The best weekends are 6-day weekends.

My weekend started last Tuesday and tomorrow will be my first day back at school. What I did… we celebrated the anniversary of Mejillones of course! CLARO!

Tuesday we went to check out the ramada where they have tons of drinks, food, and carnival type games for prizes (next to the actual carnival rides). There, I bought a delicious anticucho (shishkabob), took one piece off of it to eat, and while walking one of our friendly stray dogs leapt into the air to steal the rest!!! I wasn’t holding it low at all, it was shoulder level and it just flew into the air to steal it. So sad. Needless to say, I didn’t bother getting a replacement.

Wednesday, I headed to the beach I think? The weather is so nice here now… perfect beach weather, but the sun is really strong so LOTS of sunscreen! At night, we did another walkthrough of the ramada (that’s what people do) and then went to the beach to watch the fireworks. They were actually really great and I forgot until just now how many amazing pictures we got! Will have to find the person who took them and post them later on. Remind me if I forget!

Thursday was the parade. I was so surprised that there were people there to watch the parade considering how many people were IN it! Every school, club, community group, all ages… And somehow people watching it all too. Best part, when you participate in the parade, they give you empanadas! I didn’t participate though (my school never asked me to) but Amber did… and since she is a vegetarian, she passed her empanada onto us! Hooray! At night we went to another asado in Escuela Mejillones for a double birthday celebration. First of all, I love that the barbeque is in Amber’s school (a friend’s apartment is attached to it so we really are inside the school) and second, I don’t know if I will ever be able to go to barbeques or parties like I did before without having tons of salsa dancing!! Definitely something I will miss here.

The rest of the weekend was days at the beach including a picnic and nights of dancing. I went to have tecito with a friend’s sister and her family and heard the best news ever… THEY CAN UNDERSTAND MY SPANISH! And well! And even better than another one of my friends! I feel much better knowing that I can be understood, I’m not just speaking jibberish, I can communicate!!! And I’m realizing that I can understand a lot too, even when it’s not modified to make it easier for me (more enunciation and slower)… I am better at keeping up with NORMAL conversations. Which makes it fun to eavesdrop because I don’t think people know I can understand more too haha. Que más… Sunday we took a boat out to Punta Angamos, a historic point from when Chile was at war with Peru, and we camped out on a beach, cooked lots of delicious meat, vegetables and I introduced smores to the Chileans! Monday morning we packed up camp and the boat took us out further to the buoy, saw some sea lions that were made we stole their sunning spot for a picture, tried to ride some waves, and then headed back to town to spend the rest of the day, where else, but on the beach.

Tomorrow I will be back at school, kind of, because it’s the anniversary of the school so there may or may not be classes… possibly activities instead but I have no idea. Then at night, we leave to head to La Serena for the weekend. La Serena is in the south and apparently has some amazingly clear skys, beaches, and is close to Elqui Valley where they make Chile’s pisco! We will definitely be doing a tour of a distillery. We also want to go to an observatory at night, head to Isla Damas where there is a penguin reservation (!!!!!), and Fray Jorge (cloud forest) and Valle de Encanta (pictographs and other archaeological fun things from the El Molle culture). Per usual, it will be a packed weekend, but worth it! There are a lot of other volunteers living in that area, so we will be meeting up with them too.

Back to school for as normal of a schedule as possible next Tuesday. Can’t believe how fast time has gone by… I already have most of my final lessons planned out, leaving the last week of school open for festivities and games since not only is it my last week but my BIRTHDAY falls in the same week!!

That’s all for now… More to come next week.

P.S. If anyone is interested in getting some postcards, send me your mailing addresses!!!

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