|A dress made completely |
This past Saturday I took a break from studying and went on a trip to Lota with the other Grand Valley students from Chillán, as well as some other study abroad students and international visitors to Chile. After traveling to Concepción to meet up with the others going on the trip, I rode with the group in a bus to El Parque Educativo Jorge Alessandri. We took a tour of the park and learned about the flora and fauna in the park. There was an exhibit of deer in the park, as well as an exhibit of exotic birds. We also got to watch a presentation on the process of making new paper from recycled paper, and each got a piece of the "new" paper to keep as souvenirs.
|One of the trees in El Parque |
Educativo Jorge Alessandri
|One of the parrots in the park|
After the park, we traveled to Lota, a mining town along the coast of Chile about forty-five minutes outside of Concepción by bus. When we got to Lota, we took a tour of El Chiflón del Diablo (The Devil's Blast), a coal mine that supported the city for over a hundred years until its closure in the 1990s. We got all suited up in our hard hats, headlamps, and battery packs, and descended into the depths of the earth. I was excited to see the differences between this mine and the last one that I toured in Michigan, which was a former copper mine. And the differences abounded!
|The tunnel on the way down|
We walked down a slope to a pair of tiny elevators that wouldn't hold more than four people at a time... and, trust me, you got verrrrrrry close (literally) to everyone in your ride down. Once down in the mine, we made our way to one of the tunnels carefully, because the ceiling was low, even for me --- and I'm not that tall. One thing that I noticed and thought was really interesting about the mine was what was underfoot. In mines that I've visited in the US, gravel is used to cover the floor; in this mine, however, crushed sea shells were used for traction. This made a lot of sense, because we were right next to the ocean --- use the resources that you've got!
|With Deborah! She's from Mexico|
|See how low the ceiling is? And this was one|
of the tallest parts that we visited
|The typical garb of a miner|
|In the Parque de Isidora Cousiño|
|Lota and the harbor|
This little day trip also managed to get me thinking about my future. We were joined in our tour group by Allison, a former Grand Valley Laker. She graduated last semester with a degree in Secondary English Education, which is what I'm studying. Allison just arrived in Chile two weeks ago and started working with the staff at Univerisdad del Bío-Bío to revise the curriculum for teaching English to college students, and she's also developing a test specifically to measure the English levels of UBB students. This impressed me because I've never seriously considered doing anything with my degree other than teach English to high school students in Michigan --- until now. It would be really cool to go to another country and teach English in a college or high school, or develop curriculum to help with
teaching English... the possibilities seem endless! I guess I'll
just have to wait and see what God has in store for my future (:
|Outside of the Parque de Isidora Cousiño|