October 8th is my town’s anniversary. Entonces, we have been celebrating for the last week. The businesses and the city sponsor competitions that give schools, community groups, and individuals the chance to win some nice plata! My sister has been competing for her scout group, Erica for the cheerleader team Lady Cats, and Amber and I for her school Escuela Mejillones. This has been SO FUN, but ridiculously exhausting. Last Sunday was the first competition (I think) which consisted of wall climbing and paintball, then Tuesday was a remake of a Chilean reality TV show Calle 7 where they have crazy stunt game challenges. I competed in this and had to try to slide across giant tubes over a pool of water. Unfortunately, these tubes move if you set off the balance, and being wet from the pool doesn’t help either. With a partner, we had 6 minutes to try to get as far as possible, and unfortunately we didn’t win, and I was lucky enough to gain about 10 or so bruises.
Wednesday there were mini olympics and a dance competition, Thursday and Friday singing contests, and Saturday was a parade of floats! This was my favorite, much more similar to our types of parades for Homecoming and what not. There were 6 or so teams competing and they had to make the floats, and then the people with the float would give some kind of acting/dancing presentation. My sister’s scout team made the house from Up and acted out scenes with the old man, little boy, dogs, and of course the giant bird (my sister). It was really amazing how they got so many balloons and made the house move! Others were Shrek’s house, a disney castle, transformers (AMAZING float), Circ de Soliel (even more amazing tricks with fire)… but the first place was by a mediocre float and presentation in my opinion. Not even sure what it was, but I think some kind of gyspy wedding?
Anyways, afterwards, my family brought us into this nice VIP section of the hatch shell for the post-parade concert which was really sweet. I’m not positive of his position but I know he’s the boss of some industry in the port here, so his company is one of the sponsors of all of these events (forgot to mention they don’t even charge admission for anything to recoop…. all free! plus the money prizes!) so I think that’s how we got in! There are also carnival rides set up in town that we have to find time to go to before they are gone! Today there was a race where people had to dress up in costumes, and then a cooking contest where we got to taste everything afterwards AND met the mayor! There’s the final queen of mejillones competition Tuesday night and a lot of other events for the rest of the week, so it will be another busy and exhuasting one. But at least I think I only have 2 days of teaching this week! Wednesdays I never have class and Thursday is the anniversary… I have a feeling school won’t happen on Friday but I’m not positive, then the following Monday is a day off too. Oh and next week is the anniversary of my school so there will be more events. Have I mentioned I LOVE Mejillones and every excuse to celebrate and not have school??
Que mas… my host dad’s birthday was this Saturday as well so we made a birthday cake with homemade buttercream frosting. One of my friends has also found an american football so I got to play Friday afternoon! I don’t really have much else to tell. These events have been a lot of fun, exhausting, and I am really slacking on my preparations for school, but hopefully I’ll pick it up again soon. We plan on taking a trip south to La Serena after next weekend, and then I only have a month and a half left here! Crazy. Need to do a little more work on planning out my travels after the program, but at least I know my spanish has improved and hopefully will be even better by the end of November.