Friday, August 26, 2011

Muchos Paros

I should have blogged about this a long time ago. For the past couple of months university students have been on strike because of the cost of education. (More on that later.)  Now I feel I am so far behind I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll start with happened most recently.

I don’t feel like paraphrasing, so I’m just going to quote the article I read on the Guardian website:

            “What began three months ago as a series of isolated classroom boycotts by high school and university students demanding improvements in education has grown into a mass movement calling for fundamental change in Chile’s topdown form of government.”

That brings us to the events of the past two days.  On Wednesday and Thursday of this week there was a Paro Nacional, Spanish for ‘national strike’.  Joining the students already on strike, more than 80 unions banded together to protest a growing list of complaints against the government. Among those on strike were many transportation workers. This threatened to put the city in a stand still.

As people took to the streets for a peaceful protest, the streets were lined with pacos (Chilean slang for the police officers) dressed in riot gear. Of course while all this was happening I was at work in the middle of a science lesson. So I’m not exactly sure at what time things went sour. But at some point, some protesters decided breaking things and lighting things on fire would be a better way to get their point across. However, I'd be willing to bet that the majority of people resorting to violence and destruction care very little about the strike. But rather they see this as an opportunity to act out in an uncivilized manner.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the results of the strike are. But here are some photos of the protest. And if you think I took these photos then you don’t listen read very well. I wasn’t at the protest. I was teaching kids about the solar system.

Why so serious?

The riot police is quite fond of tear gas.

This doesn't look good.

Neither does this one. 
Pacos are equally fond of water cannons.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


It's snowing. Right now. In Santiago. Huge snowflakes are falling from the sky. Maybe the biggest snowflakes I've ever seen. My students are going nuts. They keep asking me if they can go to the bathroom because then they can walk outside. They're quite sneaky like that. It took me about 3 minutes to figure out what they were doing.

You should know that it almost never snows in Santiago. They told me it has been three years since it snowed here. I looked it up and somewhere it said the last time it snowed was in 2007.

I guess if I hadn't seen snow in 4 years I'd be excited too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Poor Neglected Blog

Sorry for the lack of posts. We're heading into the final stretch of the second trimester at work. And well, I've been super busy.

And I got sick from all the nasty little buggers I teach.

So yeah. I've been pretty tired.

But on the plus side, today's a holiday! Something about Mary. (Can you tell I'm not Catholic?)

And on the even more pluser side (yeah that's definitely not a word) only four more weeks in the trimester and then I'm off...for two weeks!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Andate a la Casa

On Thursday five students were absent. As the day progressed, students were dropping like flies. In all, I sent seven students to the nurse, three were sent home, and two more would have gone home if someone could have come to pick them up. During lunch, my class was like the infirmary. I had three girls laying down while some of their classmates played nurse and fetched them water. One of the students wrote this on the board:

She named the virus "Go to your home"

On Friday nine students were absent. Nine. Out of twenty-nine. It was crazy. 

So needless to say, with so many sick children I spent all day yesterday in bed feeling like crap. Luckily, today I felt better. 

All I can hope is that the 5B virus has passed and everyone is back tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

¿Por Qué Chile?

For Spanish homework Alejandra asked me to write about why I came to Chile. And after I had finished it, I figured it would be the perfect first Spanish post for my blog. So here it goes:

Yo vine a Chile por tres razones. No, cuatro.

Primero, yo quería vivir en otro país. Yo soy chilena, entonces la decisión fue muy fácil.

La segunda razón por la que yo quería cambiarme a Chile es porque tengo mucho familia aquí. Yo quería conocerlos mejor. Y tengo familia en Chile que yo no conocía.

Tercero, yo quería aprender castellano. Mi mamá y casi todos en mi familia hablan en castellano. Tengo parientes que no hablan en inglés y si yo querio hablar con ellos, tengo que aprender castellano.

Finalmente, la cuarta razón por la que yo quería cambiarme a Chile es porque ¿Por qué no? Chile es un país muy bonito. Hay algo para todos los gustos. En el norte hay un desierto (
el más árido del mundo). En el centro hay una ciudad muy grande. Hay montañas, volcanes y lagos en el sur. Y en el oeste está el océano pacífico. ¡No hay muchos lugares como Chile en todo el mundo! Y yo creo que todos podrían venir a Chile. (Pero por favor no vengan todos al mismo tiempo, el metro ya está demasiado lleno de gente.)

I don't really feel like translating it, so if you're super curious just copy and paste it into Google Translate and I'm sure it will accurately translate about half of what I wrote.