Heads Up Seven Up during on-site student orientation
Taking proficiency exams
Our first few days were rainy and cool, but the weather has cleared up nicely for us. For our excursion to nearby Valparaíso, we enjoyed clear sunny skies - the perfect weather for a day spent walking up and down the cerros "hills" of the city and for a boat ride in the bay.
The day's activities included:
- a ride on the metro, a first for many of the students
- a guided walking tour of the city's artistic and historical districts
- lunch at a cultural center which was once a historic prison
- rides on the city's most famous mode of transportation, los ascensores "elevators"
- a boat ride on the bay, complete with sea lions!
Taking the metro for the first time was an adventure. While in Valparaíso, we also took a city bus- another first for many of the students!
Valparaíso is full of murals and street art. Our guide led us through beautiful neighborhoods where nearly every house was painted.
A group picture among all the graffiti. What a good-lookin' group of students we've got!
The Ascensor Polanco is not a typical elevator in the sense that it travels vertically, rather than on a slope, and the car is more like an elevator you'd see in the US. However, it is the oldest ascensor in Valparaíso and has an added charm- the entrance to the elevator is underground and to reach the car, you must walk through a tunnel that goes through the base of the cerro. The view from the top was phenomenal!
We had a wonderful time in Valparaíso!
We also took a trip to the mall on Saturday and many students took advantage of the opportunity to buy warmer clothing (it's been unseasonably cold for Viña lately, although the forecast shows things warming up from now on), toiletries they'd forgotten to pack, etc.
We're looking forward to this coming week's activities, which will include our first choir and dance classes. This weekend we will visit a local Mapuche community to learn about how they're working to maintain their culture and identity in the area. ¡Hasta la próxima! Until next time!