Monday, May 31, 2010

Home Sweet Porvenir

Olivia and I arrived back in Porvenir on Saturday and I have to admit it's been a hard return. The ferry ride was bumpy. We saw hail, rain, snow and sun while trying to get the house to heat above 58 degrees (took about 6 hours to get to the low sixties). And then early Sunday morning Olivia started a 24 hour puke fest. My poor baby girl is still not feeling well and I just now finally got out of the house late Monday afternoon to buy groceries only to be reminded of the pathetic offering of fruits and veggies. And by the way, it gets dark at 4:45 pm and it's only going to get darker...!!!

Ok, sorry for the rant. I'm done now. More positive posts to come soon. I promise!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homesick

Starting on our fourth day in Columbus, Olivia began saying "Oweeva (Olivia) casa (house)" and has said it almost everyday since. My poor little country bumpkin is homesick for her home sweet home in Porvenir. And she of course misses her Papa. Here are some photos from the day before we left that we look at so Olivia can reminisce. I finally got smart and took the galoshes with us to the bay!



Little by little she crept her way into the water and had a blast!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reflecting

Being away from Porvenir for so long has allowed me to reflect on my life there and I have the following observations/thoughts to share in no particular order and with no particular conclusions:

I am a slave to material things and I don't know if being in Porvenir is helping me "get over" it or making it worse. Part of getting over it means I have pretty much accepted that I don't have access to a lot of stuff. I am ok with no mall nearby, really I am! But then when I do find myself surrounded by an abundance of stuff (i.e. being in the States), it's so hard to resist! Olivia and I made the trip back to Chile with one 64 pound suitcase, one 50 pound suitcase, one 40 pound suitcase, one carry-on suitcase, one carry-on backpack, one diaper bag and one stroller. That's a lot of STUFF (including one new i Touch, two new cameras, a lot of ridiculously cute and inexpensive clothes for Olivia and a zillion books)! On the one hand, I love that inside my corrugated zinc house in Porvenir (think shack-like looking from the outside), I can use my Wii or drink Starbucks coffee, but on the other hand am I just creating my own mini-USA and not really living "life" in Porvenir and does it matter?

Related to the previous thought, I love clothes but living in Porvenir, the focus is more on staying warm than on being fashionable (it's really hard to pull off the combination of the two when you require three layers of shirts all long sleeves and the outerlayer wool). Also everyone there wears jeans to work, no matter what the job, so dressing up anymore than that just feels silly. Thus, I have really learned to not care so much what I am wearing, as long as it is keeping me warm. So shopping for clothes now in the US I did feel more restrained than normal, the restraint being twofold: 1- I had to shop the clearance racks because I only need/can use winter clothes and 2- nobody cares what I wear in Porvenir! It is actually quite nice to free yourself from the vanity of clothes (a step towards freedom from material goods!).

People in the US in general and in Columbus specifically are super friendly, especially strangers with little kids. I cannot even tell you how many random moms chatted me up at the park, at the mall and in the grocery store. This never happens in Chile (unless it's a fellow ex-pat). It was really nice.

Eating in the US in general and in Columbus specifically (!) is out of control! The portions, the options, the snacks, the deals - it's all overboard. Porvenir, of course, is the exact opposite. Somewhere in the middle would be nice and it may be what exists in Santiago. You can go to Ruby Tuesdays or Starbucks if you want and you can get lots of yummy food all over the city but it's not as ridiculous as the US. I think of this week in Santiago as my way of easing back into life in Porvenir. No snacks around my in-laws' apartment but lots of tasty restaurant options nearby and I can satisfy that final craving for a brownie sundae before it's hasta luego, baby!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm back... sort of

To my dear blog readers, I am so sorry I haven't been keeping up with my posts. Our vacation has been very busy. We are now in Santiago for a week (because I decided Columbus, Ohio to Porvenir direct was NOT a good idea) and I hope to get back to blogging.

One small interesting tidbit: today I went to the dentist and she asked me if the water in Porvenir has fluoride. I just assumed it did (or really never thought about it) but she informed me that there are areas in Chile that do not have fluoride in their water. What? A few phone calls later confirmed that Porvenir does indeed have fluoride in the water. But still, I feel like I learned or was reminded not to take anything for granted, especially when it comes to your health and also to feel lucky, even for the *little* things, like fluoride in your water!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gone Swimmin'

Olivia and I are keeping super busy while on vacation. One of our favorite activities is going to the indoor pool at the rec center. This is just what Porvenir needs - a place INDOORS for kids (and adults) to exercise, socialize and SWIM! Here are a few photos.

Olivia very enthusiastic about getting in the water:


Sitting down to play:


Getting a bit more daring:


Finally floating on the water:


And I couldn't resist including a photo from last year's visit to Columbus. We didn't make it to the rec center but Olivia had her own little pool!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Getting My Oink On



I have been away from the blog lately because Olivia and I have been on a whirlwind tour of Columbus, Ohio, visiting family and friends and filling our time with all the activities we can't do in Porvenir. The most recent of such activities was the Cincinnati Half Marathon which I ran today with my best friend and dad. It was hard to appreciate the fact that I was not running in the wind because the race started in a driving rain (with a few cracks of thunder and bolts of lightening to keep us on our toes). Luckily the rain let up about half way through but the hills just kept going and going! So what is better: flat and windy a la Porvenir or hilly and rainy Cincinnati style? I think I gotta go with the Porvenir combo on this one!


Here I am racing to the finish:


And here are my dad and best friend at the finish. They look great!


This race was my motivation to train in the not so ideal weather conditions of Porvenir, so now that it is over what will get me out the door and into the wind and cold again??