Lisa's two Months in Santiago de Chile
Volunteer Work + Spanish Course 2016
Before my departure to Chile I was very happy but also very excited, because I didn´t know what to expect. My trip started on Friday, October 21rst, 2016 in the evening. I had organised the flight by myself, and I also had to change the aplane twice (Zurich and Sao Paulo),for which I had only two hours waiting time. I was very relieved when I finally arrived in Santiago and found my suitcase on the belt.
ChileInside organized the transport to my shared apartment for me. I was friendly welcomed by my home stay host with typical Chilean food: Porotos Granados, a Chilean hotpot with beans, pumpkin, corn, carrots and lot of spices. It was very good toarrive on a Saturday, so on Sunday I could explore the city centre with my Venezuelan flatmate, before the Spanish course started on Monday.
At the first day in the Spanish school, they startet with a littleinterview to know everyone´s Spanish level. I took Spanish lessons for four weeks, where reat emphasis was placed on the communication. The groups were very small, we were like 4 or 6 students, so we learned a lot and could improve our Spanish skills. . Also, the additional afternoon courses offered by the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example “Practica communicativa” were very helpful to improve my Spanish.
After 4 weeks of Spanish course in Santiago de Chile my volunteer work in the kindergarden started on a Monday. I was assigned to the group of "giraffes and dinosaurs", which consisted of children who were between 3 and 5 years old. This was a big chance for me to further improve my Spanish skills.
My duties were to care for and play with the children and to support the kindergarden teachers (Tias) with their daily work. The day started with “Colacion” for the children, a small breakfast and after that we did the welcome round. We sang, and the children were called by their names, to see who´s present. At the end of my 4 weeks at the kindergarden there was a big party for the older children for their graduation from kindergarden. There was a Christmas party , too and we also rehearsed for two Musicals: Snow White and The Magician of Oz.
In the mornings the 3 year old children , learned the numbers from 1 to 10 and the alphabet. At 12.00 they had lunch and we had to help with that, because for some it was still difficult to eat by themselves. Then, they had their afternoon nap. It took a lot of time until all the children were in their beds and asleep. After all the children waked up, we used to go to the bathrooms to style their hair. In the afternoon, we played and rehearsed with them. At 16.30 they got some milk and cookies. My daily work started at 8.30 and ended at 18.00. These days were always very long and stressful, so I was not able to do any thing else during the week. At the weekends I was mostly busy to recover from the weekdays, which was a pity, because Chile is very interesting, and I would like to have seen or experienced more.
I really want to say thank you to Chile Inside! During the first week I was at the intercultural meeting at the agency in Santiago de Chile. I learned a lot about the cultural differences and I got necessary tips. The whole organization, the escort on my first working day and the ongoing e-mail contact. I always knew I could can contact someone from Chile Inside. In conclusion, I can say that the 2 months passed far too fast, it was a great time for me and one of my best experiences.
Here you can find more about our Spanish courses and volunteer projects.