Geez Louise – it’s been a long while since I’ve posted, and besides from the huge pile of emails sitting in my inbox that I am on a mission to get through, the reason why is the portfolio of projects I’ve been occupying myself with over the past 1.5 months. Some of these activities have ended up being published in one way or another online, so here goes, this is some of the stuff I have been doing over the past month.
I’ve been getting amongst the holiday action here in Santiago, Chile and soaking up as much Chilean life and Spanish as I can. And you know what, I’m starting to “get it”! The days of being paralyzed with fear at seeing a cash-machine in spanish are far being me. I (at-least think I) understand the culture here, and finally have a grasp on the language. It’s not grammatically perfect, but I have been socialising in just spanish and understand most of what I hear now, thank goodness that this day has finally come! When I got here I felt so embarrassed about not knowing Spanish. Not just from the “I want to socialise and also order food” kind of perspective, but being in the university environment I was surrounded by exchange students who had around three years of spanish-study behind them, and Chilean students who had a better grasp of my language even though I was in their country. Even though I was in a new country my ability to make connections with people depended on their ability to speak my language, as it has always been. I wanted to be the one making the stretch, the one crossing the border, getting to know someone who hasn’t acclimatized even to my language, and finally I am. Finally I am getting to know people properly through my use of their language. I am so proud of the progress I’ve made and marvel at the fact that I can understand someone and they can understand me on each an every occasion – it’s such a rush. After seven long months of challenging myself here … I can actually understand most Spanish I hear.
The culture here in Chile is mostly beautiful. I forget sometimes that it is any different to New Zealand from time to time, as I am so used to it now, but there are differences, it may be just the type of food that is sold on the street or the type of dancing that people are doing, or the fact that there is no such thing as “bed time” on a school night here… but all of these little differences add-up. Just some quick footage I took at a New Year’s Eve street party in Santiago Chile for my friend is above, which happens to capture some of this.
Project Management & Productivity
As well as getting to work on a great project with a university here which (happily) consumed my Christmas to New Year period I have also been working with an event software company based here in Chile, Welcu. I get to go to events and write blogs on the topic of… well anything pertinent to events and productivity. At first I found it a real challenge to think about what to write until a good (academic) friend of mine pointed-out that it could be a great opportunity to bridge the gap between research and popular consumption. Sounds strange, but with that in mind, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing most of the time. If I think of something I want to know to help my project management or productivity I research it, properly research it. I read everything and anything I can and then post an article about it in simple terms, and in less than 800 words. Some of the posts include:
- Snooze or Lose – The effects that sleep deprivation can have on the quality of your work
- Emailing for champions – Expert strategies to change the way we deal with emails so we can stay on top of them (I need some of these right now myself!).
- Secrets of getting recipients to respond, on time – Expert strategies on how to elicit an email response from someone when you need it.
- Post conference networking – Strategies for better event networking follow-up
- Why Twits Don’t Tweet – A guide to tweeting for events
- 11 apps that will make your life easier – Applications that really help my life that I would recommend to my friends.
- What you should be wearing at your next event – Debunking dress codes
- QR codes and how you should be using them – Introducing ideas for using QR codes in events
I had a post-wedding season photography hangover when I arrived in Chile, but lately I’ve been gaining some momentum again. I’ve recently completed a few photoshoots, which I will post in later blogs. Interestingly I posted a how-to guide for getting started in photography on this blog which has been published as the feature article of NZ Photographer (click the image below to read the article).
Any good friend of mine with an old party photo as their online professional profile image would have heard me say the words “let’s do a new profile photo for you” and when I started at Welcu the same desire overcame me, so did a little photoshoot with the team and pieced together a group photo. This photo ended up in the local newspaper article about the team (photo in in lo-res below):
In other less work orientated news, I’m now 25, single, and loving life and think I’m going to stick around in Santiago for a long while longer. Here’s a few photos of some of the lovely people I have met here, taken at my 25th birthday:Facebook Album
That’s all for now, I have emails to get on with. Let’s keep in touch, drop me a line.