It's very warm in Santiago now and lots of flowers are blooming.
No turkey or Thanksgiving Day here, but Mom and Dad did prepare a nice meal with mashed potatoes, onions, asparagus, and a delicious apple pie. And we took a break from being vegetarians to have some chicken.
When I did my slideshow about where I live in Virginia to my class here, the teacher wasn't able to attend, just the assistant teacher.
During the presentation, everyone was talking and falling asleep. But the assistant teacher liked it. Afterwards, she asked me if I could show it to her fifth grade class. I said Yes.
I went to her classroom at the time she told me, but all the kids were going out of the room. Then she said that I was going to do the presentation in the auditorium!
So I went to the huge auditorium, with one of my classmates as my "assistant" (to press on the keyboard to advance to the next PowerPoint slide).
The fifth graders were a lot better behaved than the students in my class. They understood much more English, and were very quiet during my presentation.
After I finished, one girl asked, in English, "Do you speak Spanish?" I told her that I did. It seems that many students at school still think I know as little Spanish now as when I first arrived in Chile, almost a year ago.
The song we are doing now in music class is very nice. It is called "Llorando se fue."
Here I play it on the recorder:
The song was written by a Bolivian group called Los Kjarkas many years ago, and they played it with Andean instruments (from the Andes region). The instrument that sounds really nice is the zampoña or siku, a kind of panpipe (click on the photo to learn more about it):
Here's a closer look (and a place to buy one if you click on the picture):
In class, we don't sing "Llorando se fue," but I looked on the Internet and found that the song does have words to it. Here is a video of Los Kjarkas performing it:
Dad says the song was very popular in 1989, when a French band called Kaoma made a "Brazilian" dance version of it, singing it in Portuguese.
November is the "Mes de María" at our school here, so we have a church service every other day (about 20 minutes long, without communion and no sermon). Every time, a different class does the prayers and puts fresh, white flowers on the altar.
When it was RJE's class' turn, they did a play. RJE was asked to be the Virgin Mary in it! And there were lots of angels around her.
During the play, RJE had to sit there being "holy," with her hands together, as if praying, and her eyes closed. When it was done, she said it was pretty easy.
RJE and I were going to record one of the songs from church, but we didn't know all the lyrics, so here's one about a mouse in a cupboard instead, sung by RJE:
And here RJE plays it on her xylophone:
We are now taking the end-of-year exams. They are like Virginia's SOL tests, but only include the material from the second half of the year. These tests are called "Pruebas de Síntesis."
Monday we had our math test, and we took an hour and a half to finish it. Part of it was multiple choice, but the other half was problems we had to work out on paper. I got all the multiple choices right, but I'm not sure what my final grade will be yet.
Next week, we'll have three tests in a row, so we both have a lot of studying to do.
Many friends and relatives asked us if we were OK after the huge earthquake we had last week in Chile. The truth is that I didn't even feel it because I was in History class.
At school, we usually feel earthquakes that make the ground shake up and down, but this one moved from side to side, and since our school is only three floors high, it hardly moves that way.
But Mom and Dad were in the apartment, on the 17th floor, during the earthquake, and they felt it big time. They said the whole building was swaying like a palm tree in the wind. Dad said he even felt dizzy.
In the north of Chile, about 800 miles north of here, and where the earthquake was the strongest, two people died and many houses were destroyed. In one town called Tocopilla, there were about six THOUSAND homes destroyed! Probably everyone felt the earthquake up there.
A few weeks ago, Mom ran ANOTHER race. This one was huge, with ten thousand runners and a distance of 10 kilometers. It was called the Nike 10K race, and it took place in several cities of Latin America, on the same day and at the same time.
All together, there were a total of 130,000 people participating---beginning at nine in the morning---in Quito (Ecuador), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lima (Peru), Caracas (Venezuela), Sao Paulo (Brazil), and Santiago (Chile). It was fun, and here's a picture of the start:
Mom was the 13th woman overall, and her time was pretty much the same as the last 10K race she ran. She won a T-shirt for arriving third in her age category.
Our last RatSoap contest was harder than the first one. I think that's why fewer people participated---and of those who did, many didn't give their real names. But...we did have a winner this time who hit it almost right on the spot!
Here are the guesses received:
And here is the winner (highlighted in yellow):
And here is the label that shows the price and weight of the bread when we bought it:
It was 0.365 kilograms of "Marraqueta Integral" bread, at $799 pesos per kilo, equal to $292 pesos. To convert kilos to pounds, you multiply the kilograms (0.365) by 2.2. Click here to try a nice online converter.
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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007