So, last week was just a normal week in Valdivia, except Katherine’s mom and grandma came to visit. We went to cerveseria Kuntsmann one night and then to the Casino another night and it was good to get to meet them and they were super sweet. The week was riddled with bomb threats throughout the city (several on campus and then one in the casino where we were eating). And those bomb threats carried over into the beginning of this week where there was one yesterday, one today, and classes have been cancelled for tomorrow. Spectacular. Well, at least the weather is getting warmer so I think we are going to head out on a day trip to Curinanco and Parque Oncol, so we will see where we end up.
Anyways, I’ll get to that in a minute. But, the interesting thing about Friday was, aside from fake bombs, the fact that it was dia de Profe, or Teacher’s day. Yes. This was cool. So Teacher’s day here is not exactly like ‘teacher appreciation week’ in the US. Do let me explain: so I arrive at Colegio Domus Mater bright and early only to be informed that we are only going to be having one class today because all other classes had been cancelled….um? another bomb threat? Nooo silly! Teacher’s day! I was greeted by enthusiastic hugs and kisses from students and faculty alike, thanking me and sincerely wishing me a happy day! It was incredible! Mainly because I’m not a teacher! But I guess I kind of am in their eyes…anyways, so on Teacher Day, classes are cancelled and the students hold a luncheon/brunch for the teachers where they all bring in homemade cakes, cookies, chocolate out the wazoo. It was delish. And not only that, the teachers were brought presents and gifts and the students from each grade gave a performance of some type- singing, dancing, musical what not…all in honor of the teachers. I have never seen such a spectacle. Which brings me to lots and lots of thoughts on the way teachers are viewed in terms of respect in the United States…but another day…So, with my purse full of chocolate and little presents, I headed home, thinking about how gratifying it must be to be a teacher if this is how the students view you.
And no, I’m still not inspired. I will never be a teacher mom. Take solace in that!
So, quick review of this weekend, we attended the Artesanal festival de cervesa (or the Artisan Beer Festival). Valdivia is pretty much known for having the best beer in the region due to all the German influence in the area. So we went, watched a live band play ‘Smoke on the Water’, saw some drunken kids storm the stage for a purely mediocre performance, pushed our way through hordes of people wearing paper German hats, tried an artisan beer (still convinced that it isn’t that good…), bought a manjar filled churro, and walked home. At least we can say that we went to the mini-beer fest. Because Valdivia apparently has a HUGE beerfest in the summer time with parades and all get up.
The international Cine Fest was also this weekend…but I failed and didn’t make it to any screening. Ah well. But, on the bright side, Saturday I was supposed to go but they re-routed the micros for the beer fest so I missed the movie. I decided that it was a beautiful day outside and that I was instead going to go juggle or shoot on the field on campus. Of course when I got there, both fields were occupied, but one of the fields was occupied with a WOMEN’S MATCH. Mind blown. Cue series of events and conversations and guess who is now going to be playing for the UACh Women’s soccer team!?!? Well, I can’t say that its going to be nearly as intense as wolfpack soccer (I’m pretty sure the girls were toe-ing the ball instead of passing it…)…but it should be more fun! The girls were really excited to meet me and we are supposed to have practice on Wednesday….bomb threat permitting. So fingers crossed I’ll be playing soccer and meeting new friends real soon! I cannot wait!
Cue Monday, another day at colegio, another bomb threat, and a random trip to el centro. Last night I was watching the professional Chilean soccer league coverage on the news, and I asked Rodolfo and Marisol who Colo Colo was. You see, there is a pro soccer team here called Colo Colo. Anyways, I remember learning in class that he was a Mapuche but I couldn’t remember the details. So I asked and Marisol said “oh he’s a Mapuche” and I followed up “yes, but what did he do?” Rodolfo chimes in “I don’t know but he must have been really good at futbol”….bahahaha I died. Rodolfo never fails to crack me up. Turns out Colo Colo was some type of valiant fighter or something and was a war chief of sorts. So I asked Marisol if the Mapuche have an issue with the soccer team using their name, essentially…and she said “No, I imagine that all of the Mapuche are Colo Colinos (Colo Colo fans)” ….oh dear. This family. Just like my own I swear. She continued to tell me this story about her nephew who, when he was younger, asked why they (Catholics) couldn’t eat meat on Friday. So his mom (Marisol’s sister) tried to explain about the Friday meat thing….Jorge Andres, not understanding, said “But mom, that doesn’t apply to us. We aren’t Catholics, we are Colo-Colinos!” ahahaha! It was too funny. Gotta love little kids, and little soccer fanatics at that.
Other funny things Rodolfo has said recently:
- Rodolfo: “Why isn’t Cathy coming to lunch?”
- Me: “I dunno…she just called me and told me she wasn’t”
- Rodolfo: “Oh! That’s right, I remember, she told me she would be setting off bombs at the university this afternoon”
- Me: “BAHAHAHHA tell her to STOP!!”
Rodolfo on the salmon we had at lunch that was served with tomatoes:
- Rodolfo: “Would you like a ‘tomate marino’”
- Vale: “uhh what?”
- Me: “AHAHAHA a marine tomato! Because it’s with the fishes!”
- Vale: “uyyyy you two….ridiculous”
I know that I encourage him, but he really is funny.
Anyways, that’s the weekly update. I sent some emails to my professors to see if I can finish classes a week earlier than planned. And I also received a box full of cookies and brownies from the Kaplan House crew back in Raleigh! Shout out to y’all!!
Alright that’s it.
Chao, besos, nos vemos!