I haven’t worked a full week in about 3 weeks. First we had the anniversary of Mejillones, 2 days of work. Then a national holiday, strike, and went on vacation, 1 day of work. This week, I missed a day from vacation and then found out there will be another strike on Friday, 2 days of work!! I can’t tell if they are serious about striking or just like having days off now that the weather is nice. I also had none of my students show up to class yesterday afternoon. No idea why. Didn’t do too much work to search them out – figured if the teacher wanted to keep them or they don’t want to come, I have no problem with that. Would rather have them not be in my classroom than be there and not want to be. I decided that I’m going to talk to them in spanish in my next class to set expectations for the last weeks (4!!!) here. Because if they don’t want to do the EASY work that I assign, don’t want to participate, keep stealing my materials, I don’t want them in my class. I have other things I could be doing with me time, i.e. not being at school and going to the beach haha or actually helping with other english classes where the students want to learn. So we’ll see. I probably just am getting excited to travel too and have that on my mind too. Speaking of that, I am officially changing my plane ticket finally today!
Last weekend we went to La Serena and Coquimbo about 12 hours south. It was beautiful and a little more reminiscent of home with trees and grass! We were able to go to Elqui Valley and see the outside of the Gabriela Mistral museum since we were too late to go in. On Saturday we took a boat tour of Isla Damas and the Humbolt Penguin reservation so I saw dolphins and penguins close up in the wild. At night we went on an observatory tour which was by far my favorite. In Elqui Valley, the altitude is low so there is no interference in the skies – clearest skies almost year-round. So many stars in sight and with a telescope… incredible. We saw several constellations, Jupiter and the rings that it has on its terrain, star clusters of over a million stars, and most unbelievably… GALAXIES. There were puffs of clouds in the sky that we thought were clouds, but they were actually galaxies! No telescope even needed to see them!
Sunday we wandered around La Serena and Coquimbo, had ceviche and fresh crab meat, saw La Cruz and a mosque, and hung out with our other friends that live around the area plus another visiting from Santiago. It was great to see everyone and hear how their experiences are going. It’s interesting how similar and how different they are!! Definitely happy to have been placed here in Mejillones and excited about how much my spanish has improved… hopefully can keep it up and improve even more! Oh but only disappointment from traveling this weekend is that I missed Dia de profesores, when they had an asado and fiesta for all the teachers in town… Always miss the good celebrations! Would’ve been nice to get to know some more of the teachers at my school, but now I will just have to try to befriend them on my own and convince them to have another party another day haha.
Upcoming plans – Football (american football) game in Antofagasta that we’re organizing, Halloween, Iquique and possibly Arica travels, then our final weeks and my birthday!!