Archive for November, 2012


November 24, 2012

I have some kind of raging sore throat (no fever, that I can tell) and am utterly exhausted after my trip to SF. Feeling a profound sense of dislocation. Oddly enough, I miss Albania more than anything else – perhaps the felicity of having a set routine and knowing my way around – even though Spanish immersion here feeds something deep in my soul. Our orientation schedule has been unrelenting, until yesterday, when I made an executive decision and took the day off to spend with the kids at home. Our Thanksgiving dinner was noodles, beans, yoghurt, and PBJ. Definitely nothing fancy, but absolutely enjoyed with just the three of us (Gimli is, of course, away on a short trip). 

Today I made it to the office, with kids in tow, since our nanny here is only 1/2 time (for now). We had some adventures getting there and back again – and no naps, so they both fell asleep at the astonishingly early hour of 7 p.m. (these are the kids who routinely fall asleep well after 9). So, I allotted myself exactly one hour of computer time, and now I’m off to bed myself. Hoping to sleep off the sick. 



November 18, 2012

Thank you, Jjiraffe and Esperanza for taking the risk to meet a virtual stranger for tea this afternoon! It was so surreal to meet you in person after following your blogs for awhile – I can’t remember how long, actually; certainly long enough to get a sense of your online personas, the struggles you’ve chosen to share with the bloggy world, your families, your concerns. It was a pleasure to see you in 3D (and to realize, E, that your sidebar photo does NOT do you justice! The more recent photos in the “snuggles” post are so much more what you look like in person! I.e., beautiful :-)) This is the first time I’ve ever met in person people I’ve only known previously online. So worth it.

Today I also met three scholars whose work I’ve read and cited often. I was really nervous about it, knowing I’d have to really “bring it” with my own presentation (since we were all on a -gulp! – panel together), and it was relief that I found them to be cordial, genial, and easy to talk to (well, 2 of the 3 were. The other introduced himself as a neurotic misanthrope – his words, not mine! – so I knew that one was going to be an uphill battle…but he warmed up by the end).

Two women, blogging friends – three men, academic heavyweights. Parallel streams in my life intersecting in the small space of this amazing city. It’s no wonder I’m exhausted to the core of my being, right?

More anon.


November 14, 2012

I’m sitting in the lap of luxury right now. I’m cuddled up in a hotel bed with my laptop and a mini-carton of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, with nothing to do until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. I’m going to write, read blogs, maybe find something to watch on TV while I knit. I haven’t watched TV in… I can’t remember how long. Years, I think. The only thing I’m worried about is falling asleep before I can fully soak up the pleasure of this mini-vacation before my conference starts tomorrow.

Ooh! The Simpsons is on!

So. Colombia. Two weeks in, I don’t even know how to summarize the kaleidoscope of work and family life. It’s a huge, dirty, noisy city with spots of loveliness, like the purple bougainvillea gracing our front gate. We’re in a second-floor apartment that’s still in a state of chaos since we’ve been spending so much time in the office (usually with the kids in tow while they get to know the nanny). We’re still figuring out where to get our shopping done and how to find time to do housework. The kids have been amazingly resilient and accepting of all the vagaries of our new life. It’s really helped that we’ve had two national holidays during the first 10 days to just spend time with them at home settling in. And there’s a sweet little playground just half a block from the house that they love.

I miss not having wireless internet at the apartment, that makes it harder to keep connected with you all. We’ll get it soon, I hope.

Tomorrow I put my academic hat back on. Should be fun 🙂