Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I think I just stepped in a Catch 22

Did a bit more job hunting today and finally spoke to someone higher up the food chain than a receptionist.  All the information we’ve read has said that you find a job and then your boss helps you get a work visa.  I was having an informal interview at this flash university that offers ESL and this is the new information: Most places won’t hire you unless you have a work visa but you can’t get a work visa until you’ve found a job.  Can you spot the flaw in this process? 

Now that we have long term accommodation, Talluah has been out hunting for suitable schools.  One particular school was recommended to us and Talluah met with some of the staff today.  The school has never had any students that can’t speak or understand a certain level of Spanish so there was some initial confusion trying to ascertain what it is that we want.  At first they thought we just wanted the girls to sit in on some lessons.  The Vice-Principal spoke English and once it was established that we wanted to enrol Indi and Truce in for full time schooling she said that she’d would have to ask the teachers if they’d be prepared to have the girls in their classes.
Talluah pressed the matter that Indiana and Truce had been sitting patiently for 45 minutes and showed them Indiana's report card.  As an aside, as soon as the Vice-Principal came out to speak to them after waiting for nearly an hour Truce decided it was time to start climbing like a monkey.  In hushed tones, Talluah reminded Truce that now was a time for impressive behaviour.  

The teachers that Talluah met with were worried it’d take Indiana and Truce too long to learn Spanish.  Children learn languages much faster than adults.  They looked at Indiana’s report card with disbelief.  They asked where were all the numbers and subjects.  Culture shock is a two way street.

Talluah got a good vibe from the school.  While she was waiting a student in her early teens struck up a conversation wanting to practise her English.  At the end of their chat she told the girls that if they do end up going to the school and if they have any troubles they should find her.  For a student to offer that sort of generosity is hopefully a reflection of the school’s ethics.

When we told everyone that we were coming to Chile the initial reaction was, “That’s cool.”  Pause.  “Why Chile?”  Hence the name of our blog, ¿Por que Chile?  We’ve found that people here ask us the exact same question.  Why are you here?

We have a standard list of responses about learning another language and culture, dropping out of our comfort zone and giving  our family the taste for adventure but after a month here Talluah has come up with a new answer, "To buy pretty things."  

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