Variety is the Spice of Life

Life on the island continues to be tough, absent of many of the conveniences I have taken for granted for so long. 

I find myself focusing a lot of energy on simply keeping warm, eating well, and staying clean. And I've learned to be more opportunistic and resourceful:  planning activities around weather, boat taxi schedules, and tides (the tidal change here is sometimes 20 feet!).  I've come up with some pretty creative dinners utilizing the dried or canned food available at the island store.

Yet when I look back and think about what I accomplished this week, it goes way beyond the basics.  I helped local families with:

  • Hauling dirt, garbage, and broken glass from the island to mainland
  • Weeding a garden
  • Cutting firewood
  • Teaching English
  • Cleaning a sailboat inside and outside
  • Digging a ditch for electrical and water pipes
  • Building scaffolding
  • Painting two houses

On top of that, I was fortunate enough to take another 3-day sailing trip to the island of Puluqui where we barbecued and had a bonfire on the beach at sunset.

Admittedly, after spending 15 years sitting at a desk, punching a keyboard, and navigating a mouse, my body is screaming at me.  (Ok maybe just "talking loudly" to me.)  I am suffering from tennis elbow, a jammed thumb, bruised ribs, and 3 cracked, bleeding fingertips from the dry, cold air.  Of course, these are mere flesh wounds no worse than a paper cut compared to what many of the locals endure day in and day out, so I carry on with a smile.

In my spare time this week, I made a video that tries to capture the many different hats I’ve worn this week.  Unfortunately, with the painfully slow internet, it’s going to take 5 hours to upload.  I can’t wait around, as I have to catch the last boat taxi back to my island.  So I’ll have to do the upload another time.  (Update on Sep 16:  I have uploaded the video to the Photos/Videos page.)

I have one more week here in Chile, then I head back to San Francisco for a few days of rest.  Then I head over to Germany for hiking.  While I've been very physically active here on the island, I don't feel adequately prepared for a trek through the Alps.

I’ll need a place to stay in San Francisco from September 22 to 25 if anyone wants to host me!