It’s hard to believe we’re closing out our second week here in Chile. On Tuesday, Pixita and I had a very productive and interesting meeting with the leadership of Universidad Mayor. One of the (many) wonderful things about this program is the opportunity to exchange ideas, to not only find our commonalities but also learn from each other about how we can “borrow” ideas and best practices and incorporate them into our structures. A great example is the concept of “Umbral”, or what is also known as “Threshold Theory”, which ties into our long standing knowledge of theories such as Lev Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development and Steve Krashen’s Critical Input theory. Check out this amazing video for Umbral in daily classroom practice:
When I was a senior in high school my parents sent me to visit my Aunt Marion (dad’s sister) & Uncle Dick in Anaheim, California, home of the original Disneyland theme park. Of course they took me there for the day during my visit and I somehow got trapped on the ride "It's a Small World After All" for about 30 minutes. The ride malfunctioned and I was stuck listening to an endless creepily cheerful loop of the song "It's a Small World". If my recollections are accurate, I was one more chorus of It’s a Small World away from being wheeled out of that ride in a straight jacket. I'm happy to inform you that the song now only has positive associations for me (the title of this blog entry) as I think of how much we have shared and experienced since 2011 when Pixita first came to live in Chile with her family and work at U Mayor as a Fulbright fellow. How many lives have been changed and positively impacted over the past 8 years...
On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to meet with 1st year students enrolled in the English teacher program at U Mayor. They were bubbling with youthful energy and enthusiasm, if a little shy about their level of fluent English-speaking proficiency (which was excellent). We moved around small groups and from one very giggly group of young ladies I learned about the legend of the “Trauco” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trauco
My Oh My. May the heavens save us all from the Trauco. Then again, I really want to meet this charming and seductive little sprite.
The legendary Chilean hospitality was definitely on display today in our warm welcome to the home of Universidad Mayor student Valentina and her beautiful family. The food her family made was both plentiful and delicious. I tried Pastel del Choco for the first time, which is a type of corn cake with meat and other flavors. It is very time intensive to make and it was so flavorful https://www.nomadicchica.com/es/receta-pastel-de-choclo-cocina-chilena/
The desserts were also off the chain!!! A Tres Leches type-cake and a lemon meringue torte with a full on swiss meringue crust—that is very hard core and lets someone who knows that someone who really knows was doing the cooking.
It was so nice for all of us to be welcomed into a Chilean home and eat so many traditional homemade dishes. Gracias Valentina and your beautiful mom and sisters. We are all very blessed in our small, small world.
I am a citizen of planet earth and am excited to see as much of it as possible in this lifetime.