Day 20

Starting our second week at Chol-Chol.

The second week at Chol-Chol proved to be another week of growing to-do lists (which is good!). Monday we arrived at Chol-Chol and the weavers were using the kitchen for their monthly meeting. There were a lot of people on site! In addition to that, there was a historian from Italy who is helping with one of the grants they were awarded for this year.

I met with Yasmin, who is a journalist and is in charge of public relations, to go over what she’d like to see in terms of the logo, website, and social media. Oh, and also added about five more things to my list (haha) which included posters and flyers for an artisan festival in November, retaking all of the product photos, and creating a dying process book, among other things. Nick sat down with Viviana and learned more about the organization’s finances. For lunch, we were invited to the kitchen to eat with the artisans and met some of them. It was great! They toasted with wine to the new year and it was nice to spend time with them. And also served horse meat. That was a first. And we didn’t learn it was horse meat until about halfway through the meal, haha.

Meeting with Yasmin and Juan Manuel

Hopefully we’ll become more confident in our Spanish soon and attempt more conversations. We both agreed that we need to focus more on practicing (as it’s so easy to rely on Juan Manuel to translate and speak for us). We got some good puppy time and headed home.

We have been on the search for an apartment for February, so we arranged a tour of an apartment not too far from here (with oodles of storage, yay!). We plan on staying there for February and hopefully extend.

Tuesday. The Brazilians arrive!

The Brazilians are here! Nick walked into the room where Susana and I were and said, “Hay cinco personas estan caminando! CINCO!” We all laughed a bit, at first thinking, “Wait, are there now five, not three??” but it was the program leaders. The Brazilians came in to interview and learn more about the organization.

Susana started the meeting off, and they could understand Spanish. She kicked it off to Nick to start the interviews. I was freaking out, I didn’t even know where to start. But Nick is a seasoned professional in terms of “winging it” and he did really awesome. He asked them some questions about their interests and backgrounds, and then led a tour around the property. He took them into the kitchen after and gave them an overview of the foundation and how they work with artisans. Nick had everyone laughing (which Susana and I could hear from across the way). She laughed and said Nick was like a professor and was very good with people. That he is! He finished up with them and said he was going to send them some “tarea” or questions to answer to help him develop their work plan. The three Brazilians will be volunteering with the foundation for 5 weeks, on-site primarily Tuesday-Thursday, starting next week. I think one of Nick’s primary duties is going to be managing all of them – which is not anything he expected, but will be a good and fun challenge for him.

While this was going on, I was working on the logo files, which was fun to start. I want to nail down the design soon, since that will inform so many of my other projects (website, product tags, ending of videos, flyers, etc.). It’s exciting to have the freedom to develop an entire identity! Here’s my type exporation a.k.a. madness:

While I was doing that, Juan Manuel was trying to save a small bird that fell from a nest, but the dogs ended up getting to it while he had walked away for a moment. Sad. Also, poor Juan Manuel forgot to bring his lunch, so he scoured the grounds and found an egg, berries, and an apple. We offered to give him some of our food, but he declined until he finally succumbed to accepting our yogurt. He was “made for the countryside”, as he said.

In the afternoon, we met with Susana to give our status on all of our projects. Nick’s section alone took an hour and a half to discuss. The rate of conversation is something we have to get used to here; since we have to translate everything, we have to double the expected time we think it would take to have a meeting of this kind. We both left a little fried, and I started to realize that I’ll be dealing with many different opinions and visions within the small organization.

Wednesday. We captured our first artisan video!

Nick and I started the day with another hike in Cerro Ñielol, to get our endurance up for more hiking! We came back to the apartment and started to work on our projects. I researched some video shooting settings and ran some tests (thanks for the help, Steph!) along with continuing my work on the logo. Nick worked on organizing application information for some artisan fairs in the U.S. Then we packed up to went to Don José’s house and studio to capture our first artisan video for the website.

Don José makes beautiful silver jewelry that incorporates Mapuche symbolism. We asked him a few questions about his art (and I plan on asking all of these questions to the artisans that we interview). He had some great answers and we were able to capture some nice b-roll of items around his studio. All-in-all, we spent a little over an hour there (which is pretty efficient!) I’m excited to start editing the footage because 1. I want to make sure the quality and vision for these is what Susana and Yasmin want and 2. I need to figure out how long these will take me so I can give Susana an estimate of how many videos I can get done in six months. AND! I can start getting the website set up to show a page about the artisans.

We came back and made plans to meet up with Juan Manuel for a beer. I told him how much I love craft beer (and it’s very big in Chile too!) so he took us to Lagerhaus. It was a cool place! We talked a lot about places we’ve visited, places we want to go, our work culture; lots of things. We tentatively have plans to go on a hiking trip with him this weekend! Hopefully that will work out. Nick and I are pretty determined to spend every weekend exploring a new area of Chile. This whole country is absolutely beautiful and we want to take it all in!

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