L'ECKLECT® Culture: Vide en Chile
The only thing I ever put my mind to this year was coming to Chile, even breathing came second to that at some instances. I have to also confess it to have been the best plan I have made since the one I took not to leave University when the boat had started to sink. The Republic of Chile is the most vertically stretched state located in South America and so experiencing varying climates, which is one of the things making it an interesting destination.
I have become part of Chile as part of a governmental initiative,EODP, which exists to get more native English speakers to public education here in Chile. What I do is facilate English classes for a municipal school as a near native English speaker. At first I found the idea that there are parts of the world that speak no English at all rather bizzare but it's like the more I travel the more I discover how okay it is. It also helps in making my learning more languages to try fit better in my communities more simple.I live in a town at the edge of the world, almost in the most literal sense ever. Punta Arenas is a town in the XII region of Chile. The people are really warm and accomodating and have a great resistance to cold weather, which I am the complete opposite of. The first Chileno word I uttered was "frio", and that word means cold (for me it really means freezing and about to die from hyperthemia). In general the Chilean culture is great, they are more friendly than most people back home even if I have to say so myself.
Life at home
I live with a warm family of an active mid-aged couple and their sweet pup Sophia, she is a pricess. La princessa Sophia. My host mom is a school teacher and host dad runs a tourism agency for the entire Patagonia region of which I am lucky to be availed endless tours in the region. So blessed! They are sweet and are on some conspiracy to overfeed me almost all the time. They have hosted several other volunteers, and our fridge is decorated in all the places of where all the volunteers came from. I will be adding the Botswana fridge magnet to their collection pretty soon. Life is pretty simple at home, much more family oriented than it is at my house back home. We eat atleast one meal everyday as a family and engage in small talk...me and my epañol malo. We watch teleñovas together and sometimes the news and sometimes I put horrors movies in English and put on spanish subtitles for fun which always bores everyone to their rooms but it can also be so much fun. My host mom is a great person and super cool and likes to DIY like me, just a little more adventurous than me. And host dad is that Chileno dad that is always cracking jokes and is now taking French lessons from me. I feel so proud when he gets it. We are a wonderful happy family, they will always have a special place in my heart.
Life at work
I work with children ages from 11 up to 16 and take them on 24 hours each week each class taking about 3 hours. Their English isn't all that terrible but I fear sometimes they get demotivated by the fact that they may learn English and never have to use it. That's where I come in, to convince them that there really isn't a thing like learning a foreign language is a waste of time. I tell them everytime that I speak french in an anglosaxon place but it is so nice to know I can one day go to Cote D'Ivoire or Belgium and be able to get around because I took french at the University. The kids are kids, sometimes a little hard to handle but nothing a patient English teacher cannot handle. The school community in generally is equally warm as at home. They are always encouraging me to learn more spanish, they share their lunches. It's just a great place to bloom in. I feel like I am a plant that got relocated to a nice warm well watered perfectly illuminated place. I also meet with other volunteers from other schools to talk about various things from school to things in general in our new homes. This specially offers a good support system right round.
This is the best decision I have taken, not just for my career but my spirit also much needed this breath of fresh air. Chile and Chilenos and their warmness will always have a special place in my heart. I have two more months here and plan on making the most out of it!
Punta Arenas family,
Work, Chile and play,
Love and light,