19 May 2011

Winter Arrives...Let the Comparisons to Southpark Begin

Knock, knock...housekeeping! As the more perceptive among you have surely realized, a few things have changed here on CaminoChile. There are new reaction buttons to give your opinion of a piece in one click. I highly suggest the overuse of the "WTF" button (because who doesn't like a few explitives here and there? Or everywhere?)

On your right you will find a new section weaving common threads out of the chaotic rantings that you often find here, for everything from "Coincidences" to "Armed Robbery." There is even one for "Chaos" if you feel like putting all of it in one place at a time. Fair warning, the chaos might jump out of the computer screen and manifest itself in your life. Then we can be comrades in arms.

Johanel, one of my sixth graders, made a keen observation today. It snowed for the first time last night here in Natales, and even the air appeared to have crystallized. Winter clarity of light and sight is here, complete with the pastel colors of sky and ice that signal the change of season. He looked up from copying "The Road Less Travelled" by Robert Frost.

"It snowed," he stated in Spanish. "Does it snow a lot in Colorado, Tía?" 

"Yes, it snows a lot where I live. Nieve mucho dondé yo vivo." My customary double answer in English and then Spanish.

"Seems so," Johanel continued, "In Southpark the ground is always snowy. So Southpark and Colorado must be like Puerto Natales. And we are like the kids in the show." 

Couldn't have put it better myself. Sometimes I feel as though I am teaching at Southpark Elementary, not Escuela 5. How funny would a volunteer teacher comes to town episode be? Right, probably not that funny for most. But for me it would be! 

Life here in Natales grinds on like the bumpers barely held on by duct tape to some of the cars that drive down our street grind on the dirt. We are currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of this oasis in the vast wilderness of Patagonia, with shows and art and even fireworks next weekend. 

It appears I chose to come here at just the correct time to have everything line up. If I had come even a few months later, I would never have known that the biggest fiesta in Natales' history had happened. I might not have met the wonderful friends I did. Some of my students might never have met me, since they dropped out or changed schools to escape bullying in the months since I arrived.

Everything continues to happen for a reason. I wrote it almost 90 days ago...feeling my heart swell with the knowledge that there was not simply one reason I moved to Chile, but a multitude. One by one, the reasons take their turns drifting into the dance of my life, cutting in on each other and passing me from one to the next in a grand choreography. 

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