Reir…to laugh.

July 9th, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Dad today!

Today the Basico classes went on a field trip to Santiago to visit the Museum of Science and Natural History. I got to go… and be “sponsor!” It was so much fun! The kids seem to enjoy the day! It’s always interesting to see other countries’ display their history. We toured through each region of Chile. Very cool to see different things from each region.

July 11th, 2013

Pisco sours and sushi with my host mom- yay!

July 13th, 2013

Reflecting the past four months. Yesterday was the last day with the kids. We listened to music and had the kids state whether they liked it or not and why. I called on a kid who never raises his hand because I wanted to participate. He stammered through his opinion and I gave him a high five. His face lit up and he raised his hand for the next song. I continued to give him a high five. When I called on him and because I was on the other side of the room I didn’t give him a high five. He came up to me later and was like high-five? Yes. This is what it’s all about. Seeing his face light up because he was encouraged to try…priceless. Because you know what? Learning another language is HARD! I am so impressed with any ability and enthusiasm to try. Kids these days are smart. Two or three languages by the time High School hits and even though their fluency isn’t perfect, it’s the effort…it’s the practice, to have the chance to speak with a foreigner, whether it’s me or another person visiting the city.

Lately the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” keeps playing on repeat in my head. Kids need someone to love them despite their mistakes…someone to give them hug, a star on their homework, and a high-five. Another time we had the kids listed as many words as they knew in given category i/e school, home, places, animals, food, etc…one kids didn’t do the listed categories, instead he did his own…Mindcraft and listed as many words as he could…words like armor, enemy, fight, diamonds, adventure, etc…I wrote great on his paper. Seriously? How creative is that?! And in English?

Today I had a final luncheon with the teachers for the end of the semester. They gave me a plaque and flowers. So many kinds words were said. Love that school. Despite the challenges against my Type A personality, I am going to miss it. The teachers, the smiles, the hugs…and the Kids. Good-byes are tough, my only hope is that I helped someone, somehow, in some small way and helped to make a difference in their life. I am so thankful for this opportunity to give a piece of myself to Chile. Dear people, I will miss you and you have touched me more than you will ever know.

feeling the LOVE

science fair!

view at school

flowers AND chocolate…my students are amazing!

my terrific troublemakers!!!


love sunny days!

teacher’s happy hour!


July 21st, 2013

Ahhh!!! I can’t keep up with time!

Let me back up. July 13th. My host mom’s man moved in from Columbia. He is a delight. He cooks…likes wine. And he makes her laugh. She is so happy! Absolutely glowing. I’m so happy I could meet him and see how happy he makes her, as I have seen how exhausted she has been in the past few months from staying up late talking to him.
July 21st. Got up and attempted to run, but a dog kept following me- even when I crossed the street so I gave up and went to the gym, lifted weights, came home, and packed my backpack for…Winter English Camp! I bussed from Rancagua to Talca, about a 2 hour ride. I arrived in Talca and had adequate amount of time to find the restaurant where we were supposed to meet. I had to asked for brief directions then set out…I turned the right way the lady told me, but I couldn’t follow what else she said so I continued my meandering. I then turned the right way…not going to lie, I was pretty proud of my sense of direction and knowledge of how towns are usually set up in Chile to use my context clues to find the right area of town. Travel Expert? Check and check. Met up with the other volunteers and the the coordinators. Then the other four girls from the EODP along with other Chilean volunteers were bussed to Chanco. About two and half hours west (ish) of Talca.
July 14th through 20th
Chanco is a quaint country town about 30 minutes walking from the coastline in the middle of a National Forest. All week, despite the cool air, it was sunny! Thank goodness… The school hosts many students from surrounding towns and has boarding facilities, thus having the capability of being an overnight camp. Five days. Sixty students. Lots of laughter and activities. We had a lyrics contest, stomp contest, a lip dub contest, and a talent show. We won the Lip Dub Contest for our zone!!! Check out the video: Lots of new friends made…gonna miss my group- The Eagles!
Friday evening after camp we got together for a nice dinner and conversation. Afterwards (2 of the volunteers had to leave before dinner to catch various buses) the last volunteer and I edited one of the monitor’s papers, as he is getting his masters. Around 11 p.m. we, along with the others, went for drinks. Great time…and worth the 3:30 in the morning.
On Saturday, we boarded the bus around 10 a.m. for Talca. I had to catch another bus at 12:30. When we arrived I had 7 minutes to catch it. No problem, right? Wrong. I got on the right company bus, but instead of heading north, it was heading farther south. About 30 minutes into the ride the conductor looks at my tickets and says to me in (of course in rapid Spanish) that I needed to get off at the next town and switch buses. Luckily he helped me switch my ticket. Another hour to wait. Instead of a 4 hour traveling day it ended up being about 8 hours. Exhausted. Came home to a delicious lunch at 5pm! Took a nap, then went over to a couple’s house and drank wine and chatted until 6 a.m.
Needless to say today, July 21st, I spent the day in bed!

I learned a lot at camp. I must be honest…I’m not keen on camp and I was almost dreading going to Chanco. But in the end, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was! It was amazing to see students speak English, make new friends, become close with their project groups, and leave with happy tears. What an experience! It also proved to me, that even in a short amount of time, the volunteers and I had a huge impact on the kids…truly an incredible feeling.

care package sent from KOREA!!! love you Taryn!

Sunday morning run

2 minutes til GOAL time!


country town

working together!!!



WE WON!!!!

gotta love the Madagascar pineapple hat.


love the freshness of a brief morning rain…

orange house en route home…

country towns on the back roads..

gray day.


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