After a weekend in Antofagasta, I appreciate living in Mejillones more than ever! I loved visiting and meeting up with amigos, but wow, it is such a hassle and expensive to do anything! In Mejillones, I basically do not spend any money, just have a short walk to school, and it’s really relaxed. In Antofagasta, most of our friends lived in the north of the city, and to get to el centro, where the mall and most things are located, it takes either 30-45 minutes by micro (bus) or it’s expensive to take collectivos (flat-rate but shared taxis). And the bus system is incredibly inefficient!! Instead of going down a street, they loop all over the place and then come back down to the same street maybe a few blocks down, but 20 minutes later. Que loco!!! On the upside, we did get to go to a swanky discoteca in a fancy hotel for free, because a friend of a friend pulled some strings for us basically saying we’re volunteers doing good deeds in Chile haha. Seriously, the usually cover is approximately $15-20 US dollars, but gratis for us! Hooray. Inside it wasn’t too impressive though, but fun enough… So happy they listen to so much english music – including Madonna, B52s, Will Smith and Lady Gaga.
Tomorrow I start teaching so I’m prepping myself for how to implace rules in my classroom and watching my kids turn on me haha. And I hope they bought the school supplies from the list we put together last Thursday. My smallest classes will be 7 or 8 students, largest groups of 19. My schedule is really packed, I wish I had more morning classes than afternoon, but oh well.
Oh! Almost forgot… some coworkers and friends from Amber’s school (including her director) threw us a BBQ on Friday night in Mejillones! It was so fun… they made amazing food – steak, sausage, rice, beets, corn, and BREAD of course – and then we salsa danced! Just in perhaps the living room that turned into a dance floor? And by salsa danced, I mean we attempted haha. And played shakers and bongos to the repeating top 10 spanish music… which then at some point switched over to include Shaggy. I don’t know why, but whenever I hear music in english here it entertains me, maybe because usually it’s from a while ago. We left with Amber’s parents around 4:30am! So obviously it was a good time, everyone is incredibly friendly and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of them. It just adds more to how much I like Mejillones!
- I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but you don’t flush the toilet paper because their plumbing systems can’t take it. Trash cans!
- Breakfast and dinner usually consist of bread, ham, sometimes cheese… and tea. That’s it.
- I saw my first dead dog on the street tonight on the walk home from the bus. So sad. Looked like it was probably hit by a car. 😦
Well sorry to end on such a sad note, but I just can’t think of anything else to add. I’m really feeling at home here, still have a long way to go with my spanish but communicating is getting a little easier, even with my terrible language skills haha. And I realized since I am getting a late start to teaching, and we have 2 weeks off (1 in September for the national independence day and 1 in October for the anniversary celebration of Mejillones), I will be teaching about 3 months in actuality. This is what I will say to comfort myself when my classes go downhill haha! 3 large classes (divided into a total of 6 groups) of 2º media tomorrow, wish me luck!