Saturday, March 04, 2006


Photo from Roy Pequeno.
So this week I have officially started work. I am working at the SGC - Roni and Dad that doesnt mean Star Gate Command - or better known as St. Geroge´s College, a local Holy Cross School in Santiago. I have been offered a teaching position and have accepted. I will be teaching an English Club, which is an elective conversational English class, for 5 graders. This week I have been in meetings all day getting ready for next week. Basically what I have figured out this week is that I have 4 hours of class at SGC and will be teaching in room 310. Other than that I have nothing. I have no attendence list, no lesson plan, and no experience. Makes is kinda hard to believe I start teaching on Monday doesnt it.

I think Chile has gone insane - can you believe they are letting me teach? I can't!

Waterfalls vs Penguins

Photo from Roy Pequeno.
Monday, we had the opportunity - because we are so far south - to go to a near island and look at the penguin colonies. But after asking around about the prices realized that trip could not happen on our stipend. So instead today we went to a national park.

In order to get to Parque Nacional Alerce Andino, we had to wake up at early and take a bus to a city about 45 minutes away. Once we got to the drop off point, we had to hike 7 Km just to get to the entrance of the park. Then from there another 3 Km to the waterfalls. The scereny was beautiful (and for some great pictures check out Ryan´s flickr account - my camera batteries were dying so I don't have many pics). I got to see some cool sites and some nice waterfalls and had a nice picnic lunch under the sky in the cold wet rain. Oh I must have forgot to mention our hike - from drop off point to waterfalls and back - took 8 hours. 6 of those 8 hours were in the rain and most of us were not prepared. Now reflecting on the experience I stand affirmed that we should have gone to see the penguins.

Puerto Montt Sunset

Photo from Roy Pequeno.
Puerto Montt

So on Friday (our last day of Habitat work) we decided that we should go ahead and buy our tickets for a Saturday night trip back to Santiago. At the window we were told that all tickets on Curz del Sur- the line we used to get down to Temuco cause it was cheaper than the other - were completely booked until Wednesday. Instead of paying for a completely expensive ticket - being the adventures and completely intelligent people we are - we decided to take advantage of this opportunity and headed SOUTH.

The weather was freaking cold, which we were not expecting . maybe we aren't as smart as I thought. We quickly found a hostal and chilled. It was nothing amazing - I mean it was a hostal - but cozy. The only thing I hated was that I felt like I was in the land of the Smurf. Every time I got up and walked anywhere I hit my head on a beam on the roof or something. I think I still have like ten bumps on my head!

We walked around the majority of the time. While in Puerto Montt we practiced our pillar of simple living (look at the link first). Okay, so we really didn't have a hostal I just felt bad for all yall who think that I am down here in Chile living a hard life - now its time to be truthful. What I am really doing down here is taking a luxury cruise for two years. This whole HCA thing is just a cover-up. I mean we even ate at McDonald's while here.

Other than that, we just enjoyed being in community with each other and getting to know the locals. We ate out every now and and then, and mainly just chilled. Enjoying our last few days of summer before our work begins. And in the evenings we headed to our cruise ship to take naps.


Photo from Roy Pequeno.
Habitat for Humanity

Well a group of us (7 HCAers, Anna and Matias) all headed down to Temuco to do habitat for humanity. It really fun and completely different from any habitat experience I ever had in the states. For starters our first task was to take off the newly placed walls of the houses...which was weird. We were helping expand a section of small governmental homes for people and by the time the house is finished the house will have doubled it in size. The house as a finished product will be 43 meters squared...which is SMALL.

Monday and Tuesday we had to dig trenches which was hard cause the soil was rock solid. Wednesday I got rained on for about an hour. Once the rain ended, we went out with the hopes to dig more trenches only to find moats. Our trenches were so great that they kept all the rain in. Since we didn't want to dig up water we went to go build the wall frames which was fun. Thursday is when the fun end when we were told that the first trenches we made were completely wrong because the maestros or the experts measured everything wrong. So Thursday and Friday our group got to redo the work that we did the first two days. Boo to that.

The view around there was nice. Chile has so many great views the scenery changes drastically within a two hour car drive - or for me a bus ride...since the only wheels we got are our bikes that currently have flats in them. But back to the scenery - for instance today I took a break and walked up a hill and got a great view of was breathtaking. I was in the middle of a wheat field looking at three snow covered active volcanoes. Only in Chile could I have done this.

Altogether Habitat was an interesting experience. Despite all the re-digging trenches I am sure that all 9 of us would say "I would do it again next year if I could."

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