Saturday, July 19, 2014

Week 6- Pomaire/Isla Negra

What a fun week we've had here in Viña! Of course we always have our classes and our usual afternoon activities, but this week was special and we'd never heard the students laugh as much as we did in Week 6.

The rainy weather on Monday meant outdoor sports weren't an option, so we put together a ping-pong tournament and a few group games inside. Becky was our ping-pong champion, but Kevin made her work for it and came in a close 2nd place!

Becky overseeing our ping-pong tournament

Nunca en mi vida (a game combining Never Have I Ever and Musical Chairs)
 is a new favorite among the students.

A few of the boys continued their tradition of imitating the instructors and dressed up like Mark. What a good-looking group! :)
So many Marks!

Choir class was especially fun, because several of the students got the chance to play instruments and accompany the group. Lynn finally got her hands on a ukelele and Maddie, Lindsey, Evan, and Aaron kept the beat as we decided on the songs we'll perform at our Farewell Show this coming Wednesday. It's hard to believe the Program is almost over, but the students have come a long way with their musical abilities in just six short weeks.
Our "ukelelista"!

Lots of music to learn before our Farewell Show on Wednesday!

Our accompanists for our music from Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
Evan is playing a traditional percussion instrument made from a hollowed out log.

Maddie on the maraca, Lindsey on the Peruvian cajón, and Aaron on the guitar.

Dance class this week was half dance class, half fashion show. Mario and a friend modeled the typical dress that accompanies the dances we've been learning in class. For our farewell show, we'll be performing dances such as the huayno and cacharpaya- and wearing the folkloric costumes that go with each style.

Chilean folkloric costumes


Group pic with our dance instructor Mario!

Mario also led the students in a fun activity- coloring in a map of Chile to show all the regions we've learned about in class. It's impressive how much the students know about folkloric music and dances from all over the country!




Easter Island folkloric costumes

Playing Karaoke during break

On Thursday, we took the students on a surprise trip to Con Con. First, we visited the University of Valparaíso's School of Sea Sciences and Natural Resources where two marine biology students taught us about local marine life. Beatriz and Rodrigo, our guides, explained to us how the ocean currents along Chile's coast account for its diverse populations of fish, birds, and aquatic mammals. They lent us binoculars so we could watch the sea lions play on the rocks off shore. We also had the opportunity to collect some sea shells found only in Chile to take home with us.

Walking along the coast, on our way to our surprise activity!

Learning about local marine life with marine biology students from the University of Valpo.

A protected marine reserve. Our guide Beatriz taught us about the birds
and sea lions that inhabit this area.


Group pic with our guides and local marine biology experts!

Jota Pom sporting his new seaweed extensions.

Our second stop on Thursday evening was the dunes of Con Con! Many of the students rented dune boards and rode up and down the dunes until the sun set (a breathtaking view). We had a BLAST.

Sunset over the Dunes of Con Con.





These two are a constant source of entertainment :P

We convinced "Princesa" (Meena) to go down the dune!
She even got a little bit sandy and didn't care!
video


On Friday, we went to Pomaire and Isla Negra for our last excursion. Pomaire is a small town close to Santiago, famous for its excellent Chilean cuisine and its ceramics- particularly pottery made from greda. The students enjoyed a typical Pomaire breakfast at our guide Marisol's house, then headed to the touristic center of the town for some souvenir shopping.

Pomaire is famous for its traditional Chilean food!

The kids had some pesos burning a hole in their pockets.
We went crazy souvenir shopping!
Fingers crossed that all these ceramics make it to the US intact!

Once we'd bought ceramics for all of our friends and family back home, we headed back to Marisol's house for Pomaire-style empanadas and a pottery workshop.
Marisol leading us in a pottery workshop. Here she's showing us
how to make a decorative bowl.

The highlight of the workshop was when the students got to sit down at the pottery wheel and try it themselves! They're not greda masters just yet, but they did a great job for their first time!
Lynn, very proud of her creation.

Marisol made some miniature animal ceramics. Maddie got a turtle!




We've seen it all... Princesa got her hands dirty making pottery!


After we'd finished in Pomaire, we hopped back on the bus and headed to Isla Negra, where Nobel prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda lived. The students explored his home and the beautiful rocky coast of Isla Negra. They really enjoyed seeing Neruda's unique furniture and odd collections in this house that's half-ship, half-train.

Chillin' outside Pablo Neruda's home in Isla Negra


These kids crack us up!
Levi and Chris enjoying the gorgeous ocean view

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