Well, lots has happened since my last post.
My last day of work was Friday. Quite an the odd feeling. Especially when I think that I have nowhere to be on Monday! I suppose it mostly hit me now as I sit in a room with only a desk and chair! Oh, and that little thing called lack of paycheck. But hey, it's not about the money.
Most of my furniture has been picked up by friends now. I started consolidating everything into the living room, and will throw it all into the Fit tomorrow. Heading out around noon to St. Louis to stay with a friend from Bradley. I think I'll drive to Oklahoma on Monday, somewhere in New Mexico Tuesday, Arizona or Southern California on Wednesday, and make it to Oakland on Thursday. Theres snow in the forecast for Flagstaff, so handling that in mountains should be interesting with a loaded down front wheel drive car.
On Thursday I went out to a nice lunch at Fudruckkers with a bunch of co-workers. I couldn't eat 2 lbs of burger, dangit. Wimped out and got the puny 1/2 pounder. But turnout was great, lots o' people came out to see me off. Lots of good byes Friday as well, and some awesome churros brought in by Kirk. Good bye's are weird, you never know if you'll see people again. But that invention thing called the Internet that kids use nowadays helps out a bit....like this blog.
Final Fiesta Friday was awesomeness. People from all different places showed up, Bradley, Rotaract, Theta Chi, Work, Snowboard peoples, etc, and it was fantastico seeing peoples. You know its a good send off when people start to sing the National Anthem at the height of the party (albeit after a few drinks), and ask for a speech, haha. Unfortunately, nobody had memorized the Chilean National Anthem, so we were a bit SOL on that one. Note to self: youtube Chilean National Anthem before leaving. I think a good 30 or 40 people showed up to my place, but not all stayed for the jazz action at the Green Mill. They sure cleared out my stock of homemade & leftover Argentinian wine, though.
So, I get an email the other day from the English Opens Doors program. My 'living stipend' will be a whopping 85,000 CLP (Chilean Pesos) a month. Looks like I'm already approaching a 6 figure salary in my career. Wait...that's pesos, oops. So, thats like a staggering $170/month. Anyways, they were supposed to deposit into a Chilean Bank account once a month (1Dollar=489CLP). So, this email says that due to some problems with the Chilean Bank, they are going to pay out all months in a lump sum at the end of each semester. Basically, I have to fend for myself until June or so, and then I'll get 4 months of living stipend. I'm not too worried, I've been saving up for at least a year for something like this. Plus, I'll be living with a family, and they'll be feeding me 3 meals/day, so, that covers alot of expenses right there. More of an annoyance, but I could see that being a problem for people who haven't had the chance to save up for quite some time.
I guess the hardest part of the move is leaving sooo many good peoples & friends here. Hopefully I'll make it back from time to time & visitors to CA are welcome!!
Still working on a host through couchsurfing for Lima, grrr, not much luck yet. If not, I'll just find a hostel in Miraflores, supposedly one of the good neighborhoods in Lima. My Dad dropped off my Visa application for Brazil in SF Friday, so I'll pick that up Feb 1st, just in time for my departure Feb 7th.
Well, 12 hours left. Bye bye Chicago, it's been fun.
One of my fav pics taken of Chicago, from an el overpass in the loop: