Time has gone by way too fast in the past two weeks.
The last part of my trip in Peru involved our tour guide not showing up to take us to the bus station when he was supposed to, and then telling us that we would take a later bus. We literally got to the bus station and had to run to catch our bus. The bus took off the second we were both inside.
Once we were seated, we realized that this was a local bus and not a tourist bus. It was nowhere near as nice as the other busses we took, but they told us we would have a nice bus like we took before. I still can't decide if the most interesting part was the smell of chickens or determining if the huge packages wrapped in multiple blankets were the local's luggage or their babies.
We took it easy in Arica and mostly hung out at the hostel, and then we caught the flight back to Santiago. I went around shopping with Isabel, and it was cool exploring the markets that I walked by every day but was too busy to visit before.
The Friday and Saturday after I arrived was a conference for the International Association for the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. It was like other conferences in the mix of useful and not good workshops, conversation, and coffee.
It was different than past conferences I had been in a lot of different ways:
1. There were a lot less handouts in the workshops.
2. There were also no free textbooks from companies.
3. There was no heating, so most people were wearing their coats and hats inside.
I also learned that textbooks and workbooks are incredibly expensive here. The prices are double or even triple here, and so I think I am going to try to have some friends bring some down to me.
In other news, I have started my new full time job, and I am loving it. My students are motivated and want to learn English. About half of my classes are in downtown, which is about a ten minute walk from the office where I plan my lessons and hang out between classes. I feel so much better about my working situation compared to before.
I also joined a gym! Pacific Gym has 20 some locations throughout Santiago, and with the deal I got I can go to any location. I found one that is on the way home from my evening classes, and I can time it so that I can leave my class, hop on the metro, go to the gym, then catch the bus home all on one metro ride. It might be hard to understand how awesome that is unless if you know how expensive the metro is or live here.
My first time at the gym I successfully embarrassed myself. I'm somehow an expert at that, especially in new situations. I was walking to go to an eliptical glider and didn't realize that there was a step down. It took me going about 4 feet forward to regain my balance, and of course this happened at the peak hour of the gym.
In a few hours I am off to the airport to go to Pucon. It is south of Santiago, and there is a volcano that you can climb and then slide down. There are also some hot springs, and this trip will make up for missing the hot springs due to my altitude sickness.