first meetings

This afternoon, I met with my new boss for the first time since our initial Skype interview. It was a little overwhelming, to say the least.

I walked the thirteen blocks from my apartment to the office and arrived promptly at three o’clock. I was able to successfully communicate with building security whom I was trying to visit, but they quickly became confused by the pronunciation of my name. “Carrrr…?!” Ay, qué gringa! The women ushered me upstairs, where I then had to pronounce my name three times to the administrative assistant. Finally, she realized who I was. “Vas a trabajar aquí?” (“Are you going to work here?”) Si, Si! She led me to the conference space. Shortly after, my new boss greeted me in English and proceeded to tell me about the project I would be working on: a library renovation in the city’s historic center! I was feeling confident and excited, as I was able to speak a bit of Spanish in response to his questions and commentary.

But then, everything changed! He took me to the design architects’ space, where he completely switched to Spanish. I met all of the other design architects, most of whom are in their twenties. My boss joked that the girl who will be helping me was a gringa just like me! Her name is American (‘Stephanie’ is actually spelled with a ‘ph’ instead of an ‘f’!), her hair is blonde, and she is freakishly tall for a Colombian woman. Unfortunately, my boss was only joking, and I am afraid that when I asked Stephanie where she was from I might have offended her. Oops. Anyway, the meeting was mostly successful, excluding my broken Spanish and semi-frequent, semi-panicked, “Por favor, se puede repetir más despacio?”s. Sigh…

Seth also met with his (potential) boss today. He was only offered a very temporary position, so he is looking forward to tomorrow’s interview with his other potential boss. In the afternoon, we will journey to the city’s historic center, La Candelaria, for Seth’s interview, my site visit, and some farmers’ market shopping! I am so excited to learn about the library. I even requested copies of all of the digital presentations my boss showed me today so that I can get a jump start on research over the weekend.

Oh, and just a quick side note: For dinner tonight, Seth and I trekked a whopping two blocks to an amazing arepas-only cafe. We tried one stuffed with chorizo and queso; one with shredded beef and Creole sauce; and one with eggs, potatoes, and peppers (basically, migas in a corn-flour wrapper). In short, Colombian arepas kick French crêpes‘ butts. Wash ’em down with a shot of aguardiente (sin azúcar), and you’ve got yourself a balanced meal! …Right?

[photo courtesy of My Colombian Recipes]

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