We went "trekking" at the Andes on Saturday and let me tell you it was one of the most amazing sights. I knew going into the trip it was going to be amazing but I didn't quite understand how spectacular it was going to be. Pictures will never do it justice it's just something you have to see in person. The "trekking" was so exhausting but I feel as though we bonded as a group. We all had to support one another. Saturday night we went to dinner with some friends from ECELA. Sunday we had a day to relax and that we did.
Monday came around and we knew we were switching professors at ECELA. I was nervous about this because when you are in a new country or environment, you or maybe just I cling to the constant. When our teacher first walked in, she made it very clear that there was no English in class. It was and is very overwhelming but I do feel like I am learning a lot with Her. She has us answer questions at a fast pace, and memorize things with as much realia as she can find.
As the weeks go by I am realizing more and more about how I wish I had more time here. Maybe planning an extension or maybe a trip coming up soon.
I don't think words can describe how happy I am to be here.
ECELA, the school that we are studying at is so comfortable. The teachers are so welcoming and interpersonal. I thought that the teachers speaking in all Spanish was going to be intimidating but it's the opposite. We have to pay attention in class because it's the only way we can slightly understand what's going on. It's all so different from what I am used to be it is making me appreciate what I have and do back home.
Today we took the metro (subway) to a place called Los Dominicos. It was BEAUTIFUL. It was also covered in cats which I loved. The shops were very traditional and stuff that you can only buy in Chile. It was like little shacks on a dirt road. After experiencing Los Dominicos I really and truly feel like I am in South America.
I don't think that I have ever woken up so early as I did on Saturday morning. The excitement from the trip was running through me and let's face it, I was so anxious. Gathering all the last minute things and checking things off my list was of top priority, along with saying adios to my friends and family.
As a whole we came across some bumps on the flights to Chile but dealt with them the best way we know how. Just from the flights and the several hours we have been in Santiago I can tell that this trip is going to be incredible. We just need to stick together and fully support one another.
Santiago is a beautiful city with so many sites to awe at. I can already tell that this city and the people who occupy it are going to mold me into the professional that I want to be.
We had our first day at ECELA today and I loved it. I was nervous to be completely submerged into the language but it was exciting. I came here to learn what it is like to be an English language learner and that I am. Our first day was incredible. I'll put up pictures soon!!! Xoxox
Ciao mi amigas
I cannot believe that we are two weeks out from going to Chile. I feel like it was a week ago that we all started this semester and first met. How time flies! I am so excited and nervous and ready to embrace all that Chile has to offer me.
I have had friends go abroad all around the world. When they come back all they do is rave about the amazing experience that they had. I was always so jealous because I knew that I could have that experience as well but needed to find the right program. When I found the Chile program, I knew it was something that I wanted to explore. I think the best part of the program is that we are still pursuing our career paths while we are there. No experience is a waste of time or money but I do believe that this program is going to help mold me into the flexible, cultured teacher that I aspire to be. While I do have some worries, I think the positives will out weigh the worries.
Honestly, I am most worried about leaving work. I work in a group home as a direct care staff. There are 6 ladies that live there all with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. I have been explaining to them that I am leaving for about a month, but I will be coming back. Some of them understand and some of them do not. For those that do not, I am worried that they will think I left. I will be face timing while I am there so hopefully that helps! I have been working with these lovely ladies for about three years. It is not a job anymore its a family. After work, I am most nervous to leave my cat( My family too, but they understand that I am leaving :) )! She likes lots of love so I will have to put my roommate to the job. I am nervous to leave because of these things but these things (besides my cat) are also the reason I am going. I want to become a better person so in turn, I can help make the world a better place.
Like I said prior, I always wanted to go abroad. I always wanted to turn that pipe dream into a reality. I have never really expressed that to anyone before. Even when I was applying to this program, I did not tell many people. I think it is because I did not want to be that person that says they are going to jump out of the airplane, but never does. I want to be the person who says they are going to jump and they jump.
So, I am jumping. I am jumping with a lovely group of ladies who I'm sure will all support one another as we embark on this journey. Jumping will be the scary part but soaring while we are there is what I am most excited for.
Hi! My name is Emma Lieber and I am an undergraduate student at Buffalo State working towards a degree in Special Education. I, along with 9 other students and faculty member are traveling to Chile. We are using this blog as a form of self reflection and a way to keep our friends and families in the loop. I am so excited to begin this journey so please come along as I begin this monumental experience.