Friday, February 22, 2008

pucón, etc continued

the puppies at the hostel in pucón, a cool picture of a tasty plum, the volcano, and the "beach"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

pucon, among other things

as always, a random assortment.

i spent last weekend a few hours (10 hours on a bus) south of santiago, enjoying the view of a volcano, kayaking in an inflatable kayak and hiking up a mountain. i had thought the miles i was walking every day would prepare me for the hike, but all of the white bread, red meat and wine i'm drinking definitely took its toll. :) getting to the top was a good feeling, as was the stumble down...

i'm getting closer to boarding a plane back home, and it's been on my mind a lot lately. i dream about people back home, and think a lot about what i'm going to do. i'm going to miss santiago and my work here, but i'm looking forward to what's next.

today we took a little girl to the hospital - she's going to have surgery on monday and have to stay in the hospital for five days. i'll be able to see her before i go, but i think it's going to be rough for her for a bit. i'm getting attached to my babies! lately, they've all been really good. we go for a lot of walks, play in the little pool in the front of the house and are trying to enjoy the summer here as much as possible before it cools off and starts to rain. a lot of chileans that i meet ask if we have homes for kids like this in the states. i do my best to explain the foster system, but it's complicated!

i've had the opportunity to hang out with some chilean families, which has been great. my neighborhood is filled with businessmen and a lot of foreigners, so it's good to get out and be with people who really live here. last night, i was my friends samuel and eduardo and their friend julieta. we had dinner at eduardo's home with his dad, who used to be a policeman here in santiago. he was awesome. for the first 20 minutes, he grilled me about the united states - the upcoming election, iraq, september 11, how policemen/laws are different in every state, you name it. it was interesting to hear how they view what's happening in the usa, and also humbling considering that i didn't have good answers for his questions. in the end, he gave me a gift - a magazine about the police force here in chile, with an article about the work he did protecting children. might not be considered much by some people, but i was really honored to receive it.

i had a flashback to high school bible class this afternoon - i was buying some food at the supermarket and the woman missed the bread i had picked up (70 pesos, which is about 14 cents) and threw it into my bag without scanning it. i noticed it before i paid, but didn't say anything. and then as i was walking out, i thought of mr. dewaal and his definition of integrity - what you do when no one is looking. i should have paid for the bread, all 14 cents of it.

pictures coming soon - i'm getting kicked out of the coffee shop 30 minutes before it's supposed to close. hmm...

Friday, February 8, 2008

tom jones, of course

i always think of a million things i'd love to write about, but when it comes time to actually do it, i can't think of an eloquent, intelligent way to explain the things i do and see every day. so apologies in advance for the randomness...

my babies are good - we are up to 8 in the house now, ranging from 4 months to 2 1/2 years. they are fun and funny. i did fingerpainting with the two oldest on tuesday and they loved it. i'll take a picture of their art soon and post it. it's definitely promising.

i stepped in dog poop for the first time today. the tias laughed at me while i frantically scrubbed my sandal through the grass and told me that it would bring me good luck. keep your fingers crossed.

i love when people here speak in english to me. it happens a lot - usually whenever i say anything in spanish to them. at the doctor's office the other day, an x-ray tech asked the tia i was with why i wasn't answering his questions. hmm, maybe because my default mode is to smile and nod. when he learned i spoke english and bad spanish, he shared what english he knew (with me and the entire waiting room): "Everybody needs to be loved by somebody" and "Will you still love me tomorrow?" it was impressive.

for whatever reason (and seriously, i don't understand this), chileans love tom jones. to the extent that our head tia has "she's a lady" as her ringtone on her phone. but she didn't know what he was singing. so i spent some of my precious time here translating the words of tom jones into spanish:

Well she's all you'd ever want,
She's the kind they'd like to flaunt and take to dinner.
Well she always knows her place.
She's got style, she's got grace, She's a winner.
She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, She's a Lady.
Talkin' about that little lady, and the lady is mine.

needless to say, she loved it, and i now own that song.

and, my friends - logan and sharah and josh!

Monday, February 4, 2008

monday morning

just got back from playa ritoque last night (pictures soon)... i was hoping for a warm, relaxing, sunny weekend on the beach, but it turned out to be pretty cloudy and a little cold. no matter, though - we stayed at a nice little hostel right on the beach (hostel dunas) and got to know our fellow travelers. it was one of the girl´s birthday on sunday, so we made really great pizzas on saturday night, a birthday cake on sunday morning and chatted about all things irish, german and swedish.

there´s something about staying with people who appreciate travel so much - one couple was from ireland, both in their 30s and traveling for three months around south america. i´m always inspired, and hope that i take every chance i get to see the world...

off to work this afternoon, i think we get another new baby today which will take us up to 8!