We got new chairs!!
Today was my first “real day back” in the office (I did a quick drive-by yesterday) and I was so happy to see all of my friends and colleagues. I actually ran into Professor Patrick Matzler, I conducted some research with his undergraduate students last semester, and we talked about doing more teaching oriented activities during my second time here in Chile. As you can see above, I spent the day organizing my work space. There was actually not too much to do as everything was pretty much just as I had left it (which was nice), because everyone knew I would be returning. I was pleasantly surprised to see that we had brand new chairs that are really comfy. I always felt a little guilty because my office mates allowed me previously to have the best chair in the upstairs office. They are so nice to me, I love my UCMaule folks (tear).
I am also most excited about how quickly my friends Carmen and Ivette moved to help me recover from and unexpected hiccup in my research agenda. I also got a call tonight from another contact who is assisting me with my data collection and was very encouraged to get that support as well. Things seem to moving along great now and I’ve learned that even if the unexpected happens, tranquila y calmate are my go to positions and attitude. I am learning to rest in the fact that this is were God has blessed me to be on a variety of fronts and I love my dissertation research topic of Civic Engagement and this Visiting Scholar experience. So, here’s to another successful experiences in Chile and the improving of my Spanish language skills and increase intercultural knowledge development. I am so pumped to be back es como un sueño. I can’t wait to visit with my peeps in Santiago, Linares, and Escuela Basica Panimavida again as well.
I saw some beautiful earrings and a necklace in the U.S. and wanted to surprise the office manager Graciela with a gift upon my return. However, she surprised me with these lovely ones (above earrings form Graci). I was so appreciative because #1 she clearly has come to know me well enough to know I would love this style of earring, and #2 how lovely of her to think to do that for me. :) I told Jose I was sorry I didn’t bring him any earrings, but would be sure to do so next time. Ha ha
Fortunately, I made sure to get an international driver’s license before I left the U.S. that will allow me to drive in central and most of South America. Since I already have motorcycle driving classification in the United States it was also placed on my international driver’s license. So guess what?! I see a bike in my near future. Don’t get me wrong, I love the exercise of having to walk pretty much everywhere I need go on a daily basis. There is also the option to catch the local bus or a taxi and Chile has one of the best intra-regional bus travel systems I’ve every seen. You can catch a bus from Talca to Santiago (about a 3 hour ride) for only $10 bucks. I was also told the train system going South in the country is an experiences I must put on my agenda. But there’s nothing like having your own wheels!
Nevertheless, I noticed this new business opening in my neighborhood as I was walking home from the grocery store. It indicated that they repaired “bikes” and to my mind I immediate thought motorcycles, however when I read the sign they literally were talking about bicycles. No worries, I took it as a sign that I should go ahead with my plans to get a motorcycle while her in Chile and adventure ride with my friend Eugenio. He and I talked about riding to Argentina (which is really close since Chile is so narrow a country). But first thing’s first, I need to collect my dissertation data and get to writing this dissertation; and even before that be sure to register with the Talca International Affairs office as a resident. Don’t want a repeat of last year’s documentation scare. Ooh wee no!