Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the road again (or the sky)

**WARNING: The blog you are about to read contains references to undomiciled rodents. Reader discretion is advised***

I'm back in Santiago now . . . after another overnight bus ride. This time it was a little more comfortble, but how restful can it be when you usually sleep on your stomach??

The wedding was beautiful!! I have pictures I'll post once I return to the states. The most eventful thing happened the night before the wedding. Her wedding was at a campground near Villarrica called Lican Rey (I think I've got the correct spelling on those). The campground was like any typical summer camp: cabins, bath house, dining hall, etc. The cabin I stayed in had 2 rooms -- each with one bunk bed and 1 single bed. In one room was one of the bridesmaids (Christina), and one of Teresa's sisters (Janel). They had gone to bed early while Teresa, Angela(The other bridesmaid), Saul, and Claudia (groomsman and his wife) worked on setting up the room. She was planning on getting married outside, but it was raining on Friday, so she opted for an indoor wedding instead. When Angela, Teresa, and I got back to the cabin, Janel and Christina were already asleep. We figured out the sleeping arrangements (Angela on the bottom bunk, me on the top, and Teresa in the single bed. I asked if I needed to worry about bugs, and they said nothing deadly (last year we had some pretty scary spiders to worrry about). Then just out of curiosity, I asked if they had any larger animals they had to worry about. They said mostly mice, and sometimes bats. I figured that was good enough -- I was on the top bunk and wouldn´t have to worry about the mice and I had looked on the ceiling and not seen any bats. We talked for a couple minutes and went to sleep. As I was laying there, I thought I heard a noise that sounded like flapping wings. I thought, "Is that inside, or outside?" I decided to ignore it. When I kept hearing it, I realized it was something flying and it was inside. I said Teresa´s name to see if she was still awake, but she wasn't. I figured, "I can tough it out . . . it´s just a bat!!" Then I started thinking . . . some friends of mine at home had some bat trouble and their little 1 year old boy had to get rabies shots just in case he had been bitten. The doctor told them that you can't see where they bite you. This led me to cover my head with the blankets so it couldn't get to me to bite me!! I laid like this for a while, but it kept flying over my head and hitting the windows trying to get out. I tried to tough it out as long as I could, but when I felt it hit the covers, I decided to wake up Teresa. She turned on the light, and we saw it clinging to the ceiling. We didn't really know what to do. The ceilings were pretty high and I was in no mood to learn how to catch a bat!! So we did the next best thing: we pulled the largest mattress out on to the floor of the entrance area and slept there!! It didn't bother me any more, so sleeping after that wasn't too bad.

As I said, the wedding was beautiful. The only little hitch was that the unity candle wouldn't light! She was using someone else's candle and since it didn't get there until almost the last minute, no one had been able to check the wick. That added to the fact that when they put their individual candles down to light the big one, the wax from each of theirs fell into the big one and made it even harder. The best man ended up going up during the prayer and lit it, but even then it wasn´t very bright. Oh, well, they're still just as married!! Her dad was performing the ceremony, and he said afterwards that we won't try to interpret that as anything negative about their marrage!!

Well, I'm headed back tonight. I'll have pictures as soon as I can!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The adventure continues!! (and Happy Thanksgiving!)

In the past couple days, I haven't had quite as much excitement as I had on the trip down here. I think I'm just about recovered from the lack of sleep, but I suppose that's to be expected -- I'll have about 2 or 3 good days before I have to turn around and head back to the states!!

I met Teresa's fiance on Monday night -- he was dropping her off after they . . . did . . . some kind of planning for the wedding. That was so long ago I can't really remember what they were doing - OH!! They were meeting with a man from their church for some pre-marital counseling!! Teresa's dad is actually performing the wedding ceremony, but I guess they figured it would be a little awkward for him to do the counseling!!

Marcelo is very nice. Teresa said he doesn't like new situations, but he seems to be o.k. with me. There is the language barrier, though . . .

On Tuesday, we went to what will be their house to do some more baking (we had done a lot of baking on Monday, too -- they are fixing almost all the food for the reception. She is having cupcakes instead of a traditional cake and their "lunch" reception will be chicken, vegetables, potatos, and bread. I've been helping her mom with the bread mostly.) Back to Teresa's house. It is a little run-down. I didn't bring my little do-hickey that loads pictures to my computer, so I'll have to wait until I'm in the states to post pictures. They have been working to fix it up for the past couple of months, but since they're just in Springtime here, I guess it's been a little cold to do too much.

When we sat down to eat lunch Tuesday at Teresa's house, Marcelo looked over at me (I'll interject that he doesn't speak any more English than I speak Spanish -- I may know more Spanish than he does English. He had 2 years of English in school, but didn't like it very much). He looked at me and said, "How are you today, Kelly?" Then he said something to Teresa in Spanish which was, "That's all I remember from my English classes." Teresa said I need to come more often because he won't speak to her in English!!

The language barrier has definately been interesting. I took French in high school, so any time I try to think of something I could say, it ends up being French in my head, so I don't bother even trying to say anything. Sometimes I can pick out words from their conversations: house, tomorrow, and most numbers/colors/fruits. One phrase I do hear is "Yo tango" which means "I have". I'll get excited when I hear this, but then I realize that I don't really know WHAT they have, I just know they have something!! Sometimes I'll follow a short conversation, but mostly I'm lost. The best part is when Teresa's mom goes to "translate" for me and she starts talking to me in Spanish!! One time, Teresa's dad looked at her and said, "Do you wanna try asking her in English??" It's been great!!

I guess that's all the excitement for now. We're headed to do some more shopping today, then early tomorrow we'll head to the campground to start preparations.

When I started typing this blog post, I was trying to figure out what day I first met Marcelo, so I was going backwards in my head to figure out if it was yesterday, the day before that, or the day before that. Then I realized I didn't really know what day it is today!! I looked at my little clock thing at the bottom corner of my computer and realized: TODAY IS THANKSGIVING!! So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! We do get a typical Thanksgiving dinner tonight -- Teresa's 2 sisters and their families are traveling up today and we'll have a family celebration tonight. It should be very exciting!! I'll still be the only person who ONLY speaks English, but the ratio of non-English to English speakers will greatly increase!

Have a great day -- enjoy Black Friday -- I'll be missing it!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

traveling "excitement"

So I was really tired when I put up the last post. I actually had to edit it (thanks, Jeannine, for pointing that out to me!!) after posting due to a typographical error. I blame the jet lag!

Speaking of jets . . . There were 2 "significant" events as I traveled from DC to Santiago. I knew this was going to be an interesting trip when, as I was waiting in the security checkpoint line, the zipper on one of my carry-on bags broke!! Anyway, here are the stories:

1 - This one happened pretty much as soon as I got on the plane. I was sitting in my seat, minding my own business, when a man who was walking down the aisle stopped at the seat and stared at me. I looked at him and he said, "HELLO!!" I said, "hi". He said something to the effect of is this a good day, we are travelling together!! Then he asked if I accept Canadian money. I told him that I wasn't staying in Toronto, I was going on to Chile. He said he wanted to pay me to borrow my phone. I told him he didn't need to pay me to borrow it -- I would let him use it for free! He said, "But it will be long distance - I need to pay you for it." So he started searching through his stuff for some change. I said I didn't know what it would charge my phone. He assured me that it would be 50 cents. He actually gave me 75 cents, but it was Canadian money. I think at this point it is important to note that he didn't actually ASK if he could borrow it, he just sort of told me he was. Anyway, so he called someone he kept calling some dessert name (honey bun, sweetie pie -- something edible, I'm sure). He was telling them they needed to come pick him up at the airport, but he didn't know the flight number. He asked me, but because I was going on the United flight through Air Canada, my number was different (and I really wasn't bothered with helping him out any after he had pretty much demanded to use my phone). He started asking other people around us for the flight number, but they either didn't know it, or had witnessed the entire dialogue between him and me and they didn't want to help him either!! Since he wasn't getting any help from them, he started walking up toward the front of the plane. I think he went and asked the pilot!! While he was gone, I sort of looked around like -- he just took my phone!!! I was a little concerned, but not too much -- he had left his stuff on the seat. When he finally came back and returned my phone, I just thought to myself, "this is going to be an interesting flight!!" I pretty much ignored him for the rest of the flight, so it worked out!

2 - I know, that last one was pretty long. This one is a little detailed, but hopefully I'll be able to keep it short! I finally made it to the airport in Santiago. As I was standing, waiting for my checked bag, I had my carry-on luggage at my feet. I was watching the bags as they came out from the back, when all of a sudden, I noticed something come up beside me. It was a dog!! At first I thougt it was a seeing-eye dog, but then I noticed that there were 2 of them and neither had a leash (what's the point of a seeing-eye dog if there's not a blind person attached to them!!??). One of the dogs was sniffing a bag my mother had brought up to me when she and dad came for my birthday. A man in a uniform started rattling something in Spanish, to which I said, "No habla Espagnol." (as a side note, I'm wondering why people believe me when I answer that I don't speak Spanish, but I say it in Spanish . . . . . just a thought) Anyway, he then asked me in English if I had any fresh fruits or vegetables in my bag. I said no, I had some coffee beans, but no fruits or vegetables that I knew of, but he was more than welcome to look (like my saying "don't look" would have stopped him!!) He opened the bag (fortunately the zipper didn't break again!) and looked through it. When he didn't find anything, he asked what I had used the bag for last. I started to say that I hadn't used it before this time, when I suddenly remembered . . . . When mom brought the bag to me, she brought me some apples!! I told him this and it seemed to satisfy him, so he just left. I was just really impressed with those dog's sense of smell - to be able to sniff out the scent of apples when they hadn't been in the bag for several days!! This all made me wonder, too . . . how do you train fruit and vegetable-sniffing dogs . . . . . .

O.K. so that second one ended up being a little long, but you've got to admit -- it's pretty funny! I will say this is one time I can say in good conscience, "I blame my mother!" :-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I made it safe and sound to Chile right on time. Teresa (or her mom, I'm not sure which) bought me a bus ticket to where they are. I'm with Tiffany's parents right now, and will probably travel back with them next Sunday. I'll leave at about 10:30 at night and arrive in Temuco at 6:45am -- no rest for the weary!! We're 2 hours different (it's 4:00 here and only about
12:00 back home). Pray for safety and rest!! They said she has a lot of cooking and decorating for me to keep busy with!!

I'll update again when I get down there!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm off !!! (well . . .)

Today I leave for Chile!!!!!! I'm so excited!! I don't have a lot of time, but I just wanted to write a note asking that you pray for me. I'll be traveling by myself out of the country for the first time. I'm sure things will go fine, I'm just at the point that I'm afraid I'll get to the airport and they'll say, "We're sorry, but that flight no longer goes to Chile. And you can't have your money back." I wouldn't exactly hang my head and go home, but that could drastically change my Thanksgiving plans!!

Speaking of which, I'm sure I'll have a lot to share about celebrating Thanksgiving in a non-Thanksgiving celebrating country. I'll be with Americans, so we'll see what happens!

Pray for me!!

(Keep praying for Josh, my aide's husband, as he's still having some difficulty after surgery)

P.S. - a Pedi-egg is really a PedEgg. I spelled it wrong! It's a foot callous remover (it looks kind of like a cheese grater!!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Before I get to the birthday stuff, please pray for my aide's husband, Josh. He had surgery today and is in a lot of pain. I'll update later on how he's doing.

Today is my birthday. I love birthdays -- especially mine! A few of my "parents" "surprised" me at lunch today with cupcakes (and a special one for me with a peanut butter cup on it!) I didn't have the heart to tell them that I'm not really crazy about peanut butter with chocolate. Don't get me wrong, I plan to eat it, I just won't enjoy it quite as much as, oh, let's say caramel with chocolate!!

The funniest part of the day came when they were asking how old I am! One parent said, "So, you're like, 20, right?" When I responded, "28" the other parents said, "I was guessing 23 or 24!" I gave them my typical response: "Come back in 10 years and tell me I look young then!!"

Some of the kids brought me some presents. In all, I got a pedi-egg (their mom teaches 2nd grade and is a good friend of mine -- the gift wasn't totally random :-), an air freshener, a matching necklace and earrings, and a DVD of Stargate SG-1 episode 200 with the Sci-Fi channel special (I found a soul mate in this mom -- a fellow Stargate fan!!!!) Some of the moms gave me money, too to help with my trip to Chile! I'm so excited!! Now it's off to dinner with my parents!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Auction results . . . .

So things didn't go quite as well as I had hoped. They did well on some items, but not-so-well on others. My class's projects went for $175 and $60. The one I had worked on to paint and fix up so it would bring more money only went for $60. Fortunately, one of the first grade teachers bought it, so I'm glad for her sake that it didn't go for much more than that!!

Other than that, it was a long night. I didn't leave until about 11:30! I'm just glad they do it on a Friday so I have the next day to recover!!!

Tomorrow's my birthday . . . . I need to get some rest . . . I have a feeling that my "parents" are planning something. This week is already shaping up to be pretty busy:

Tonight: Going out to eat with my MUCH OLDER friend Karen (I think the much older amounts to 1 month, 17 days, 9 hours, and 11 minutes . . . approximately :-)

Tomorrow: Going out to eat with my parents!!!

Wednesday: Choir practice

Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner with the young adult group at church.

Friday: Thanksgiving Feast at school, then going to my parents' house.

Saturday: This day I'm not doing much, just going to Chile :-)

At least I don't have to worry about getting hungry!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

AUCTION!!! (and Christmas -- yes I said Christmas - decorating)

Being a teacher at a Christian school means LOTS of fund raisers (not that public schools don't have them . . .). Our main fundraiser each hear is our annual auction. Each class creates a "project" to sell at this auction. This year, my parents decided to do a cook book/scrap book of the kids. I suggested they get a generic apron and iron on a picture of the class and have them sign the bottom. They then put these two items and LOTS of cooking supplies in a cute basket as our class project. I'll fill you in on Monday for how it goes (I'd do it sooner, but I don't have internet at home). The other item turned out really cute. I'll try to get a picture of it up sometime, but it's a little kitchen painted with the school's colors and mascot. I called it the "Falcon's Nest Cafe" (since our mascot is the falcon . . .) Anyway, it turned out to be really cute!

One reason I've not posted for a while is the crazy-hecticness of my life right now. Not that other people don't have hectic lives . . . .

Last night was the FINAL CLASS for my tax course!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!! Now I'm ready to start part-time after school in January. Hopefully this will ease some of my financial tensions (oh, and pay for my ticket to Chile!)

Speaking of Chile . . . ONLY 8 MORE DAYS!!!!!!! I'm so excited to see my friend Teresa again!!! She will be one of only about a half dozen people I'll actually understand. I need to start choosing friends in English-speaking countries!!! (just kidding, Teresa!!)

Since I'll be gone for Thanksgiving, I've decided to skip these decorations at my apartment and just skip straight to Christmas. My goal is to have my tree up before I leave. I would like to have it up in my room, too, but I'm afraid that would just drive my sub NUTS! Then again . . . rather the sub than me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hmmmmmmmmmm . . . . . . .

Well, I need to get going. The auction starts soon and I need to get grades posted and assignments on the web site.

Don't be afraid to leave a comment. The extra approval is just a precaution. I don't want any too personal information showing up on my blog. If you're wondering anything about this, just send me a note on facebook. (or add me as a friend if you haven't yet -- I'll take all the friends I can get!!!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So I was just looking at Jen's blog. She said she was tagged, but wasn't going to tag anyone.

soooooooo, I consider myself un-tagged!!

7 random facts about myself:

1 - I have visited 21 of the 50 states (22 if you count the airport in Missouri)
2 - I love math -- any type of math!!
3 - My favorite time to shop (well, the only time I shop) is when I know I can get a discount!
4 - I have over 100 "My Little Ponies" from when I was little.
5 - I did not pay attention to the direction the toilet flushed when I went to Chile the first time.
6 - I eat sweet pickles on my grilled cheese sandwiches and potato chips on my PB&J.

What are 7 random facts about you? If you're reading this, you're tagged!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I don't know

I feel like I should post something new.

I don't know what to say.

Maybe I can get help from you??

Will you help me anyway?

Maybe if I don't rhyme,

You will give me your time.

I could rhyme like my sister,

And use gigantic words.