Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Better News

These have certainly been an overwhelming few days. Even though I'm surrounded by mountains of paperwork (and lesson plans and student folders), I wanted to take a quick minute (as opposed to a slow minute?) to write this post. 

Drum roll please...

(That would be me. Duh.)

Blog Expat is a great site for anyone looking to find more information about life in another country. They have forums and countless blogs from countries all around the world. Even if you're content with staying put, reading expat blogs is super entertaining (right??). As an expat, it's interesting to read about other people going thorough similar situations in other places. 

Anyway, for all of you out there in the blogosphere (is that even real?) I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


Goodbye, my sweet Bacon. You were the most amazingly fat cat I ever knew. I'll forever miss your soft, squishy belly and your pathetically quiet meow. Rest in peace.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Brook.

On Friday I wanted to post about how happy I was because it was the last day of the school year. I arrived home early with the plan of watching an episode or two of Downton Abbey before I had to return to school that evening for the Prize Giving Ceremony. Instead, when I turned on my computer I was bombarded with the shocking news of the tragedy that befell a small town in Connecticut. As the clock ticked the death toll kept rising, finally landing at the horrifying number of 26. All acts of violence are disturbing. But this was too much. Who enters an elementary school and opens fire on children? What message was this person trying to send by killing 20 children aged seven and under? I read a report about a young teacher who was killed trying to protect her first grade students. She should be remembered as a hero.

When is enough going to be enough? The memories of the victims are quickly being overshadowed. People have taken to Facebook to argue about gun control. How many more school shootings (or mall shootings, movie theater shootings...) is it going to take until policy makers and gun advocates get their act together? How many more innocent people need to die until it becomes more difficult for people to get their hands on a gun?

The whole thing makes me sick. If I think about it for too long I begin to cry. It's just so horrifying. So senseless. So unnecessary.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kerry Co.

This would have come in handy two years ago:

No wait, not really.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Fred asleep.

Fred watching The Office.

Fred trying to attack Jim and Dwight.

Fred eating a salad.

Fred the contortionist.

Fred sleeping on my face.

Fred all curled up.

Fred hanging out by the fire.

Fred being all snuggly.

Fred chasing a bug.

Fred posing like Dobby from Harry Potter.

Sheldon, Agador and the Weasleys

I spent a long time trying to find the new kitten the perfect name. My favorite option was Sheldon, but this cat is so not a Sheldon.

The next option was Agador. As in Agador Spartacus. As in the guy from The Birdcage that wasn't Robin Williams or Nathan Lane. Still not ringing a bell? 

He's pretty much the funniest character in the movie. And the name really fit the new kitten. We actually called him this for a few hours. Then I decided that Agador was too weird of a name. And it's ugly. 

So then it all came back to Harry Potter. The new kitten is orange, so naming him after a Weasley was an obvious choice. (Red hair, hand-me-down must be a Weasley.) There are a lot of Weasleys: Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, Geroge, Ron and Ginny. So here's how I narrowed it down (since you're so obviously curious). 

It's a boy, so Ginny was out. I already had two cats named Molly and Billy so those were out as well. My grandfather was named Arthur so that was out. One of my three nieces is named Charley, so that was out. My mom didn't want to name the kitten Ron because of Ronald Reagan. George was out because of George Bush (both of them). So that left Percy and Fred. Percy is kind of a jerk in the books so I ruled that out. So that left Fred.

  More pictures to follow!


This past week I traveled to Villarrica for Thanksgiving. This time I avoided the bus altogether and took a plane. Traveling around Thanksgiving in Chile is not at all like it is in the US. Probably because Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, which if you know anything about the history of Thanksgiving makes total sense.

Empty airport.

The first thing we did when I arrived was go to the local fruit and vegetable markets. The prices are unreal. Not only are the prices dirt cheap, the produce is fresher and you get the added bonus of supporting local farms and farmers.

Our haul.
On Friday I had my first job interview in the South. This was the first time I had an interview in Spanish. And it was satisfying to know that I was able to understand everything she was saying and reply to all her questions. 

We didn't have what you might call a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. First off, it was on Friday, not Thursday. And second, there was no turkey (not like I cared). It's not super common to find frozen turkeys in the supermarkets except around Christmas when they are really popular. A neighbor told my mom she could get her a turkey. Later my mom found out that when the neighbor said 'get a turkey' she really meant 'kill a turkey'.  Obviously animals are killed for meat all the time. But knowing that this specific turkey was going to die was too much for my mom. So this turkey gets to live for another month...until Christmas season.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with the new kitten and trying to name him. That post will come later. 

On Saturday we went into Pucón to go have dinner at a restaurant I found online. It's called Latitude 39 and it's owned by two Americans. They specialize in "gringo-friendly" food. It was delicious. They had the best onion rings I've had in the past two years (read: the only onion rings I've had). 

So good I had to take a picture!
We spent a while talking with one of the owners. She was so incredibly nice and helpful. And as an added bonus, she makes really good desserts. So if by chance you're ever in Pucón, you must go try the food at Latitude 39.

I flew home on Sunday. I wanted to show you something I haven't seen in a long time:

The pilot!
 Yup. No locked doors here! They did close the door during the flight though. On a side note, on both legs of the flight I had seats in the first row. I almost feel guilty sitting there. I'm too short to benefit from the extra leg room.

I'll end with a random picture I took in a grocery store.

Apparently Al Roker is the spokesman for the Noble toilet paper company!

Okay I just made that up. But that dude totally looks like Al, right??

Thursday, November 15, 2012

So today this happened...

This afternoon in the middle of social studies my phone rang. It was my mom. I didn't answer since I was in the middle of class. But then she called back immediately after. So naturally, I thought something was wrong. So I went outside into the hallway to answer the phone (the kids were watching a video).

I asked my mom what was wrong and she replied with, "What have you wanted more than anything?". And I said, "a cat". And she said they got me one. (I don't remember her exact words because I was too excited.) So yes. I am the proud new owner of an orange kitten.

Of course I immediately told my students (they actually started clapping) and when the video was over I asked them for some name suggestions. After we established that I would absolutely not name the cat after any of them, this is what they came up with.

My personal favorites are Sheldon and Harry (duh, Harry Potter). They kept insisting I name the kitten Harry Martin, after Harry Potter and Chris Martin (lead singer of Coldplay). Horrible combination, but it's nice to know that they remember the things I like most.

I stopped letting them record the names on the board when the girls started voting for Bieber (as in Justin Bieber).

Kitten (not sure if it's a boy or girl) is in Villarrica with my mom and Joe. Luckily, I'll be down there next Thursday for Thanksgiving. So I have one week to come up with a name. Suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What the what?!

It's been a long time since I've posted about advertisements in Chile.

I couldn't resist this one. Apparently it's for shoes. Bravo on creating a slogan that's also a double entendre!

Uh, congrats?

Villarrica Trip-Part Four

Finally. The last post in a four part series about my trip to Villarrica.

Friday was incredibly overcast and I was unfortunately not able to see the volcano. Way to go, clouds. Saturday morning I woke up to clear skies so my mom and I went for a walk by the lake. It was gorgeous. There were hardly any clouds in the sky. Of course, the few clouds decided to hang out by the volcano. Seriously? What jerks. Luckily, every time I looked back more and more of the volcano was visible.

Peaking out behind the clouds.

Get out of the way, clouds!

I give up.

After our walk we went to one of the local grocery stores to get supplies for dinner. The store has um, an interesting name.

Yup. Eltit. I have officially renamed it the boob store, as in "I'm heading to the boob store, can I pick you up anything?". I totally crack myself up sometimes (okay, most of the time).

We spent the early part of the afternoon outside on the deck with Bacon (on his leash, of course). How pretty is my cat??

His belly is too much. 

Lucy, on the other hand, prefers to hide away in the bedroom. If you look closely, you can see a small bird perched on the wooden thing below the window on the right. And if you look even more closely, you can see Lucy sitting on the bed, transfixed by the bird.

That evening we headed back into town to pick up some vegetables from a small produce market.  On the way, we passed by the lake and the volcano again. All the clouds had retreated so we decided to stop for a quick photo op.

And then it hit me. What do you get when  you combine a volcano and a Joe?? 


I swear, this will never NOT be funny.  (If you don't get it, that's what Google is for.)

So that, was my trip to Villarrica. Oh wait, I still need to recap my return to Santiago. Basically, I forgot that in Chile they use the 24-hour clock. So the bus ticket I booked for 2 o'clock, turned out to be for 2am instead of 2pm (14:00).  Of course I realized this at nine in the morning...the day of my return. Luckily I was able to get a ticket for a flight leaving from Valdivia, which is maybe an hour away. The nice thing is that the flight cut my travel time by about five hours. And it costs the same as the bus tickets. So no more buses for this girl! 

Holy Volcanoes! (Okay they might just be regular mountains. I was too far away to tell.)

And if you've survived this long post full of photos, here's one more. I love it. I just forgot to post it the last time. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Villarrica Trip-Part Three

You may remember last month I found a funny menu item at a small café. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read about it here. We have now found something much funnier than a 'rocket' sandwich.

Friday night we went into Pucón for dinner. I insisted we visit my favorite restaurant, Happy Burger. Thankfully I remembered where it was because it is in fact called Rap Burger. I was way off.

As we were perusing the menu we noticed a few mistakes. Okay, I'll let 'mayonaise' slide, since I'm sure most native speakers would misspell it as well.

But there was one translation that just didn't make sense. Lomito de cerdo, should be translated as pork loin in English. But no, here at Rap Burger, if you order any sandwich containing lomito de cerdo you'll find yourself feasting on 'lion of park'.

Greatest mis-translation ever. (Yeah I know, that's not a word. But it's my blog. I can use whatever fictitious words I want.)

Villarrica Trip-Part Two

As usual, prepare yourselves for a plethora of pictures.

These first two are from the drive from Chillán into Villarrica.  These yellow flowers were everywhere.

The next morning I went for a walk with my mom to the lake. It took us about 4.7 nano seconds to get there since it's right across the street. Here's the private path down to our own little beach. Okay well it's not ours. We have to share.

It was a cool overcast day which led for some not so great pictures. The lighting was super weird. And I'm not camera savvy enough to find the right setting for that on my camera. So you're just going to have to deal. 

After our tour of the lake we traveled into Pucón to go to Ojos de Caburga.

I wasn't kidding. It really was overcast. I really need to figure out my camera.

 Ojos de Caburga was just as pretty as I remember.

 Crazy tree roots.

We headed down the path to the Laguna Azúl (Blue Lagoon). If you look closely you can see Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins chilling on the rocks.

That evening we headed into Pucón to have dinner. But you guessed it, more on that later!