Saturday, October 22, 2011

In the groove...

This week I heard Dan tell a coworker during his daily skype meeting that there was no big news and that we're on cruise control now. That said, I give you permission to stop reading now unless your a grandparent! :-)

It's true. No big news. We are starting to feel the wind down and we're just cruising through our daily routines. So some quick updates.

Dan is spending a lot of time on skype with India these days. As part of Dan's new parent company's plan to expand, the developers team went from three to eleven in a little over a month. So his solitary days of working on code are now interspersed with lots of phone calls from across the world - folks getting up to speed on that same code. Dan continues to run with the Viña Runners. Tomorrow he's signed up for a 10K! We're all impressed. He also has requested Spanish at dinners after spending his work day in English, which we're all okay about - although we slip back and forth really.

Theo continues to love soccer and marbles at school. He's usually willing to take about a 2 mile run along the ocean with me while Grace is her Tae Kwan Do class after school on Wednesdays. Very cool. He recently brought home his "dream room" made from a shoe box and plastilina (play do/clay-like substance). It was super cool and looked a bit like a room from Club Penguin. My favorite was the hanging chandelier. Yesterday, we had Theo's friend Vincente and his family over for pizza and wine. Fabiola is a social worker and Marcelo is a music professor and Diego is a cutie pie 2 year-old brother. We had such a good time - with lots of silliness and soccer balls moving in this little space!

Gracie now can loosely fit into my shoes! Yikes. She was asked by her school to participate in the national exams that determine how the nation's schools are performing. Regardless of my feelings about standardized tests, I thought it was telling of how far she's come in her language acquisition that her school wanted her to be part of its aggregate scores (as it would have been very easy to have asked her to sit this one out). Anyways, she left school early on exam days and we had a nice gal's lunch and later Gracie joined me for my mosaic class one day. She is working on a beautiful box that we'll post when she's finished. Several folks have commented on how confident she is speaking with adults in Spanish these days. Its great to see her confidence and her mood so high these days.

I had a very interesting week. I ran off to Santiago for a day to attend a training on Open Space facilitation. Open Space had its world-wide conference in Chile later in the week, so I got a little exposure to this unique model. I think its similar to what is termed an "un-conference" in which session topics and discussions are determined and realized by conference attendees themselves. Highlight..I got to rap in Spanish!

I also finished another 7 week session of English classes with a great group of folks. They are a little flakey about always showing up, but they are very motivated and just very nice folks. I also continue with my organizational analysis work for a volunteer-run youth development organization here in Valparaíso. I am having fun doing interviews and attending/helping out with events, but somewhat dreading writing my report in Spanish! I also finished another mosaic project...shhhh, this one may show up under the Christmas tree (I'm pretty sure I can't leave it in Chile as it would look great in our living room).

I also had my neighbors, Señora Sonia and Señora Rosa over for tea and zucchini bread. They started sending cuttings of plants for my nascent garden, then food or drink or other little gifts. They are very sweet and always wonderful for a chat on our way up or down the stairs.

Finally, Dan, the kids and I ran out of town last Saturday for a day trip to a National Park Reserve (El Lago de Los Peñuelas) about 30 minutes outside Valparaíso. Nothing spectacular but we saw a rogue llama running around and had a nice time having a picnic, reading Harry Potter, and throwing the frisbee.

That's all for our updates for now. Thanks for catching up on news and our best to all of you.

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