- Tomorrow is my last day at school, with a good-bye party at a teacher's house at 6:30.
- Saturday I go to aikido one last time.
- Saturday night is a barbecue at Heather's in Quilpue.
- Sunday I go north to La Serena and Valle de Elqui.
- Wednesday the 25th is the WorldTeach End-of-Service, which is a 4-hour meeting followed by a party.
- Thursday the 26th is the English Opens Doors closing ceremony, which will probably be boring.
- Then I go south to Castro, Chiloe, and putz around Chiloe for a while.
- Then I go to Puerto Varas.
- Then I go to Santiago for a couple days, then home.
Meantime, I'm saying good-byes to my students.
This is Elizabeth. Every time we worked with the weather cards, she'd get really excited and say she wanted "Pablo Neruda!", the Chilean Nobel Laureate who wore hats and berets like what I drew (which I copied from one of last year's volunteer's lesson plans). Following my custom of giving things to people who want them more than me, I gave her the card.
Only 1-C and 1-J have thrown me parties, which correlates with how well-organized and studious those classes are, and how well we got along. A "party" at school might involve soda, but definitely involves chips and cookies and other snack foods on plastic plates. 1-J also gave me little presents: a pencil case and little box that say "Valparaiso," and a framed print of a Valparaiso scene. They were working really hard to keep me out of the classroom while they got the plates ready: their stall tactic was to insist we needed more photos, so we have lots and lots of photos.
This is my main souvenir from this adventure: it's a sign for the 702, the bus that runs past the house. It turns out the same guy has been making bus signs for Region V for 27 years, he's really nice, and his shop is a shack about a mile from here, downtown. It was about US$22 to get it done, with both sides painted. It's huge and I don't know where it will go in a small apartment, but I'll figure it out.
I really am just mentally exhausted, and I don't know that that's interesting to read about. I'm not sad yet, because with me that comes later. Right now I'm just...done. It's interesting to watch how I am when I have no resources left: less patient with students being obnoxious, but still listening and letting them know I care. The cold a couple weeks ago really knocked me down, and it feels like I'm not physically well enough to bounce back from it.
Tomorrow's my last day at school. 26 days until I'm home.