September has been a different kinda’ month. We had to cancel our weekly meeting on the 7th due to riots on campus. This was the beginning of our first week off campus. Friday the 8th was our first official student leadership meeting of the semester. The 9th we went to a concert featuring popular Chilean bands. The concert was put on by the Federación de Estudiantes of USACH to support the growing movement for reform of public education in Chile. The anniversary of the military coup, 11th of September, was another day of violence. Strange how people protest the violent deaths of many innocent people with more violence. We had a party for students at my place on the 14th. It was cool because students brought their friends and we got to connect with others that we hadn’t seen for a while.
The second week was all about independence celebrations. Our team has three Mexican’s. Mexico celebrates independence at midnight on the 16th. In Chile there the 18th is a holiday. The major city parks turn into festivals that they call “fondas”. There was lots of traditional Chilean food (empanadas, kabobs, sausage, mote, chichi) and musica andina. The national dance here is called the cueca, which is supposed to mimic a rooster chasing a hen. That being said it isn’t as strange as it might sound. When well done it is pretty cool. On the 20th we finally got back on campus. The 21st-24th we had our national staff conference, 26 staff! It was a good time of alignment and develop. The best part was building deeper friendships with the other staff. The 28th we had our second weekly meeting of the month, about life priorities and time management. And Finally on the 29th our second meeting with new student leaders.
What made September wacky? The main thing was that we weren't on campus. I think I expected that not being on campus and having two vacation days was going to be restful. But now that I look back, it was a full month.