Day 163

Foundation Friday and Weekend in Temuco

It was a good week back at the Foundation. We spend Monday and Tuesday at the Foundation, but the Internet gave out so we worked from home on Wednesday and Thursday. Normally, everyone works remote on Thursdays and Fridays, but it was shifted this week with the Internet issues. Also, there was a big meeting scheduled on Friday with the Rakizuam group.

When we arrived on Friday, we were under the impression there was going to be an hour meeting in the afternoon along with a lunch. Well, we arrived at our normal time and realized that 5 Rakizuam members were already there (before anyone else from the Foundation) already working on a big breakfast – sopaipillas, ham & cheese grilled sandwiches, coffee, etc. We weren’t sure if we were supposed to join this meeting or breakfast or not (we were literally counting place settings haha), but after Susana, Viviana, and Yasmin arrived, it was clear they wanted us to attend.

We started with a delicious breakfast of sopaipillas and salsa (freshly made sopaipillas are a slice of heaven). And they even made a delicious mulled wine drink called Navegado, which includes cinnamon and oranges. The best kind of breakfast meeting, haha.

Again, what we thought was just going to be a simple meeting turned into a day-long meeting in which it appeared they were going over by-laws, strategy, etc. I was a little sad, because had this meeting been in English, I would have been really into it – these are the types of meetings that I often focus on in my consulting work, so I felt I would have been able to provide some value given the right language. That being said, Sarah and I sat patiently at the table trying to take in as much as we could. They seemed to have conversations about proper communication techniques (e.g., using email protocols, official correspondence, etc.); types of luggage to purchase for fairs; and even discussed how to handle a delinquent member apparently (according to Sarah).

Some of the other items that Sarah could pick up was that they wanted to continue the level of design and photography that she has been working on the last six months, so that was cool and felt validating to her that they recognized the work she’s been doing.

However, after an hour or so, Sarah and I realized that we were focusing on being polite, but neither of us had our laptops with us, so we couldn’t really multi-task and therefore get any of our needed work done. That’s alright, we just kind of pushed it to the weekend.

We ended up sneaking out for a moment to run to the store to get some avocados, as I brought the other ingredients to make “Salsa Susana” – we wanted to make sure we were contributing some food to the lunch meal. Lunch was about 2 hours after breakfast (well second breakfast, because Sarah and I ate breakfast at home – like normal). So Sarah and I were not hungry at all, but you really cannot refuse (both out of politeness, but also the food is really good). So we had some braised pork, fresh salad, boiled potatoes, and my salsa. It was fun just eating lunch with everyone. We’re picking up a bit more on the Spanish, but you could just tell that they really embraced us being there – we felt like we were part of the group. Also, they all loved the salsa – so that was nice.

Additionally, it was Sandra’s birthday (the big 6-0!), so there was a torta for everyone (more food). We sang happy birthday and you could just see how much this group really enjoys working together. I then spent a little time with Sandra and her son (Franco), to review the application for the Sante Fe Fair that I’ve been working on. They were pleased with what I had entered thus far, so fingers crossed that this works out. Sandra was saying that while it was great that she went to Cuba and Mexico for fairs, she didn’t make many sales. However, if she made it to a fair in the US – specifically in Santa Fe, she knows the sales would be much higher. Again, I’m hopeful.

The last surprise of the day was that Isabel (who everyone says is the most experienced weaver) brought in two lamas for Sarah and I to choose from. We had worked with Viviana to commission one with Isabel, but we didn’t think they’d be done for another couple weeks. Welp – surprise! They were already completed and they looked fantastic. We were so excited to be able to purchase a piece from Isabel.

The rest of the day quickly went by and everyone went on their way. Normally, Sarah and I would be driving off to somewhere at this point, but we decided we wanted to stay in Temuco this weekend. As we’ve said before, Chile has a bunch of circus events and we wanted to see one. We planned to see the PanAmericano in downtown Temuco, but as we drove past the spot, we realized it was gone – whoops. Well, on our way to the Foundation, we noticed another circus tent recently popped up, and we knew that it had one weekly show at 8:30 p.m. on Friday’s. Since the larger one had already left town, we decided to head back towards the Foundation to attend this smaller one.

We had no idea what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. They had posters outside advertising Disney’s Coco and Frozen and other circus like acts. Well, we got in there and it was a really small operation – and you could tell a family run affair. It was cute. Sarah and I paid the $3 entry fee and then got some popcorn and then just grabbed a seat and enjoyed the show. Of course, it was all in Spanish, but we got the jist of it. The show lasted about 2.5 hours (totally got our money’s worth). We laughed and enjoyed it and then drove back home – just a casual Friday night in Temuco.

On Saturday, we caught up on work given that we lost Friday to the large meeting, but then walked around downtown a bit. We sought out a kiosk that was selling tickets for the futbol (soccer) game the next day, as Temuco was playing in the semi-finals against Puerto Montt. The rest of Saturday was relaxing, working, and then binge-watching some Netflix. You know, the usual.

Sunday was game day. We walked to the stadium, which is about 30 minutes from our apartment, and found a nice spot for the match. We were not in the “rowdy” part of the stadium, but instead, had better viewing seats. The stadium was probably only 1/3 filled, but it was still pretty loud as the local fans had a band and were chanting the entire time. Temuco scored a goal within the first minute – which was great. They ended up winning 2-1, but this was the first leg, so they still need to play another match at Puerto Montt. They missed a penalty kick late in the match, so I hope that doesn’t come back to bite them in the second leg match. Anyways, it was a nice little weekend in Temuco. We’re starting to feel a little nostalgic, that we’ll be moving away from this little home in a matter of weeks now. We hit the realization that we’ll officially back in Chicago in 3 weeks. Time is flying by.

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