Sunday, 13 March 2011

We interrupt this blog to bring you a power blackout.

Talluah had a meeting with Indiana’s teacher and the principal.  This is the first time the school has had foreign students enrolled and the teachers have been very generous in allowing the girls to attend.  It means extra work for everyone involved.  They had concerns with several things.  The first worry was they thought Indiana didn’t know her letters.  The style of handwriting here is a very flowery cursive that dates back to perhaps our parent’s days in school.  They asked Talluah if Indi was seeing an educational specialist in Australia.  It took Talluah five minutes in Spanish and English to explain that Indiana had never seen this antique style of writing and that it was like learning another language.  Which she is doing.  Plus they have three extra letters ch ll ñ and all the letters have different sounds.
The second concern was that Indiana doesn’t know her numbers.  She does sometimes write her 3s and 6s back to front but I sometimes put my shoes on before my socks – we all have our burdens to bear.  The teacher had written 30, 100, 80, 60, 90, 50 on the board and asked the students to put them in descending order.  Indiana tried to work out what she had to do but didn’t understand the question being asked in Spanish.  I recreated the task at home and she did it in ten seconds flat.  We’d expected this sort of thing to happen and have no concerns.  The school is very geared for creating university worthy students.  Our aim for the year is to have our children learn to learn. 
The third worry is that the first month is all revision of grade one.  No problems if it was in English.  They’re apprehensive that next month when they hit new topics Indiana might become frustrated about not being able to keep up.  We’ve talked about this with Indiana and warned her from the beginning that it might be a while before she understands what’s happening around her.  Indiana told us that she’s having fun and loves school and will let us know when if she has any problems.  In Australia we had to use a big stick to get Indi to do her homework.  Here she just sits down and gets into it.
The school is very security conscious.  Parents drop their children off at the gate where a teacher is on duty.  Parents are not allowed inside the school which means you don’t have people wandering all over the place.  In the afternoon the teachers bring out the students and don’t let them out the gate until the parent has been sighted.  For the kinder students they have a walking ferry.  A kindergarten teacher walks back and forth from the gate to the kindy classroom.

I waited in line for an hour and a half for a work visa and managed to be served by the same lady.  She asked me a few questions, looked at my amended paperwork and put the rubber stamp on it.  We’ve read through the visa and the English part of the Chilean government website and still aren’t quite sure exactly what the visa allows.  I know I’m allowed to work and that’s all that matters.  Monday is job hunting day, again.

We went to the giant slide near the ascensor and while the kids were playing a couple in their early 20s walked by and took several photos of the girls.  I found this person’s actions very unusual as we’re very aware of photographing other people, especially any photos that go into the blog.

Japan’s earthquake has caused tsunami warnings across the globe.  Last February’s earthquake in Concepcion was followed by a tsunami which the Chilean government was aware of but failed to act on.  Since then they have taken a more serious approach to tsunami warnings.  A wise idea considering the length of Chile’s coastline.  There was talk of evacuating El Plan last night and we don’t know if it happened but this morning all the boats that we can usually see in the water had been moved to somewhere else.
It rained through the night and has been gusting for the last six hours. The strong winds knocked down and old timber power pole and we are currently experiencing our first Chilean blackout. When you live in a 100 year old building wind can sound very ominous.  When I say it rained through the night I mean some water fell from the sky.  With such limited rainfall I really do wonder where does the water in the taps come from?

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