Sunday, March 29, 2009


Well, we are Copiapo that is. This is "home" for the next 8 months. That is so strange to say. In Santiago we were always aware of the fact that we were going to leave it. Not this place though. Hopefully we will get to know it well.

We left Santiago last night at 11:30pm on a bus. The Chilean long distance bus system is really nice here. It's nothing like America's scary Greyhound system. Everyone travels by bus and it's pretty cheap. We pulled into Copiapo at about 11am. It was actually pretty funny. We had been told by a previous volunteer that Copiapo isn't exactly...pretty. I had only seen pictures though and it didn't look too bad. We were originally told that the bus trip would take 14 hours. At the 12 hour mark we were driving and saw this barren ugly city. I said, "Hey Jason, it's Copiapo. hahahaha." At that moment one of the guys that hands out drinks and snacks on the bus walked down the isle and said to us, "Copiapo?" We were a little confused. Well, about two minutes later we pull into the bus terminal and guess what? Oh yes, that lovely city was in fact Copiapo. I pretty much laughed hysterically. Jason didn't think it was so funny. All this to say, the city isn't actually that bad. The outskirts look a lot like Tijuana. Just very barren with a lot of poor people. The inner part of the city was pretty nice though. I think that there is a big difference between the have's and the have not's here...definitely nothing like we're used to in SLO.

After we got into Copiapo the district coordinator met us and took us to meet host families and co-teachers. We were given our placements. Jason's teacher and director (our "principal") were so nice. They already have high hopes of winning the English Debates this year (it's a big deal in Chile and the students that win recieve an all paid trip to any where in their country...including the teacher). I was given my post too but my teacher wasn't there for whatever reason. Anyways, Jason and I are at a nice hostel right now. We tried to find a house to live in today but it was Sunday and so we didn't have much luck. You can definitely please be praying that we find a house that we can afford and that is centrally located as we don't have a car to get groceries and do laundry. Hope everyone is doing well. We'll try to post more pics soon!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nuestra Vida en Santiago de Chile

Hey everyone!!!
This is Jason and this is my personal blog to all of you guys (all the previous blogs have been by my dear little wifey Anna). So, sit back and enjoy my perspective on "Our Life in Santiago de Chile."
Well, as Anna said before this is our hostel here in Santiago. Everyone in the program is staying here too and we all eat meals together. For the most part it is a nice Hostel and the food has been actually very good (no 5 star meal, but not horrible like you normally seem to find). Anna and I chose to pay a little extra each day to have our own room instead of bunking in the dorms that are upstairs. The community or "barrio" is fairly quiet because we are located somewhat away from the Downtown centre.

Here is a picture of our little room at the Hostel. We have a street front room that comes with a T.V., a shower, a sink, and a decent size bed. I am glad we did decide to get our own room because otherwise we would not have a lot of time together (we are always with the other volunteers so having a quiet place is nice). I am really excited about getting our own house or appartment so we can finally un-pack and settle in for the next 8 months. We are not sure right now what kind of place we will be living in (house or apartment), but someone in the program is working it out for us. We were told today that we are leaving this Saturday at around 11:30 pm and taking a bus all the way up to Copiapo'!!!! The bus ride is around 14 hours so that is why we are leaving so late at night. Supposedly the buses are really nice and better than the seats in an airplane. They have bathrooms, comfy plush chairs, food, movies, etc. Yeah!! So please be praying for safe travel and that we will get a nice place in our new home town.

The picture on the left is a banner of the English Opens Doors Program that was at our Opening Ceremony that took place at the United Nations building here in Santiago (above picture). The Ceremony was very cool and took place in an auditorium inside. Several important people from the Ministry of Education spoke and there were a lot of photographers and news people. Supposedly we made the nightly news and the newspaper, but I wasn't able to find them.
Here is a picture of a news reporter interviewing one of the guys who works for the Ministry of Education. This took place after the ceremony when we were all getting coffee and snacks and several of us were interviewed by different reporters. I believe they said that this is the first year that they are trying to market the program to the public at large. All the years before they worked on letting schools know and get the word out internationally.
So, this is a picture of the Instituto Norteamericano where we have been going for Teaching and Language training. The Institute is a great place to meet and the classes have been helping a lot.
Ok, so this is "La Vega." Today we got to go on a Cultural excursion and Anna and I chose to go to the Mercado Central or "Central Market" and "La Vega" which is a produce market. We first went to La Vega with our guide Jim who is from New Zealand. It was like all the other markets I've been to in other countries, but a bit crazier and with WAY more fruits and vegies.
The picture below on the left is of a new fruit Anna and I had today which is called a "Pepino Dulce". For all of you spanish speakers out there "pepino" means cucumber, but this "pepino dulce" is more like a little melon. It is soft and lightly sweet, tasting a bit like a honeydew. Yum!!! Anna and I also bought a pineapple for light 1,000 pesos which is around $1.75 or so! We also got some other funny looking unknown fruit and a little papaya. Fruit and vegies are very cheap there and I really hope that we have a Farmer's Market like this one in Copiapo'. The pic on the right is of course Anna at the market.
Well, it has taken FOREVER to download these pictures so I am going to have to end here. I will post more pics tomorrow of the Mercado Central and tell about our "different" sea food meal :)........

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Almost done with the week...

Well, today is Wednesday and we only have two more days in Santiago. The days have been really long and I´m a bit excited to move on. Jason and I usually wake up at 7:15am and head down for breakfast at the hostel around 8am. Then we head over to the norteamericano building at 9am for lots of training. We have workshops until lunch at 1:30. Lunch and dinner are pretty late in Chile and so I am always so hungry by the time lunch and dinner arrive...especially since I´m not a breakfast eater. After lunch we have more workshops and then two hours of Spanish class. We end the day at 6pm and have dinner at 7:30. It´s looooong and hard to sit for that long. Tomorrow we have a cultural excursion which will be nice to have the day more broken up.

We have two more days of this and then we leave Saturday morning for a nice long bus ride. On a completely different note they drink Nescafe´ here. It´s awful and very chemically. Blah. Jason and I found a some what real coffee shop...that´s not Starbucks (there are a couple here but I am proud to say that we have not allowed ourselves to go). Anyways, it´s a little local shop. It´s no Linnea´s but it´s not bad and certainly way better then Nescafe´.

Anyways, things are going well overall. I feel like I´m learning more and more Spanish every day. Little by little. It´s funny becuase I feel like we are getting into a routine here. We will have to start all over on Sat. though. Oh well. It will be nice to be where we are going to live more permanently. Well, I think I´m going to go up to our room. Hasta luego!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some Pictures of Santiago

The classic "in the plane" picture. Not sure what city is below us.
A Santiago police officer. We or should I say Jason talked to one. We spoke so fast and I honestly did not catch a single word he said. ha ha

The Chilean "White House". Jason decided that it would be fun to take a picture with the guards. I was too embarassed to do it!
This is the street that our hostel in on.

In the plaza de armas in Santiago. This little boy was feeding the pigeons with bird seed.

And some "tagging". It can definitely be an art form and I think that this guy was being payed to do it!
Ok, that's all for now!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Little more Awake

I feel a little more human today. Jason and I added it up and we had been running on about 4-5 hours of sleep in an almost 48 hour period. That can´t be healthy. We slept hard last night and it felt really good.

So, as I said we arrived in Chile and went to our hostel. It´s pretty nice. They have them all over Chile so I think that we will stick with this line of hostels if we travel around Chile. First we got cleaned up and then hit the streets of Santiago. We walked all around. I have heard a lot of people describe it as similar to Europe. I found that to be kind of true. It´s a little European and yet still has a very Latin America feel. We snacked on an empenada yesterday and had a couple of cafe´ con leches. For dinner yesterday we had...hotdogs! haha. They are very popular here. It´s super yummy though. They pile a bunch of things on top like guacamole, salsa, and other good stuff.

We went to bed early last night. We were so beat. Our hostel was having a party last night and we managed to fall asleep despite the bumpin´ loud music. haha. We woke up at 10 am Chile time. We got ready, had some breakfast (I had instant coffee...desperate times call for desperate measures). They aren´t coffee drinkers here and mostly use nescafe´. As long as it has some caffeine I guess. Then we hit the streets again. For lunch we had a simple and yummy jamon y queso sandwich on fresh bread. It was really good. Anyways, we have out first meeting tomorrow so I will update more if I get a chance. There are other people that are waiting for the computer so I think that I will get off now! Pictures to come! -Anna

Friday, March 20, 2009

We have arrived!

Hola amigos! We made it! Jason and I flew into Santiago, Chile this morning (Friday) at 4am. We flew out of LAX at 1 am on Thur. and connected in Houston, TX. Then we flew to Panama City, and finally to Santiago. We hung out at the airport for about 3 hours once we arrived waiting for our hostel to open. Travels were very smooth. No lost luggage, no missed flights. (They even let us keep our giant bag of coffee beans when we passed through customs.)

I can´t believe that we are here and this will be home for the next 8 months or so. We have our first mandatory meeting on Sunday evening. Then we have a week of training and we are shipped off on a bus to our place that we will live until Dec. Anyways, thank you all for praying for us. Continue to pray for good health as Santiago has a TON of smog. Also, Jason has been so bold and amazing with his spanish but you can pray for me becuase I feel timid about trying to speak. Anyways, that´s all for now! Hope everyone is well. We miss you all!
-Anna and Jason

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Thoughts...

I can't believe that we leave...God 2 days. It just blows my mind. I think I keep saying "God willing" (even though it seems certain to every one that we are leaving) because it's just so surreal. I feel like it's not ACTUALLY going to happen. I don't know. I for one have never lived in another country and so the concept is very...foreign (no pun intended!) :-) There are a lot of unknowns that's for sure. I am constantly giving my thoughts and worries to the Lord. I'm not a worrier either...but here I am...worrying. A lot of it is in regard to different things that could go wrong. Like...what if our partner teacher is awful, what if I don't pick up the language, what if we don't find a church...what if the oven starts baking a bun before it's supposed to (haha, did you catch that?). You know, just worries.

On the flip side I'm excited. Excited to travel, start something new, be stretched, have Jason and I's (is that proper English? maybe me and Jason's...not sure. "I's" looks weird) marriage stretched, see the Lord's hand, meet new people. You know...all the things that go with new experiences. I just need to continually pray and give it to the Lord. Isn't every day a surrender of your own expectations and hopes? Isn't it just a minute by minute battle? That's what I feel like. Peace, anxiety, peace, anxiety, peace, anxiety. Those are my emotions right now. Can't put your guard down for a second huh? Those lies that God won't be faithful just seep into the mind. Anyways, so that's where I'm at now! :-) hehe.

On a lighter note...I cut my hair. It feels wonderful. My ponytail is so tiny! Love the fact that it takes me three minutes to do my hair. Yay for that! It literally took my at least 10 minutes just to get the brush through all of my hair...only for it to knot up again. I don't even have to brush my hair now. I just run my fingers through it. Very nice! I think I will keep the hair short for a little while (granted this is short for me...though other's would say it's medium length). Anyways, hope all is well with everyone and I think that the next post will in fact be from south of the equator. When I write you next I will be just starting winter (boo hoo hoo). I'm a little sad. I love the heat and it was finally a warm day today. Hmmm. Oh well. :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Lasts

We leave for Chile a week from today. I can't believe it. Part of me is in a little bit of denial that I'm actually going to be living some where else for a while...let alone in another country. Jason and I are trying to do as many things as possible...those things that we know we're going to miss. Here is a small taste of our list:

-Have pancakes (a great obsession of mine)
-Hike Bishop's and Madonna Mt.
-Have coffee at Linneas and Top Dog (they don't really have coffee shops in Chile)
-Walk around downtown slo
-Go to the beach
etc, etc.

One of the "lasts" (at least for a while) is going to church on Sunday. This Sunday will be our last Sunday before we leave. I can't believe it. Weird. It will be hard to say goodbye. I am well aware of the fact that we will be lucky to find an evangelical church in Chile...super lucky if we actually like it and feel at home there. Because of this fact we aren't going to be picky while there. We just want to be fed!

So, we are finishing up all the last details involved in leaving. Making arrangements for travel to LAX, and etc. Very exciting...but I'm a little nervous. Nervous to teach and nervous to be submerged in Spanish. Man 'o man am I excited though! Maybe my next post will be from below the equator! :-) We desire your prayers so much. If you would like to pray for us some of our prayer requests are...

-That we would have a great Chilean partner teacher. We work side by side with her the whole year. We hope we learn a great deal from her, that she is kind, and that we can be a light to her.
-That we find some group of evangelical Believers to meet with.
-Because we will be living on our own and not with a host family it will take a lot more of our own effort to make relationships. I pray that the the Lord makes us bold and friendly.
-For boldness. I just need to TRY when it comes to the language. Even though I am not a shy person I can become that when I feel awkward. I pray that the Lord gives me the ability to absorb the language and that I also am friendly and open to those around us.
-For the teaching. Jason has some experience in English, not so much. May He bless our efforts and help these kids learn English. Also that He may direct our ways and show us if this is the route that we should take career wise (esp. for Jason).
-Finally that we may just be a light for Him, that we may glorify Him in all our ways.

That's the short list! :-) Anyways, thank you all for reading!!! One week! Yay!!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Wedding Pics are Up!

Go to this website:
Our event name is annaj.

There are some seriously funny pics in here! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm Official!

A few days ago I received my social security card and my CA driver's license with my new last name on it. I was still signing with my old last name because my driver's license, credit card...and everything else said my old last name. Now I'm pretty much official! :-)

In other news...we sold the van. It was a nice couple of months of having two cars but the plan always was to sell the van right before Chile. It will be a lot easier to share one car now that we live in the same house. I will admit that I was slightly emotionally attached to it. I named it and all. :-). We put the ad on Craigslist and man o' man did we get interest. About 50 people were looking to buy it. So, it's gone. Kinda sad but the money will be well used.

So, Jason and I just counted and we leave in 17 days...CRAZY! I can't believe it. We're excited and nervous all at the same time. We REALLY need to study up on the espanol. Or, I need to study up.

Well, I hope that everyone has a wonderful Lord's Day and we are off to go shopping at Old Navy. We're hoping they will have some good winter sales for teaching clothes...being that they are moving into spring clothing lines right now. Not us though...we're moving right back into winter again (Chile's below the equator). We'll make a movie called "The Endless Winter". I find it ironic that me...who LOVES the receiving a year straight of winter. Oh well. What can you do?