Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

cachai? No, no cacho nada!

The fact that I'm sitting in my bedroom on my first Saturday night in Chile makes me a little deprimida. But I can't really complain; I have a bedroom, after all, in a house with a family, and that's far more than I expected to have when I first started planning this whole Chilean expedition. But still...I wish I had the built-in friends of my Spain program here, so I'd have someone with whom I could explore the nightlife and whatnot. Oh well, it'll happen in time.

SO - Chile! Ole! First off, I needn't have worried so much about my Spanish. Cadiz Spanish was so bad that anything else is made better by comparison. It's still difficult because of the slang, but I'm getting better. Even started dropping my s's again.

Today it was beautiful here. It was the first time I'd been outside in the daylight - on Thursday and Friday, I didn't get home from work til after sunset, and didn't get to explore the area. Today I went to buy a pillow (muy necessary) and got to see part of Providencia, which is a pretty broadly defined area in town, as far as I can tell, because my house and my work are both in it but it takes me 40 minutes in the subway to travel between. Oh well.

It was that perfect kind of late-fall day (How weird for it to be late fall in June...) where the light is shining through the brown leaves of the trees, and the sun is warm but the air is crisp, and the sky...well, the sky tries to be blue through the smog.

Work is scary. WHY DID I NOT STUDY ECONOMICS?! My one consolation is that neither my boss nor my mentor studied economics in school, either, and both managed to learn on the fly and land jobs at the best global news organization in the world. Still, though. All I did on Thursday and Friday was read - read Reuters stories, read the local Spanish newspapers - and I still cannot get a handle on the most fundamental aspects of economics. Chile plans to sell a "sovereign bond" and issue "foreign debt" - my completely uneducated question is, Why on earth would anyone want to buy someone else's debt? I have no idea. My dad tried to explain it to me over Skype this afternoon and it still made no sense at all. Because really, I mean...This whole business of international debt - we owe China billions and billions, I know, and someone else owes someone else who owes someone else...It doesn't really mean anything, though. There are no country-sized loan sharks who are going to go in and break the knees of the U.S. if we can't pay it, right? (Maybe there are. I don't want to meet them. I never gamble.) But like...saying we're in debt to one nation or seems so...abstract. Conceptual. Not practical. How do you call in a debt from the country with one of the most powerful militaries in the world? No idea.

So, yeah. That's really stressful. Also stressful: They had someone at the president's speech about his first 100 days in office, holding their cell phone in the air, and then we had the office phone on speaker; I was told to listen in and pick what the most important thing he said was. GAH! No idea!! None whatsoever. I couldn't understand a word he was saying, let alone write it down. Joder.

But everyone's really nice; the secretary calls me "mi nina," and the only other American offered to go to lunch with me and show me around, and we all went out for drinks and dinner last night and they joshed me like one of the gang. So that's helpful, but...I still have no idea about economics.

If I try to write any more now, it's going to be long and boring (that's what she..? no, nvm.) so I'll just stop. Chao chao!

Love always,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

let's do it again

Well kids, this is it.

I leave tomorrow morning for the latest saga in this adventurous life of mine; that sounds a bit pretentious but I'm thinking about all the things I've documented in this blog, and really, I've been blessed with lots of adventures over the past few years. So much so that these posts are probably getting redundant...enh, something to consider, I suppose.

I fly out of Pasco tomorrow at 9:30, then over to Salt Lake City, then Atlanta, and then one long haul down to Santiago, where I will arrive at 7:35 Eastern time (they're the same time zone as the east coast). I will be greeted, I am told, by a taxi driver holding a sign with my name on it. I'll get to feel so important! teehee.

The last post on here was a bit desperate. Since I wrote that, it's been quite the emotional roller coaster...I had 2 major freakouts this past week, both of which were pointless, because really, there are so many unknowns in this situation and getting all worked up over them doesn't make them any less unknown. The real problem is my poor memory: If I could just remember all the times that God has shown me his faithfulness by following me on these adventures and taking care of me every step of the way, I wouldn't freak out. But I'm like Dori on Finding Nemo on this one - living in the very very short term world.

Let's go back to that faithfulness thing though, real fast - This is what journalism has looked like for me so far:
1) Jan. 08: Apply to the major - which accepts only 20 people per quarter - after only 1 quarter at UW and 1 COM class. Get accepted - by nothing of my own doing!
2) Summer 09: Intern in Port Townsend. Pre-adventure freak out, and then friends turn up by the bushel and the whole summer turns out to be a roaring success. Again - none of my doing!
3) Fall 09: Land a Seattle Times internship. Fall into the groove of the newsroom, make some great friends and mentors, and successfully write 15 stories - even getting on the front page once! Um, HOW?
4) Winter/Spring 10: Get chosen for the Foreign Intrigue internship with REUTERS, the biggest and best news organization in the WORLD. Freakoutfreakoutfreakout, then go to New York and meet lovely people and sit next to the bureau chief at dinner and find out that I look just like his sister-in-law and learn that Reuters journalists make $60,000 starting out and that the Latin American bureaus are understaffed.
5) Summer 10: Santiago.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY, that all just happened. Doors have opened and things have fallen in my lap and I have been hit in the face by the two-by-four of God's faithfulness and power. As far as my own skill level goes...I'm probably on the high end of average in the journalism department. I trust that I'm a good writer, but I don't have quite the killer instinct of some of my peers, and I'm still way to lengthy. I could use some sharpening. And still - with all my shortcomings - I'M GOING TO CHILE FOR REUTERS.


OK. So I leave tomorrow, arrive Wednesday, probably start work on Thursday. I'm not sure what the Internet situation will be like, but I'm sure I'll find time to blog. And then I come home Sept. 2. I'm still me and I'm freaking out because I don't know anything about business or finance or the stock market or Chilean Spanish, but I keep telling myself to remember everything I just wrote down. If this wasn't where I was supposed to be, I wouldn't be here.

And off we go.

Love always,