Monday, April 23, 2007

Gringo vs. the Volcano

I don´t want to alarm those of you following this blog, but the ground shook us pretty hard this weekend! There is a submerged volcano in Aysen Fijord, about 80 km from here, that is pushing it´s way up to the surface. Although all we got in Coyhaique was a good scare, Puerto Aysen and Puerto Chacabuco took the hit pretty badly. There were mudslides and small tidal waves and a few people are dead and missing. Everyone is waiting to see what will happen when the volcano breaks ground. I am worried, although mostly for my fellow volunteers on the coast. They have elected to stay where they are and see what happens. Chile is a very seismically active country, but tremors are not common in this region. Living at the mercy of volcanoes and tectonic plates is certainly a humbling experience, to say the least.

On the school front, I began working with my own groups in the "English Only" room today. They finally replaced the broken glass in the window, and I even got a brand new whiteboard! My students were amazingly well behaved, which is a huge relief because in my Thursday afternoon art class they are complete animals. They have no idea how to pronounce anything in English, so I think it will take me a while just to get through "Hello, my name is..." and numbers and stuff. Sometimes when I am in the hallway, the students will come up to me and just stand next to me touching my arm. One boy did this while motioning to his friends..."Look! Look!" Although it is flattering, it is also exhausting, and strange!

In other news, look for a link to my photos soon. I am working on it this very moment!

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