast with the Mayor along with the other volunteers here. Slightly odd because a film crew turned up and filmed us eating and chatting (us not so much). This however is not our first appearance in Lautaro media. We´ve been involved in a tv interview and a live radio interview. Both of which were completely in Spanish and a bit awkward to say the least! To kick of the celebrations there was a huge qeuca down the high street with the children from all the schools. Queca is the national dance that involves lots of spinning of hanker chiefs and weird foot movements. We however have know mastered all the moves and are practically world champions. It was quite a sight and i promise there will be photos soon! We were also invited to sit in "the important people" box for the Independence day march. This again was a bit weird because we were surrounded by all these important old people.
Then after all the celebrations of the day Lautaro becomes a different place at night. Everyone drinks far to much and partys all night. Two clubs opened in warehouses where its cheap to get in(and free if your a gringo) and the drinks are even cheaper. The night starts at 12/1 and people party till 6/7 in the morning dancing reggae tone all night(what a cringe). It was definitely a new experience for us and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Also just to finish it off the whole experience we have the best family ever! The Mum is so lovely and treats us like her own children. She feeds far too much and I´m going to come back obese! The Dads hilarious with his limited English vocab. He regularly comes out witt the funniest of phrases. Lily our big sister has also been really good to us. She gives us a lift to school everyday and doesnt mind us tagging along with her to boxercise!
Anyway that's about it! Speak soon x