Saturday, April 25, 2009

I´m Alive! AND...Happy Birthday Jason!!!

Well, Jason has been taking command of the blogging. He has internet access at school though and I don´t really. What a good little blogger he has become. I´m so proud! hehe.


Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Haaaaaaappy Birthday dear Jason!
Happy birthday to you!!! Yaaaaaaaaaayyy!
Well, that is my tribute to Mr. Jason Paul! Today is his birthday and he is um, 27. Not sure if he wanted me to put that. I think he hears the big 3-0. haha. I decorated the house this morning and made him pancakes. Yummy. Now we are hitting the internet and meeting some friends for a BBQ at our house. I even made him a birthday apple pie! (His favorite). It was a bit itneresting gathering the ingredients in another language. I also have no measuring cups or teaspoons so I cook everything by guessing. haha. Everything´s been good so far. The pie LOOKS great. Hopefully it tastes good too!
So, things have been going really well. I am really enjoying teaching. I love the kids. I love my 5th graders becuase they are so sweet and excited about English. They have no shame and so are not embarassed to speak and try to pronounce the words. I love the 8th graders becuase they are personable and are interested in America and the culture and are interested in sharing their´s with me. From 5th-8th grade...I love `em all. hehe.
Tomorrow marks one month in Copiapo´. So crazy! It´s gone by fast. We´ve been in Chile for over 5 weeks now. I know this 8 months will fly by.
So, what to say. I love my school. It is the poor school in town but I wouldn´t be any where else. The kids are actually pretty well behaved...kind of. :) haha. I´m still a novelty at this point so they are well behaved with me. I´m also probably super strict for them to. Discipline isn´t as prevelant in schools. The kids kind of rule the roost with a lot of the teachers. I´m sure they will be working me good in no time!
Anyways, I´m running out of time but I will try to write more later about my school. You can also be praying for us because we are trying out our first church tomorrow. I pray that it is good and Christ centered! Thanks all! Miss you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hi everyone!
I just have a little time to post before I go home so I will have to make this post brief. I thought you guys might be interested to see who the other volunteers are in our area. Starting from the left is Anna, me, then Nick (from Texas), Joe (from South California), and lastly Zack (from Oregon). Nick, Joe, and Zack are really great guys and we have all gotten along very well. While we were in Santiago for our training I kept telling Anna how nice everyone was and how much we had in common. All of the volunteers are not like a lot of the students I studied abroad with. When I was in Italy and Spain everyone was interested in different things, often times that being going out and drinking. Many were culturally sensative and tried to integrate, but there were also a lot that were in the program for just a good time. The volunteers in the program for sure party (those who are not believers), but they all are interested in cultures and helping other people. Anyways, the Nick, Joe, and Zach have been great and we do get together from time to time. Nick is teaching here in Copiapó, but Joe and Zack are about an hour away in a little coastal town called Caldera. So, it is a little harder to see them. Anna and I have not gone to Caldera yet because we are running out of money and are waiting to receive our stipend.
Well, sorry to have to go but I will try to get Anna to post tomorrow with some more pics and her take on all that is going on! Ok, chao,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

When if Rome.....

Hi again everyone!
Well, Anna and I got some really great comments from you guys about the coffee! I guess I really struck a common chord when I mentioned coffee!! I think that Dona J. brought coffee with her when she and Jim went on their mission trip :). Great minds think alike ;). Honestly, the one or two mornings that our grinder was acting up Anna was a little cranky! Don´t tell her I said that :). One way or another we will make sure we have REAL coffee for the year! Don´t worry about sending us coffee because I think the cost of shipping something to Chile is pretty expensive. But thank you guys for the offer!
Anyways, I just wanted to show you all a few more pictures of some of the great food here! I titled this ´When in Rome...´ because we have been trying to live this out here in Chile. Last Saturday Anna and I walked a ways to an Empanada factory that we heard about from an aquaintance. The walk was definately worth it because the Empanadas from this factory are AWESOME!! Our empanadas are the meat filled ones. The best way to describe them is ´savory´because they have raisins, olives, onions, egg, and meat in them so they are sweet and meaty. Yum! We will have to not go there too often though because they have the potential of making us fat if we eat too many. Well, actually maybe just me because I don´t think Anna could gain weight.
The other picture is of a popular soda here PAP. I think that it is short for Papaya. The flavor is kind of like bubble gum and it is very sweet. I think that Chileans like sweet things in general because their cookies, juices, etc. are VERY sweet.
Well, that is all the time I have for now. Talk to you all later!

Monday, April 20, 2009

You don´t gain anything without a little sacrifice...

Hi everyone,
Well, to give you all another little peak into Anna´s and my world here in Copiapó, Chile I thought I would delve a little into the culture. I titled this post ´You don´t gain anything without a little sacrifice´ for a reason. I read another quote recently that put my point even better and that it ´Measure your success by what you have had to sacrifice.´ And....well, Anna and I have had to sacrifice quite a bit......and that sacrifice has been COFFEE!!! You would think that a country in South America would be dripping with good delicious coffee, but OH not so! There is actually very little real coffee here in Chile, most is just Nescafé instant coffee (as you can see from the top picture). Luckily Anna and I read about the lack of coffee here beforehand and came prepared with a 3lb. bag of José ´s coffee, a grinder, and a French Press ;=). Yeah that´s right, we are pathetically dependant on coffee!!! We have tried the instant stuff and it actually is not that bad, but we definately prefer the real stuff. So, that is what we have had to sacrifice.
However, we have gained so much more!!! And keeping with the topic of food, the BREAD here in Chile is killer!!! Bread from home is ok, but only sliced Sourdough etc. If you were to buy a loaf of French Bread it is mostly airy without much substance. The bread here in Copiapó is dense but not too dense with just the right amount of fluffyness. And there is an amazing variety of bread: Hallulla, Dobladas, Marranquetta, etc. Anna and I have been buying bread every day for sandwhiches, for eating with dinner, and for just spreading a little Nutella on! I wish we could bring some back for you guys to try because bread really is a big deal here with a whole section of the supermarket dedicated to making and selling bread.
Well, that is all for now. I hope everything is going great with you all back home. Keep praying for Anna and I to find a church because so far we have not had much luck. Ok, talk to you all later!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Más Fotos!

Hi again,

Well, the last couple of days I have had access to the internet here at my school so I´ve finally been able to post some pictures. If you haven´t looked at the pictures of Anna´s and my house and of Copiapó from the last blog post, check them out!! Anyways, here are some pictures of a beach town near Copiapó. It´s name is Barranquilla.

Anna and I were invited by an older couple that befriended us. Their names are Juan Carlos and Rosa. They live here in Copiapó, but they have a little beach house in Baranquilla and needed to go their for some election (i think, not exactly sure!). So, they asked us if we wanted to come along and see Barranquilla. The drive out their goes through baren dessert (in the background of the photo of Anna) which in a weird way is beutiful. I know we think of a beutiful landscape as full of green trees, grass, etc. but the desert is actually pretty (think Lawrence of Arabia). Anyways, once we got their we went down to the beach to look around and then afterwards we had lunch with Juan Carlos and Rosa. The lunch was delicious! We had rice with sea food mixed in and a salad with fresh goat cheese, tomatoes, and avocados.

Afterwards they took us to another beach town called Puerto Viejo. The beach was even longer there, but the main reason we went was to look at a place where a meteor fell back in the 1920´s. It was pretty incredible to see because there is a decent sized hole and all around it the sand has been cooked into rock. Let´s see if I can upload a pic of it....

Ok, the picture on the left is Anna standing at the crater hole and the pic on the right is of me looking over the edge of the cliff made out of cooked sand. The whole area was pretty cool and Anna and I had a great time. After visiting both beach towns Juan Carlos and Rosa took us to their house to have some tea, snacks, and meet their two boys who are going to the university here. They were all very nice to us and were very hospitable.

Well, I hope you guys have enjoyed the pics! I won´t be able to post tomorrow because the teachers are all going on strike over unfair wages! Yeah, they strike a lot here in South America! Ok, well until later.....

Chao (as they say here for good bye, not CIAO like in Italy),

Jason (and Anna)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finally, PICTURES!!!

Hi Friends and Family!

Well, as promised I have finally posted pictures of our house and city!!! As you can see we live in a humble little house, but we call it ´Home´:). It took some getting used to in the beginning, but we are finally used to the freezing cold nights, the lack of running water or electricity, etc. I keep telling Anna that it is a ´fixer upper´and just needs a little TLC.

JUST KIDDING!!!!! Actually, this is the house that we live in here in Copiapó. It is a WHOLE lot nicer than that other house (that was just a run down abandoned house I took a pic of to fool all of you guys). It definately is a step down from what we are used to in California, but it is a nice house and is fully furnished. Anna and I like the area that we live in because we are both close to our schools (walking distance) and to a grocery store called Deca. I forgot to take pictures of the inside so I will try to do that soon so you guys won´t think we are slummin´it.

Here is a picture of Copiapó from Cerro de la Cruz. Anna and I walked to the hill from our house and then hiked to the top on Easter. The view is amazing with all of the dry rippling brown hills in the distance with the contrasting green of the trees and colorful houses.

Anna and I definately missed you guys on Easter and going to Grace Church for the Friday and Sunday service. But, never fear the Easter Bunny did visit us here in Copiapó!!! I think he only speaks spanish here though.....:)

This is my Easter basket from Anna that she gave me first thing in the morning. She nocked on the front door and made me get my Easter basket....back to being a little kid again :). Our baskets were pretty ghetto since we didn´t have much money and there were not Easter baskets in stores to buy. Anna made mine out of the bottom of a plastic water bottle, the handle is toilet paper, and a colored plastic bag makes the grass. Pretty neat, huh? Mine was even worse so I will save that for later.
Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed a little peak into Anna´s and my world here in Chile. Please keep praying that we find a church, do well teaching, and overall are a light here in our schools and community. Thanks!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tenemos una casa...o mejor dicho una casita :-)

Hola everyone!!!
Hey friends and family!! This is Jason! In my broken spanish the title I was going for is ¨We have a home!...or better said a cottage-little home!!¨ We had to run around the city the first day we got here, which was a Sunday, but we had very little luck since everything is practically closed. We were able to get a house on Monday through an agency. We probably got the ¨gringo¨deal, but it is a nice little old house inbetween where Anna and I will be teaching.
Our first night in our new home was quite the adventure! We didn´t sign the contract until around 7:30 pm or so and didn´t get to our house until around 8 pm. We hadn´t eaten dinner yet and so the couple from the agency took us to the supermarket to get some food from the deli. They bought us some plastic ware to eat with because we didn´t have any silverware or plates yet!! So, Ann and I had a little picnic upstairs in our bedroom while we waited for the cleaning agency to finish up (everyone works later and stays up later in Chile, so moving in at this hour is not a strange thing I guess).
Well, once everyone left Anna and I began to put our things away. I plugged in a lamp to give us some more light and just after I did from the outlet there was a big POP! and the outlet shorted and tripped the breaker. Well, luckily we brought a little flashlight, but try as we might we couldn´t find the breaker box!!! Also, the gas wasn´t hooked up so we didn´t have any hot water, so when I took an ARCTIC COLD shower I had to use the little flashlight to see!! :) ha ha. Oh yeah, and the agency couple took our blankets to clean so we didn´t have any bedding except sheets!!! So we bundled up and had a cold nights sleep!!
Anyways, all is well and God has taken care of us! We have a neat story to tell next time we have time to post!!!! Ok, love you all and talk to you all soon. Pics to come...

Jason and Anna