Better late than never...Happy 4th of July (from Chile)!
I've gotten extremely far behind on these posts. My apologies to anyone following...I can say in all honestly, however, that it's a good thing. This means that I have been so consumed by my life here, that I have had no time to sit here and compose a message.
Here's some old news, just to fill you in.
4th of July. Chilean-style.
My liceo in Chile is not as American as some of the schools where other volunteers work. As such, I was not able to have a fantastic patriotic extravaganza like I originally had hoped for. Entonces...I worked with what I had.
I wore red, white, and blue. Because there is no excuse not to wear at least one of those colors on the 4th of July. No matter where in the world you are. Also, it was a justification to wear my red pants to school (which surely breaks some sort of dress code).
I made a mini US flag, which I waved around all day in the hallways. I printed out a coloring page, filled it in using crayons, and taped it to a marker. Because I'm resourceful like that...
In my classes, I gave a powerpoint presentation about the history and traditions we practice on our Independence Day. We discussed the important things like food, music, games and fireworks. Then we compared the similarities and differences between Chile's and the United States' fiestas patrias.
(I will discuss September 18, Chile's equivalent, after I experience the actual event.)
After a while, I decided to do what I wanted. In other words, I just took pictures of students holding my make-shift American flag. They enjoyed it. And it made me happy...In the afternoon, one of my co-teachers randomly decided to create an exhibition of student projects. So instead of having class, the students set things up in the hallway outside of the English rooms and made a few signs saying "Happy 4 of July"...It was worthwhile, however, because the reaction to this display was incredible. The students loved seeing their work displayed and other teachers were able to see them get excited about participating in English!
Throughout the day, teachers and students came up to me and shook my hand, saying "¡Feliz día!" and telling me that they hoped I was enjoying "my" day. Students drew me pictures on the board and asked me to take photos of them...or appeased me by letting me take a photo after I handed them the flag sin explicación. When I returned home after school, my host mom bought pie de limón for us to enjoy during once (dinner) and we toasted to The United States with the left-ofter mango sour we had from Father's Day. When my neighbor stopped by, she also toasted to the day and they both hugged me. This is significant because my host mom is extremely proud of her country.
Although the day was fairly anti-climatic by comparison to normal American standards and I missed the traditional festivities back home, the day ended with a very warm and genuine sentiment. I was able to display my pride for the freedoms and opportunities my country represents and I felt loved and supported by the people sharing their country with me.
(Some of my 7th graders)
(A couple of my freshmen girls...sporting our colors)
(Hello seniors! You're not actually my students, but I'll take your photo anyway.)
(I even got the chemistry teacher to participate!)
(Aren't these desordenado sophomore boys just adorable?)
(Let us not forget about the juniors)
(And then there was a kid eating a banana during class...no big deal)
(When I told my student that "United" is before "States" he drew an arrow...works for me.)
Happy 4th of July from Chile!!!