12 February 2017

 Hello World.

It has been quite awhile since I have posted here. This is not for a lack of happenings, rather life has taken a new rhythm that is both fast and chaotic and slow and pensive. Like never before, I feel like the list is forever growing and time is continually shortening. The garden has gone to seed, the floor hasn't been washed in weeks, and the poor cat is more often forgotten than not. At the same time, we have slowed down. During this summer vacation, without classes to teach, or major research obligations, the mornings start later, we have been able to relish a long evening sitting around with Ana and her grandparents, and everything moves in function with nourishing ourselves and our baby girl. 

It has been the sweetest of summers.

01 January 2017

At 4:30pm on the 28th of December, 2016, little Ana came into this world.

Since then, our favorite activities have included snuggling with her, watching her while she sleeps, and taking countless photos which our families are probably already getting sick of. But you see, we have fallen in love. You know that feeling when you can't stop thinking about someone else, when it seems that your heart could burst from fullness, when you are completely distracted, and  you make everyone around you ill from your shear disconnect from the physical harshness of reality? That is us right now. 

So far, the sleepless nights feel like a small price to pay when we are nuzzled by a little being this is both half him, and half me. The diaper changing is not so much a burden, rather a new adventure that we are embarking on together. Even the most difficult, the fear of failing or somehow getting it wrong, doesn't seem so overwhelming when she gives us a sleepy little smile. 

Needless to say, it is a happy new year. We hope the same for you. 

18 December 2016

The calm before the storm.

Right now life is quiet. It is early summer, which means warm days and cool nights. The weather allows us to take advantage of time in the garden, playing at the beach and on the river; cherries, strawberries and melons are abounding. At night, we turn on the AC by putting a fan in the window, and by morning it is still cool enough to snuggle under the covers. 

We know, however, that the only certainty is change. This year, more than any other, we can feel the slow rumble of change making its way towards us. Soon, it will be hot. The grass will stop being so brilliantly green, and everything will be yearning for rain. We will toss and turn, trying to find a cool spot in the bed. The lettuces in the garden will be long gone, replaced with tomatoes and perhaps some struggling squash. 

Most of all, life as we know it will change. Where once we were two, in just a matter of hours (?), days (?), weeks (?), we will be three. We will be forced not just to think of our own needs, but of those of another. From what they say, our days and nights will blend into an alternate reality of caregiving stupor. All three of us will embark on a journey that we have no preparation for, nor any idea of what we will be faced with. 

In the meantime, as the approaching storm sounds louder, we will continue to pretend that this year is no different than any other. The tree is up and decorated with the orbs of tiny spiders that claim our spruce as home 11.5 months of the year. As a blend of cultures, cookies have been made for Christmas, though you won't find ginger, nutmeg, or icing on the ingredients list, rather harina de yuca and aguardiente. And in the real spirit of the holiday, the nursery and gifted moisés peacefully await their new occupant.

24 November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you on the north side of the world. 

While I am and always have been a great promoter of the turkey-laden holiday, today we are not celebrating nor is it likely that we will be doing so on fourth-Thursdays-in-November to come. Do not get me wrong, I am a stickler for traditions what with their obscure dates and at times ridiculous rules. In essence, holidays and traditions are nothing more than repeating firmly established protocols. This repetition, in turn, gives us solace and time for reflection. When one knows the hardship of winter, there is nothing more comforting than sharing a filling meal whose menu has been predetermined. 

But, alas, today marks the day that I and my household break from tradition, not to forsake it, but rather to establish a new one. From this year forth and those that come hereafter, as long as we live in the southern hemisphere, we will celebrate a Day of Thanks in May, as it should be, according to the seasons. Because, I must tell you that 14 hours of sunlight, spring greens, strawberries, and miniskirts do not a Thanksgiving make. In fact, Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite holiday due precisely to the fact that it is a reflection of the season's bounties. A coming together in appreciation before times get tougher. It is thus, just not possible, to celebrate such a day at the end of Spring when it seems that the world can hardly get more beautiful, the days are ever longer, and pumpkins and apples won't be ripe for months.

Therefore, friends and family, do not pity me when I tell you that this Thursday was like any other beautiful Spring day. There was no pie, there was no turkey, there was no celebration, but those things will come. Perhaps, like this past Day of Thanks in May we, with close friends, will feast on rabbit in addition to stuffing and potatoes and all of the other goodies. Perhaps we will create a song, or choose not the fourth, but the third week of the month. That is the beauty. At this point, while we are still cultivating our routines, traditions, and protocols, anything is possible. 

13 November 2016

Pablo returned safely to Valdivia, and since we have been enjoying a quiet weekend at home. 

Here are some of the final photos from Easter Island. One of the days when the seas were very rough, the crew took a break from diving and we visited Rano Kau and Orongo. It is difficult to think of a more beautiful setting... an extinct volcano filled with wildlife with the grand Pacific in the background. It is no surprise that the ancient Rapa Nui people choose this site for the Tangata manu ceremony in which men proved their worth by swimming from the coast to the small Motu island, capturing a recently laid bird egg, and racing back to the volcano's edge. 

07 November 2016

I am back at home and Pablo is out of town. He left for France late last week and returns at the end of this week... hopefully with a suitcase full of cheese... and canard... but regardless of whatever wonderful treats he might bring me from lands afar, his absence puts me in a general sort of funk. The routine is off. The house is too quiet. No one wants to bake pies for one. I am actually starting to appreciate our bastard cat's presence... So, if you, like me, need a little rousing out of your melancholic state this Monday just watch the video below. 

The Kari Kari Ballet is a must see when in Rapa Nui. For an hour plus the dancers, singers, and band fill the room with energy, both carnal and spiritual. They share their tradition through song and dance, which was like nothing I had ever seen before. By the end of the evening my eyes were as wide as saucers, my face hurt from smiling, and I had convinced myself that I must dance. 

02 November 2016

All in the name of science. Here are some photos from the famous guppy hunt (see previous post for more details)! 

The sunset that evening really was spectacular. Dramatic clouds and a raging sea were tinged with the golden hue of the day's end. Fishermen came in and out of port as we sat on the rocky coastal shore. The marejada from the few previous days was finally calming down, yet still, every few minutes a giant set would roll in and our friends and surrounding rocks would be doused with chilly salt spray, a reprieve for the fauna inhabiting the otherwise shrinking intertidal pools.