Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
So I arrived at the station at 6:30, which was the time he was scheduled to arrive. I knew it would be a few minutes late, but I was excited to see my old college friend, so I was in a bit of a rush to get there. As 7:15 rolled around and Mike was no where to be seen, I was got a little anxious so I walked into the terminal and approached the desk for his bus company. I asked (in Spanish) if his bus had arrived yet. I must have spoken to the same person as Maca, because he informed me the bus had already arrived. Mind you, at this point the station was a bit slow, and there was no way his bus could have arrived without me seeing it.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a bit of a worrier. So of course I was a little more than worried that my friend had failed to show up. I called Maca and told her the little predicament I was in. She told me to find a security guard and to hand him my phone and she would talk to him. Luckily there was one right near by, and thankfully he was incredibly nice. Maca spoke with him and explained the situation. He spoke a little English and with my broken Spanish we were able to communicate. He went to speak with the bus company, who not surprisingly gave him a completely different story than they had given me. Not only had the bus not arrived, there was a four hour delay at Los Libertadores, the border crossing between Argentina and Chile.
Clearly I was in for a long evening. Luckily for me I had Omar, my trusted security guard. In the beginning of the evening it was a bit slow at the station so he kept stopping by to chat. He told me, in great detail, about his few friends in the US. So, Javier in Tampa and Pablo in Chicago, if you’re reading this, Omar says, “Hi!”
And if you’re wondering about the title of this blog post I’m about to fill you in. Omar told me how one of his friends jokes around with him because of his name. Mar, lago and rio in Spanish mean ‘sea’, ‘lake’ and ‘river’, respectively . So they call him Oh Mar, Oh Lago, Oh Río. Get it?
Every time a bus would arrive from Mendoza, he would come find me and we would go watch the passengers disembark. But there was no Mike. (At least not my Mike.) So I went back to waiting. Things got more chaotic as the night progressed. The majority of people traveling in Chile choose to do so in the evening, since the trips are usually pretty lengthy. So the bus station became jam packed with people, making it even harder to watch for buses, and passengers named Mike.
Around 9:30 I began to pace back and forth, simply out of boredom. This attracted the attention of an old man who was waiting for the bus. He struck up a conversation with me. And the only reason I’m mentioning it here is because I was actually able to have a conversation with someone in Spanish.
Finally, around 10:15, Omar came to let me know another bus from Mendoza was about to arrive. We were standing watching the bus pull in, when I noticed a familiar face waving at me from the second floor of the bus. And then I grimaced as I read the name of the bus he arrived on, “El Rápido”.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
It started last week. A few of my more mischievous students began asking me for rubber bands. They insisted they were to secure their loose colored pencils so I believed them. Then I began noticing more and more students with rubber bands. But they were not playing with them during class so I disregarded it. Then early this week during recess some of the students stayed in the classroom. They had split into two groups and were hiding on opposite sides of the room behind chairs and using the rubber bands to fling little pieces of folded paper at each other. Not one to enjoy raining on their parade, I told them to stop purely for safety reasons.
Now we come to Thursday. While writing on the white board during science I saw in the reflection that a student was throwing something. Of course, I couldn’t see which student it was but I had my suspicions. As we moved onto English while I was correcting a student’s work at my desk I saw another student use a rubber band to fling a piece of folded paper.
I stopped the class and asked the students to give me all their rubber bands. I was completely shocked when no one argued and they all willingly gave me the rubber bands. I was even more shocked when each of the guilty students started handing me not one, but a whole collection of rubber bands. Then I told the students to hand in their supply of folded papers. This is when things got interesting (for me, probably not for you). Students had entire pencil cases full of these ridiculous papers. Mind you, throughout this entire process I wasn’t mad. Quite the opposite. I thought it was amusing, probably not the right attitude. But it was hard to be mad because the students were not fighting me when I asked them to turn in the supplies. When I went to return the rubber bands to the supply closet, I took out a bag holding hundreds of rubber bands. Once the students saw how many rubber bands I had in the closet, some of them got up and swarmed me with that zombie look in their eyes, while chanting “rubber bands!” Really the whole thing was quite amusing.
On Friday students were asked to write a haiku. One of the guilty students from the day before came up to me to show me what he had written. I committed it to memory with the intention of posting it here.
I love rubber bands
Rubber bands are the most fun
We use them to play
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Another week of classes has ended and thankfully it was less stressful than the first. I still have a lot to prepare for. But rather than stressing about that while at work, I instead spend my time decorating my classroom. It might not be the best use of my time, but it is certainly more fun. I’ll bring my camera next week so I can take pictures.
In other news:
1. Empecé mis clases de castellano la semana pasada! In case you were wondering, Castellano is the word they use for Spanish, rather than Español. And here, they don't capitalize languages. Anyway, I started my Spanish classes this past week! A friend of a friend is teaching me. We meet two days a week for two hours at a time.
2. I’ve been in South America for 6 months!! To celebrate, here's a picture of a pig wearing galoshes.
3. My niece, Ella turned 2!
4. Last weekend I was excessively thrilled to find nutmeg in the grocery store. My favorite find of this weekend? A Brita water filter. I had never seen them here before so I sort of assumed they didn’t have them. But on Saturday, my friend Karin suggested we go to Jumbo. For those of you who don’t, Jumbo is basically a Walmart on steroids.
The place was huge. The only downside was that half of the population of Chile was there. (Yes, that was a hyperbole.) Exaggeration or not, there certainly were a lot of people there. But I left with a Brita water filter so it was totally worth all the invasions into my personal space.
Okay it’s lesson planning time. I guess I better get used to this.