The Situation So Far...
When we first arrived in Pichilemu, the town looked much bigger than what I had been expecting. Everyone that we had talked to about our teaching situations had made it sound like it was straight out of Little House on the Prairie. Pichilemu is actually not that bad, but for me, in the Rural schools, man where they right. The second day we were here, we spent the better part of it driving out to the 4 schools I was assigned to. Panul, Barrancas, Ciruelos and La Villa. The largest class consists of 18 students, the smallest one being Ciruelos at a whopping 8. The thought that kept running through my mind, as we drove from school to school was, “how the hell am I supposed to get out here.” As of now, I still don't know what they were thinking. Each of the little towns are about 18 kms from Pichilemu and about 5 km from each other. I don't have a car and there is one bus that sometimes goes to 3 of the schools. For Panul and Ciruelos, the professors come to pick me up in the morning and drop me off in the evening. It only took a little over a month for us to figure this system out. It's obviously very complicated >,<>
So as of now, my week is supposed to look something like this. Monday, relax, no school. Tuesday, the professor from Panul picks me up in the morning, I teach the first half of the students for a good 45 minutes before they start to loose interest. We eat lunch and I do the same thing with the other half of the students. At 5, Don Francisco takes me home. Wednesday, I get up at 6:30 so I can eat and get ready to leave the house by 7 so I can make it to the bus stop at 7:30. I then wait for 15 to 45 minutes for the bus to come. Of the past three times I have waited, it has come once. Thursday, Don Carlos from Ciruelos picks me up, I repeat the same process of 45 min teaching, 1hr 15 min of talking to myself, Lunch, repeat, home. Friday, I'm not really sure what I am supposed to be doing but so far it hasn't really mattered, in fact, I have yet to have had a solid week without interruptions. The first week after my new and improved schedule was organized, We had a slough of meetings to go to. The next week, we had to go to San Fernando to clear up the mess with our Identification cards. See Van's blog for the beef on that one. This week, more mess with Identity and now I have a cold! I just don't know when things are finally going to get into some kind of a routine around here. I am starting to think that routines just don't exist in Chile. Nothing seems to function the way it should.
I am becoming more and more tranquilo each day. I am starting to realize that while things don't run as they should around here, no one really expects them to. As long as no one is getting mad at us for the inefficiency of others, why should it bother us so much? In the end, they are the ones that suffer for it. I know that sounds a bit harsh but the truth is, we came here to help. If they don't want it, what will getting all worked up about it do to help the situation? Instead, I think we are all coming to the realization that we just have to take things day by day and hope that, at some point, we will actually teach some kids some English.