Do you remember “Points of view”? It is our blog section where people from different countries are interviewed. Same questions, opposite answers. The purpose? Discovering how our culture can influence our dreams and priorities. Today it’s Rachel’s turn.
Native Language: English
Country (and city) of origin: Memphis, Tennessee (United States)
Describe it in one word: Gritty
Country (and city) of residence: Santiago, Chile
Describe it in one word: Busy
Countries/cities you have visited
Chile (Santiago, Valparaíso, Viña Del Mar, San Pedro De Atacama, Arica, La Serena, Coquimbo, Santa Cruz, Concon, Antofagasta), Argentina (Mendoza), Uruguay (Montevideo)
Countries/cities you dream to visit
I would love to visit Hungary, Russia, Morocco, India, Thaliand, Mongolia, Vietnam, Egypt, and Turkey. These places all just seem so incredibly far away from me. I live in Santiago and I can fly to visit my family in 8 hours. The cultures, while different in many ways, have a similar base. I speak Spanish all day but have access to English all the time. I feel like I’m not that far from home, but these places seem like a different world to me!
The best place you have ever been?
Valparaíso, Chile is my favorite place in the entire world, with my hometown as a close second. I love Valparaíso because it’s not trying to impress anyone, and neither are its people. A little old, a little dirty, there’s something really mysterious and fun about this city. Every hill has a different neighborhood and a different story. It’s a city of poets and fishermen. It’s simple and complex at the same time, and although I go often, there’s just something about the city that I can’t quite put my finger on, and that keeps me coming back.
What is your job/activity? Why did you choose it?
I chose to become a teacher when I was younger because I saw it as a means of social change. That still holds true for me today, but I’ve found my niche in teaching adults rather than children. I love teaching English as a foreign language. Its uses are endless, and my students are hungry for knowledge and the opportunities that it brings.
What’s your biggest dream?
My biggest dream would be to travel back to my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee and open a private school. It would have elite teachers that are passionate about their work and have interesting and new ideas about education for children.
The student capacity would be based on the applicants on the lowest end of the poverty line, and the education would be elite. In a perfect world, the school would also be able to provide social services and material needs for the students that need them. If successful, it’s a model I would replicate around the world in different interested communities.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time reading, blogging, spending time with my boyfriend, traveling, and cooking. I also love watching and playing sports, drinking cocktails, and riding horses. I love spending time outdoors but I don’t do it as often as I’d like.
What do you usually do on Saturday night?
On a Saturday night I’m usually out with my boyfriend at a nice restaurant with a bottle of Chilean wine. After dinner we usually go to friends’ houses to visit with each other. Nothing wild, just enjoying great food and wine and catching up with our close friends.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
The craziest thing I’ve ever done is to get on a plane to Chile with no job lined up and not knowing anyone in the country. I just came by myself and lived in a hostel for two weeks without a plan. Nuts!
According to your own point of view, what is the most important thing in life?
The most important thing in life is to form connections with each other and with the other life on the planet. We’re all connected, of course. I guess what I really mean is it’s important to recognize and honor those connections. Showing respect to our environment, making sure our loved ones know how loved they are, and doing our best to help others is all part of that. I find it peaceful to know that I’m a tiny little piece of this planet, and I think a lot of good would come from more people thinking this way.
Which is the world you use more frequently while speaking? What does it mean for you?
I use the word ‘’she’’ and ‘’her’’ frequently, and it’s something I do on purpose when I give examples of hypothetical situations, or when I model sentences for my students. One of the reasons I started doing this is because I realized when I was a student teacher that if you ask small children about astronauts and doctors, they are assumed to be men, and nurses and teachers are assumed to be women. So it’s my own little attempt to normalize women in all situations and all careers. My English workbooks actually do this sexist little thing, too, so I’m always giving examples of sentences, like ‘’The millionaire made great decisions regarding her investments’’, as a way to try and change these really simple, basic thoughts that we have all the time.
Describe yourself in 10 words:
Determined, Brave, Altruistic, Hopeful, Strong, Loud, Mischievous, Adventurous, Scorpio, and Feminist.
Any other comments:
If I could say one thing to a bunch of people I’ve never met, it’s that we aren’t here for long, so make sure you love in every way you can.
How to contact Rachel:
Read the Italian version here