Monday, April 25, 2011

Best. Birthday. Video. Ever.


Here's a video Ben and Sydney made for me.
It was absolutely the best part about my birthday!

Un Mes Más

In exactly one month I'll be going to pick up my mom and Joe at the airport!!!


Well technically it's 29 days, 14 hours, 24 minutes...

Ode to Syd

Yesterday was Miss Sydney's fifth birthday. Here's a look back at some of my favorite Sydney photos.

Back when she was a little munchkin.



Recreating the pose at Joe's surprise birthday party in '09


Here's Syd and her older brother Ben.
This is quite possibly my most favorite picture of them.


Here they are again a few nights before I left for South America.



And now for my most favorite Sydney picture ever....

Happy birthday Syd!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cute Kids.

For my birthday the girls in class made me this card.


I'm only posting it here to show off how cute my kids are. And also to show you the message one of the girls put on the card.

I mean come on now, how cute is that??

Relaxi-Cab

Every morning I take a colectivo to work. What’s a colectivo? It’s basically a regular taxi that travels along predetermined routes and carries 4 passengers. One of these routes passes right in front of my school.


It's easy to spot the colectivos. They're the cars with the little hats on top.



I leave for work rather early in the morning when I have less tolerance than normal to deal with obnoxious people. Unfortunately it has come to my attention that some people do not understand how to properly share a confined space with others. So here’s my how-to guide in reverse. It’s more of a “what not to do when riding in a colectivo”.



1. If you do not bathe regularly do not get in a colectivo.

2. Do no listen to music….unless you’re wearing headphones.

3. No cell phone conversations.

4. If you’re sitting in the middle, please brace yourself when we take sharp turns. I rather dislike being shoved up against the door.

5. Wait until the driver is at a red light to pay him. Do you really want him counting change while weaving in between lanes of traffic?

6. Did I mention the bathing regularly rule?

7. No eating smelly foods.

8. No bodily functions are permitted. But come on, that’s an obvious rule.


If you are unable to abide by the aforementioned rules, please choose an alternate means of transportation to work.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Semana Santa

So this Sunday is Easter. Which means only two things to me: chocolate and a three and a half day weekend. Chile is a predominantely Catholic country which has its pros and cons. In the pro column are all the holidays. Not being Catholic, I haven't heard of half of them, but I get them off from work nonetheless. Then in the con column there is the fact that abortions are still illegal and divorce was only legalized in 2004.

Yesterday it was Holy Thursday so we got out of work at 1pm. Today we have the day off and so far I've achieved my goal of not getting out of bed unless absolutely necessary. Actually I've set some pretty lofty goals for the weekend. They include watching as many movies as possible, sleeping often, and being an all around sloth. I fully intend to achieve all of these goals.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

27.

So for those of you who don’t actually know me, today is my 27th birthday. I know, I’m so old. Anyway, here’s a recap of the birthday festivities.



Friday:


I got these beautiful flowers delivered to work. They were from my mom and Joe and they were delivered by my Tio Mario. It was such a nice surprise. And it was really cute because my students actually thought the flowers were sent from the United States. So they were all super impressed. I didn’t have the heart to tell them otherwise.


Flowers, a balloon, and my messy dresser.


Saturday:


We had a party at our apartment last night. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you might remember reading about our problems with the police. Well, yesterday was no exception. Around 11pm, two police officers showed up. We were pretty mad for several reasons:

1) It was 11pm

2) At that point there were only about 7 or 8 people in the apartment

3) The music wasn’t even that loud

4) It was only 11pm.


Anyway, the officers asked for an ID, and so I gave them mine in the hope of having them take pity on us since it was T-minus one hour until my birthday. Didn’t work. The cop took one look at my ID and asked quite rudely “She’s Chilean? Why doesn’t she speak Spanish?” (Gee, Officer, I haven't heard that one before.) Thankfully we only received a warning. But for the rest of the evening, whenever the doorbell would ring, I thought it was the cops coming back.


Here's the 7 of us making such a ruckus the police had to show up.


After midnight it was officially my birthday. And the girls came out with my cake and some champagne.


Yes, I know it's blurry, but I still love it.


The only not blurry one. But how can you not
appreciate how awkward we look?

"Sham-pag-na?"
Nope, you're not supposed to understand this photo.

Around 3:30, a few of us decided a trip to McDonalds was beyond necessary. Luckily there is one open 24 hours a few blocks from the apartment. As per usual, the place was packed and everyone started gawking at us because we were speaking in English.

A drunk guy standing in line behind us asked which one of us was the gringa. (That would be me.) He then asked me to explain the difference between a college and a university. Since I actually know the answer, I tried to explain it to him. I don't think it worked because he asked me again 2 minutes later. Then, because the US is so small and obviously I know every single university and college, he asked me to tell him which school was better: the University of Florida or Concordia College in New York. Knowing absolutely nothing about either of these schools, and assuming he'd forget our conversation in a few minutes, I told him to go with New York. Simply because I like it better than Florida.


Anyway, here's Miss Karin posing with one
of the many dogs sleeping inside McDonalds.


Sunday:

After massively cleaning the apartment I went to my uncle’s apartment (on the 19th floor) for another celebration. They had decorated the apartment with balloons and ribbons. After we ate some cake, my uncle told me we could throw the balloons out the window. Now I’m not one for littering. But I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun it is to throw something out of a window on the 19th floor.




And finally a picture of my uncle and me. This one's for my mom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You know, because sometimes 'Y'

My friend Mike left on Monday after spending three weeks on the floor of my living room. Well, technically he wasn't in the living room for three weeks. Occasionally he would get up and leave the apartment.
It was such a blast seeing someone from home. But one thing's for sure. My days have gotten substantially less funny since Mike left.

Someone forgot to smile.


Oh and if you don't understand the title of the blog, don't worry. You're not supposed to.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Vegetarian's Worst Nightmare

I arrived to school today and one of my fellow quinto básico teachers informed me she had purchased something to help our students learn about the circulatory system. Chicken hearts. She handed them to me gleefully and laughed at the horror that was quickly spreading across my face. One chicken heart per student. I looked even worse when she told me the students were going to examine the outside and inside of the chicken heart. That meant I was going to have to cut each chicken heart for the students, since they can't be trusted to use a steak knife. (Or should I call it a 'chicken heart knife"?)
Anyway, I was the only one in my classroom who felt disgusted by the whole thing. Of course my students were thrilled--ecstatic even--to get to look at chicken hearts. I think they enjoyed it even more because they knew how grossed out I was by the whole ordeal.
So sad. Twenty-eight chickens died so my students could play with internal organs.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friday Night

On Friday night, Mike and I met up with my roommate Julia and her friends at a sushi bar. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a vegetarian, and I despise fish, raw or cooked. I was promised good mojitos and Mike loves sushi so it seemed like a perfect place to start the evening.

I was excited to find that they had vegetarian sushi. It was basically rice and vegetables covered in glorious amounts of delicious avocado. And it was amazing. The mojitos weren’t bad either. Though I really wasn’t a fan of the mint. It kept sneaking up the straw which was always an unpleasant surprise. We sat outside for almost three hours, eating, drinking and talking. I can’t really think of a better way to pass the time.

Around 1am we decided to go to a club. Now keep in mind, I’m not a club person. And I’ve totally come to terms with the fact that I am, without a doubt, the worst dancer on the face of the planet. Or at least in Chile. Okay, that’s a hyperbole. But my lack of dancing skills are greatly emphasized when I’m surrounded by all these amazing Latin dancers.

Anyway, back to the club. As the evening progressed, more and more people arrived at the club. It got to the point where it was almost impossible to go to the bar. But we all had an amazing time. They played wicked good music from the 80s and 90s interspersed with a few Latin songs every now and then. For some idiotic reason, we were standing right next to the speaker all night long. So by the time 4am rolled around and we decided to leave, I was pretty convinced I had gone deaf.

Let me conclude this by saying the following: Although the aforementioned events took place on April Fool’s Day and are activities I would normally not partake in, I want to ensure those of you who know me and might be skeptical about the authenticity of this post, that everything I wrote is in fact true. And not just a lame April Fool’s Day joke.