Mi “Perro Caballero” fue Como un Ángel Custodio ésta Noche

El Perro Caballero

Versión Español

Mi “Perro Caballero” fue Como un Ángel Custodio ésta Noche

Ustedes no me creerán, pero tuve una experiencia más hermosa temprano este noche. Ha sido lluvia todo el tarde e yo estaba esperando en mi oficina para la lluvia a terminar como yo leía manuscritos (TA trabajo). Estaba muy tarde y la lluvia no parece a parar. Así, yo decidido a caminar porque era oscura y estaba sola. No tengo miedo, porque mi barrio es mucho seguro. Pero yo soy Americana y desde los barrios urbanos. Mi papi siempre les dice cada de sus niños, “¡Toma su tiempo y cuídate!” Es algo que está en mi mente aún hasta hoy mismo.

Como yo caminaba un perro (mi Pero Caballero) aparecido desde ningún lugar y empezado caminar conmigo. Él dijo nada y simplemente estaba como un ángel custodio mandaba a proteger me. En el principio él caminaba a frente de mí y cuando yo paraba él paraba. Cuando yo caminaba, él caminaba. En un punto pareció cansado de mis pruebas, y simplemente caminaba detrás de mí. Los perros libre son muy común en Chile, pero ésta estaba diferente, especial, como si me le conocía.

Cuando llegábamos a cerca de mi casa él paraba a la esquina y miraba hasta que yo entraba la puerta de mi casa. Nunca ladrado, nunca gruño, sólo caminaba conmigo en silencio hasta yo llegaba a mi casa. Eso es por qué me le llamaba El Perro Caballero, mi Ángel Custodio de la noche.

Perro Caballero

Perro Caballero fue tímido de la cámara.

 

English Version

My “Gentleman Dog” was like a Guardian Angel Tonight

You all will not believe me, but I had a beautiful experience earlier this evening. It had been raining all afternoon and I was in my office waiting for the rain to stop as I graded manuscripts (TA work) . It was very late and the rain did not seem to want to stop. So, I decided to walk home because it was getting dark and I was alone. I am not afraid, because my neighborhood is very safe. But I am American and from urban neighborhoods. My daddy always tells each of their children, “Take your time and be careful!” It’s something that’s in my thoughts even until today.

As I was walking a dog (my Gentleman Dog) appeared from nowhere and started walking with me. He said nothing and just was like a guardian angel sent to protect me. In the beginning he was walking in front of me and when I stopped he stopped. When he walked, he walked. At one point seemed tired of my tests, and simply walked behind me the rest of the way. The “free dogs” roam and are very common in Chile, but this was different, special, as if I knew him.

When we reached near my house he stopped at the corner and watched until I entered the door of my house. He never barked, never growled, just walked in silence alongside me until I got home. That is why I called him the Gentleman Dog my Guardian Angel of the night.

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My Guardian Angel of the Night is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back at the corner literally watching me until I safely enter the gate at my house.

 

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Make it HOT!!! (Remembering & Honoring Mr. Richard Neal)

Make it HOT!!!

I love comida picante (hot and spicy foods), but typically Chilean food is not very spicy. 😦

When cooking in Chile I compensate relative to my desire for hot dishes by adding lots of pepper and merken (a traditional Chilean spice) to my food (see above scrambled eggs with black pepper).  However, the local grocery story is starting to carry more “international” food item from the other Americas.  I scored these two babies pictured below today at the grocery.  It’s not very often that we get fresh jalapeños in, so I snatched me up these hot peppers real quick.

Additionally, I almost turned a backflip out of joy when I saw bottles of Mc.Ilhenny Tabasco salsa.  I remember my mentor, Mr. Richard Neal would always carry a bottle of this product in his suit jacket pocket.  No matter how fancy the conference or dinner affair he had no reservations, with the cool of James Bond 007, reaching for his inside coat pocket to access his Tabasco sauce and discreetly dab a few drops on his meals.  Those were the days! 🙂

I honor and dedicate this particular post today to Mr. Richard Neal who passed away last summer, but was a role model and mentor to me and so many minority students, faculty, and staff during this long and distinguished tenure at the University of Akron.  I know God had a special reward when you arrived as you have blessed so many people and played such a big role in the successes I’ve had as a professional and now doctoral candidate.   Thanks Mr. Neal.

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Mr. Richard Neal

Who Mr. Neal was to so many students

I spent the majority of my undergraduate work-study days in the EEO/AA office working for Mr. Neal and Mrs. Kalavity his secretary who became the godmother of my daughter.  Mr. Neal was always a very quiet and classy man with a heart for black people and always looked to help minority students succeed at the University of Akron.  I graduated with a science degree and hated working in the laboratory at a major company near Akron.  I asked Mr. Neal if he could help me find something else as I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing boring chemical test of commercial products.  He offered me a temporary position that was being created by the then University President Dr. William V. Muse (another on of my mentors), as the coordinator of the Peer Counseling program designed to recruit and matriculate struggling minority students at the University.  It subsequently turned into a full-time administrative faculty position.  The program I headed was a novel concept that identified successful minority students who would mentor and monitor the academic, social, cultural, and personal development of students during their first 2 years at the University (much like Mr. Neal).  The program became a model success both locally and nationally and propelled me on my trajectory toward adult learning and development.  Although himself a highly respected educator, Mr. Neal never lost sight of his roots and desire to help the less fortunate in the community.  I am sure he had no idea how many students’ lives he affected in the most positive of ways while here on this earth’s plane, but I am confident he certainly knows it now at this point, and here is my small contribution to that knowledge and “shoutout” to Mr. Neal. ❤ 🙂

Better

The meal ended up being so delicious I wish I could share it over the blog: Blackened Merken chicken breast cubed over angel hair pasta in a soy sauce base plus: (jalapeños, mushrooms, green bell pepper, sweet onion, celery, broccoli) all grilled together.

¡Ay no! Les duelen mis pies de caminando en El centro.

¡Ay no!  Les duelen mis pies de caminando en El centro.

El próximo vez cambiaré a zapato diferente.

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As my family and friends back in the United States are hopeful and excited for the pending arrival of Spring, in both Ohio and Georgia, we here in Chile are preparing for the season to change from Summer to Fall in April.  Here you can see how the leaves on the trees are starting to change.  I am very excited about being able to capture the beautiful changes of color among the Chilean foliage.  I am reminded of how in the US this changing of seasons tends to reveal some of the most beautiful examples of God’s glory as reflected in nature.

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Here are my pictures I captured yesterday on my bus ride to downtown Talca so that I could register as a resident with the Department of International Police (PDI).  I failed to do this last semester and it created a terrible mess for me when I tried to return home last December.  However, we are dotting all or i’s and crossing all our t’s this time around.  I got some nice pictures of Chilean graffiti on my trip yesterday.  My Spanish Professor back at UGA really likes these types of pictures so I hope he can enjoy some of the shots I was able to obtain.

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My good friend Verónica accompanied me to the international police station to assist in the event that I needed any translation help.  Fortunately, I had no problems communicating and the officers were excellent and friendly.  That has generally been my experience here with the Chilean Police officers.  They are extremely nice and helpful.  They could be a model for many other countries in how to treat citizens and foreigners.  Above Verónica captures a lovely shot of the back of my head! lol

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Ahhhhh he we go.  Much better Verónica.  Here I am tryin’ to be Hollywood on that very hot, very crowded micro (little public bus).

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The officer allowed me to get my glamour shot picture in the PDI office.  Unfortunately, its a little blurry but I still look niccccccccccccccccccceeeeeeeeee. Work it mamacita! 🙂

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It always amazes me to see how much damage the big Chilean earthquake of 2010 did to the city of Talca.  It is not uncommon to see structures that were devastated by the quake.  Nevertheless, there is much progress and reconstruction taking place in Talca, Maule and the people and city are recovering well with many new business and jobs coming to the area.

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More examples of earthquake damage and the efforts to rebuild.

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My friend Verónica told me that this building is a national monument called the Mercardo de Talca (The Talca Market).  It sustained significant damage during the earthquake and there was a terrible fire there recently this past January.  I am not sure about the status of it’s reconstruction but the hotlink I provide above (its in Spanish) talks about the history of this historic national monument in Talca.

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This street band was playing near the Mercardo de Talca and they were quite good!!  I really enjoyed the flute playing and will post a video I took shortly after I edit it for me blog.

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Well, Verónica and I arrived at the PDI office during their lunch break so we had to return at 3:30pm.  In the interim we decided to walk to the main Mall in downtown Talca to look around and have lunch.

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Mi amiga Verónica. ¡Qué linda en ésta foto! 🙂

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We were trying to show the mall employee how to use my Sony Bloggie Touch camera in order to take a photo of us and she first only got a picture of nearby balloons.  lol :p

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Ah ya (Oh yeah) she got it right this time.  Thank you! 🙂

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Although, I typically do not enjoy fast food I had to try this.  I must confess, it’s no Weaver D’s. 😦

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Awesome pictures from the balcony of the Mall

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 I really like these two pictures because you can see the very low altitude of the Andes Mountains in the background (The Dragon’s Back)

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Verónica let me have one of her spring rolls.  Yeah, I should have gone that route.  Next time I will.

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I had been talking to Veróica about wanting to finds some more really delicious Empanadas.  We had some really delicious ones when I arrived last semester during a Mass for Patriots Day on our campus Universidad Católica del Maule.  She noticed this Little store as we were returning to the PDI office so we went inside as they were advertising fresh Empanadas.

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Just outside of the store, directly across the street, was a McDonalds restaurant.  They truly are an ubiquitously international company.

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A local Japanese restaurant in downtown Talca.

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More graffiti.

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The Empanada I purchased yesterday, tow beef and one seafood.  We ate the beef ones last night and I’ll let you all know how the seafood one turns out.

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Ésto es el primero Zapallo del jardín de Carmen Gloria.  This is the first Zapallo that Carmen grew in her back yard garden.  It’s a type of squash that’s like a sweet potato in consistency.  It was in the delicious soup she made for everyone last weekend.  It’s orange inside like a pumpkin.

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Today I continued my journey to register as a Chilean resident as the PDI told me I needed to first go to the department of civil services in the mall near my house to register and then return to their office.  It seems I needed to make application for a RUT number and I was happy to see the office wasn’t too crowded.

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My new friend Yanira was so nice and helped me complete my processing.  We had a lovely conversation about my doctoral research and study during my tie in Chile.  I also told her of my plans to purchase a motorcycle and he explained to me how have the RUN would allow me to purchase and sell items while living in Chile.  She was very nice as are most of the people I meet in Chile especially when I speak in Spanish.  They seem to really respect the fact that I’ve learned to speak their language.  I also realized that I completed this process without the assistance of any of my Chilean friends to serve as my translators.  I’ve now gone to the next level in my acclimation to Chile.  She also shared with me how I might avoid having to go all the way to Santiago come time to renew my student visa as it expires in June.

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Yanira told me I had a very pretty name (Lisa) and I am now assuming it was to brace me for this picture.  I was like WHAT???!!!  Did I just gain 20 lbs. overnight.  I quickly rushed to the bathroom after leaving the office to see if I looked like I had gained that much weight.  I was relieved to see that I had not, and just assumed that it was as “they say”… the camera always adds 10 lbs.  When I retuned to my office at UCMaule I was laughing with the office manager Graciela about my picture.  She assured me I was correct in my perceptions and pulled out a copy of her RUN application photos.  She is very slim woman, but the photo made her look wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy heavier.  We both chuckled and I thanked her for giving me the peace of mind I needed to continue my day. Ha ha! 🙂

Wow!! Carmen has a twin sister.

Wow!!  Carmen has a twin. :)

I found out this week that mi amiga Carmen has a twin sister Paola. Double AWESOMENESS!

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Chile never ceases to surprise.  For example, I woke up this morning with the assistance of a little earthquake tremor (chico teremoto).  I also enjoyed family day with my Chilean host/landlord Carmen and her family.  She may or may not have told me she had a twin sister (gemala) last semester.  Carmen is very private and my Spanish wasn’t as good as it is now last year so she might have told me and I simply smiled and nodded politely.  So we began Saturday afternoon with this delicious chicken and vegetable stew prepared by Carmen (she’s a good cook like me).

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Her twin sister Paula has two boys ages 6 an 10 named Gaspar and Andres.  The older son knows a little English so we were able to talk about his school and my family.  As you can see, after lunch they both enjoyed some helado chocolate (Chocolate ice cream).  Gaspar doesn’t like taking pictures but he warmed up to me enough to make this funny face while eating his ice cream.  Very sweet and friendly little boys.  I told them and their Aunt (Tia) I was going to improve my blog with their fotos. 🙂

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Yummmmmm helado chocolate!

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Oh my word!!  It is so hot down here.  The temperature is ranging between 80-90F degrees (27/32C).  This might not seem very hot, but after leaving the United States were it is winter time these types of temperature require an adjustment.  I always seem to loose weight in Chile in part because the portions sizes are smaller here (we have very large portions in the US) and walking in the heat carrying my bookbag feels like I’m walking in a sauna.  No complaints, I’ll that this over snowy Mid-West blizzards in March any day of the week.

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More family and friends join Carmen, her sister and sons, upon my return from my power walk.  I am terrible with names and don’t remember the new folks, but they were just as lovely.

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Tweenzies!!

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Another place I am happy to see is our neighborhood tienda de verduras y las frutas (vegetable and fruit store).  I also finally had the chance to eat some grapes as they were not in season when I arrived last semester.  So now, all the fruits are easily accessible and this was the best pear I had tasted in some time.  The also had some peaches, but I’m a Georgia Bulldawg.  It’s going to very difficult trying to compete with a Georgia peach.  They are the BEST!!  Unfortunately, I think that Chilean farmers are using GMOs because I saw some of the biggest ears of corn, squash, and cucumbers that I’d ever seen in my life.  I wanted to take a picture but felt it might be a little rude to do so.  Maybe I’ll get the nerve up to ask the owner to take a picture next time. 🙂

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Well, the highlight of my weekend was to talk with my daughter and her beau this weekend while she visted Texas.  I thought they looked so cute and told them I was going to take their pictue and put it on my blog.  So here it is guys!!  She’s a lawyer so I hope I don’t get sued for not getting any permissions.  I don’t know if their images are copyrighted or not.  No matter, I’m the momma (the original law)!  He he.

Hondura my Motorcycle is getting better (I pray)

Hondura is getting better (I pray)This is my girl “Hondura” (nickname). She’s a 2000 Honda Rebel CMX 250 and my very first bike.

Here is my beloved Hondura, the name I gave to my very first motorcycle.  I made the decision to learn how to ride a bike back in 2012 and told my friend Brian about the idea.  He initially thought I was crazy, but subsequently found a motorcycle safety class and we joined and got our license that summer.  Brian was a lot more experienced as bikes than I and that showed in the class.  I had one of the smallest bikes in the class.  That’s me front in center in the bike blow.

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Anywho, my dream was to get licensed for motorcycles, purchase a bike, and then practice riding so that I can adventure ride while in Chile.  I purchased my bike in the Fall 2012, and started riding with my friend Brian and then on my own (he said I needed to learn how to ride without him sometimes).  So I did and we were both proud of me.  I was riding everywhere, even in the rain and at night.  I was (and still am) hooked!  Well last fall, right before I was to take off for Chile, my bike started to stall and subsequently wouldn’t start.  I tried to get it repair but the guy who was working in it got injured in an ATV crash.  So the first thing I did when I returned to the US, was to look for someone to fix my bike.  Now I’m from the generation where you simply don’t just throw away things and buy a new one when they break.  I love my bike and wanted to fix Hondura.

So, my friend Luis told me about another guy who fixed bikes about 30 minutes from where I lived.  So I loaded up Hondura and towed her to the mechanics garage.  The repair job got very complicated.  My little brother told me to just buy a new bike and not invest anything into Hondura… ¡No puedo!  Another friend who didn’t have time to fix it because he thought it would be a big repair job (and it is) wanted me to give him the bike for free… ¿Estás loco?  So, I had to leave my first love in Georgia and expect that all will be well upon my return.  Above is her motorcycle hospital photos.  lol  The choice was either to fix Hondura or invest in a new bike.  I simply decided to fix Hondura because essentially I’ll have a brand new engine and still have the bike that I love.  Oh sure, there will be other motorcycles in my future, but nothing like your first.  Besides, I got an international driver’s license from AAA before I left the states so that now I am able to drive in central and most of South America.  ¡Tan divino! 

So after I get myself situated with my dissertation research data collection agenda, yallz can expect to see some adventure ridin’ pics from the road with friends in Chile.  Qué bueno ¿no? Sííííííííí  🙂

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Hondura and I gettin’ our ride on in the early days.

Los regalos continuan a venir!

Los regalos continuan a venir!

The gifts keep on coming! 🙂

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(Click on pic for enlarged view)

So my dear friend (and landlord) Carmen was in Spain while I was in the United States this semester.  She travelled there to complete her doctorate in library science becoming the first Librarian with a doctorate degree in Talca, and perhaps in the entire Region VII of Chile.  I’m so proud of her accomplishment.  While there, she picked up this gift for me.  It’s jabón natural de jazmín (natural Jasmine relaxation soap) and it smells so beautiful.  So I’ve got a present from Spain too and I can’t wait to try this out.  My friends here are spoiling me, and I likey!  Ha ha  Carmen was also attentive to make sure that the product was produced in a just (justo) manner and did not exploit the poor as indicated on the company’s bag.  Therefore, that completes her classification for triple awesomeness in my eyes.

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I also had to go to the story tonight and buy some of these, because the one in my digital recorder is failing and I have a research interview tomorrow.  I actually didn’t know the word for these when I arrived at the framacia (pharmacy) so I again had to resort to my high-level charade playing skills to describe what I needed.  NOTE:  These are not called batteria but are in fact called pilas.  But come on!!  You can’t blame a sistah for tryin’ that one out hoping to hit the mark. He he! 🙂