Friday was our last day at Ecela. I was so sad to leave! My Spanish was really improving and after two full weeks ther, I really felt like I was developing a routine. We were also exposed to a new professor Friday morning, named Rodrigo. We loved Rodrigo! He was a very smart man and clearly knew a lot about pedagogy. While we liked all of our professors at Ecela, this one in particular really had a specific teaching style that really made sense to us. It is extremely difficult when you are a beginner and exposed to so many different parts of a language in just two weeks and some techniques were helpful to,us while others were more challenging. Rodrigo did an activity with us where we created biographies about each other. He definitely had us hit all four language modalities including speaking and listening and reading and writing. He also had us moving around the room and working with different people while at the same time coming around to correct our grammar and clarify any confusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this lesson and may be able to use it with the 7th and 8th graders next week when I teach! After class we visited the Muesum of Memory which holds the history of the genocide that took place here in Chile during 1973-1990 during Pinochet’s dictatorship. The material was extrmemly heavy and sad but very interesting, I had no idea that “once de Septiembre” had a significance in this country long before it became so important to my country. The Museum was incredible and I recommend it to anyone who visits Chile. I was impressed by how they had it so organized and families could really pay tribute to their lost ones in this special place that will always honor them and educate people on the unfortunate events that took place to cause their deaths.
Today we took a long drive up to the Andes! We finally got to go on our trekking excusion! It was absolutely unreal. The whole drive up the mountains I couldn’t believe my eyes. The view was what we like to call a, “Buenavista!” We stopped to take a few photos and it was incredible to take that first step out of the car and be surrounded by these massive snow covered mountains! The tour guide also pointed out the active volcano we would be hiking near! That was interesting to say the least, I was very interested in the safety procedures in the event of an eruption!
When we finally got to the place where we’d start hiking we had to layer up and add covers over the bottom of our pants and over our shoes! These were very crucial in keeping our feet dry. Trekking up the mountain was a lot more difficult than I imagined it would be! The altitude made my head pound and I felt like I had an ear infection. I had to focus on where I was walking so I mostly stared straight down at the snow in front of me and when I would look up at the mountains around me I would feel dizzy! It took a while to get over this feeling but I loved the whole experience. It was so hard! I would be walking right along and all of the sudden sink, thigh-deep into the snow and have to wiggle out to get up and keep walking! The view at the top was well worth the fight up th trail! I’ll never forget feeling so small and being surrounded by those gigantic, beautiful mountains! It was definitely a once in a lifetime moment. The hike back down the trail was a million times easier than going up and I enjoyed running through the snow and hopping down the trail.