March 6, 2010

Aliyev in the News

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 1:18 pm by Jenn

Yesterday morning as I was packing my lunch for the day when my father came up from his “man camp” in the basement carrying the morning paper – front page.  “Look at this” he said, showing me a picture.”  A twelve year old boy from Azerbaijan owns all these beach houses in Dubai”

The article talks about how these houses are owned by a 12 year old boy with the same name and birthday as the president Aliyev’s son – Heydar.  The president’s salary of $228,000 isn’t nearly enough to purchase these properties and goes on to talk about corruption in Azeribaijan…hmmmm…is this news?  Well I guess the properties in Dubai may be news but the fact that the government there is corrupt shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, well anyone who has spent more than 24 hours in that country anyway.

It’s interesting to note that the president’s son is listed as owner of 9 properties, while the daughters are listed as owners of one each…..well, we don’t know for sure it’s “them” but again, the owners are people with the same names as the presidential family members.  Good grief.  I’m just trying to find a house near the water in Virginia for less than $1800 a month.  Wonder if I can borrow some cash from Heydar?

March 1, 2010

Aftershock

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 12:22 am by Jenn

They are still experiencing aftershocks in Chile, but they are trying to get things cleaned up and back to normal. 

Just a little glimpse in to just how awesome it is to be a part of an Embassy Community,each embassy has a CLO office (Community Liaison Office).   The CLO office is responsible for maintain morale at the Embassy (along with a TON of other stuff) and these folks really step up during these stressful times.  I can remember being the CLO in Belarus and even though our situation there was MUCH different that the one in Chile I feel for what these CLO’s are dealing with right now.  I also remember how awesome the CLO in Lithuania was in getting things ready for us when we were forced to leave Belarus.  She made us feel welcome and provided us all with many resources for making our stay as pleasant as possible.   Here is a little piece of a email that was sent out from the CLO in Chile to the Embassy Community this weekend. 

Dear all,

 We know that you are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety right now.  Not having power/electricity is not helping the situation either.   We will open a  Community Center…(date, time and location removed).  ALL family members are welcome.  The kids can play with their friends while you talk to us and each other. Let us know how you are doing please!   Several computers will be set up for you to write back home and catch up on the news.  (Please bring some toys for children to play.)   The Commissary will be open to purchase snacks and drinks or you may wish to bring your own snacks.  You may choose to go to lunch–the restaurants on Isidora Goyenechea are open! 

If you have any food that needs to be refrigerated, you may use cafeteria’s refrigerators and freezers.   The showers are open for those who do not have hot water (please bring your toiletries).  Washing machines and dryers are here for you to use as well (please bring your own detergent).   If your residence has all amenities and you are willing to host Embassy families, please let CLO know. 

Judging from this I’d say folks at the Embassy are doing pretty well all things considered.  This helps to put my mind at ease a little more.  I’m still thankful that Max and I weren’t there, but I am also grateful that my husband has this type of support system available to him should he need it.

February 27, 2010

Wake Up Call

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 8:12 pm by Jenn

When the phone rings in the middle of the night it usually isn’t a good thing.  This morning my phone rang at 3:34am.  It was Scott.  There was a tremor in his voice and he told me that there had been a massive earthquake in Chile.  He was ok, but the city was a mess he said.  He was calling from the Embassy where he was safe, thank God.  He said he didn’t know about our stuff, I told him not to worry about that right now, the important thing was that he was safe. 

I sent messages to his family and a few of our friends so that they wouldn’t panic when they heard the news in the morning.  I searched for a news story and sure enough there it was, Earthquake hits Chile, 8.8.  WOW.  Haiti’s earthquake was 7.0.  In further searching later this afternoon I found this really cool feature from the USGS (US Geological Survey) that gives details about earthquakes all over the world.  Go ahead and click it, you’ll be surprised how many were in the US in the past week.   This link will take you directly to the summary information for today’s earthquake in Chile.

Scott called back later this afternoon to say that he was definitely not going to be able to live in his apartment again.  He said that the structural damage was much worse than he originally thought.  He said there are cracks everywhere.  Thankfully most of our personal belongings are in tact.  He said we lost a few things, but they are all replaceable and again, the most important thing is that he is safe.  I’ll admit that I am worried about him because of the PTSD.  He had just gotten back to semi normal and now this earthquake, which by the way I think is the thing he feared most in the world.  He hated the fact that we lived on the 14th floor in Baku.  He wouldn’t even go out on to the balcony.  Thankfully, this earthquake happened in Santiago and not in Baku, in Baku I shudder to think about what the outcome might have been.  Chile has very strict building codes because of their history of earthquakes.  I just heard on the news that there was a 15 story building south of Santiago that collapsed.  The government plans to investigate and if building code was not followed they plan to prosecute to the full extent of the law.  Not long before we arrived in Baku a building collapsed.   There are codes in Baku too I’m sure, but in that type of political environment it’s hard to tell what is actually enforced.

Scott says that there is a lot of clean up to be done around the Embassy.  He said that the earthquake was so strong that it moved a 400 pound safe to the center of the room in his office.  He also mentioned that the media was calling and asking really stupid questions, what are those alarms, was there any damage, etc.  My suggestion to the media who are calling would be to let the people at the embassy do their jobs, and stop wasting their precious time with such nonsense. 

If you are looking for information about an American living in Chile you can utilize this link for contact phone numbers.

As for now the Tsunami warnings for Hawaii have been lifted.  There are still aftershocks in Chile, and there likely will be for some time to come.  I heard earlier that aftershocks can take place for months and possibly a year to come.

November 13, 2009

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 4:45 pm by Jenn

I picked up my car today from the vehicle processing center in Baltimore. What a great feeling….my own wheels again. No more borrowing Mom and Dad’s car…I’m sure they are just as happy about that as I am. I start work full time on the 23rd so the timing couldn’t have been better.

I went to North Carolina earlier this week to take care of getting the tags and registration updated and when I returned last night there was an email waiting for me saying that my card was ready to be picked up. Talk about lucky. Things seem to be falling right in to place for me with this transition back to life in the US. I’m really thankful. I needed a break!

My trip to North Carolina was too short as usual. I never manage to see all of the people I need to see even though most of them are in the same neighborhood that I stay in. The weather this trip was HORRIBLE! Thanks Ida. The good thing about this trip was that another knitting addict was born. Welcome to the club Emilie! LOL. You should have let me teach you how to make those pillows! : ) Now you have to pay for the pillows and YARN! : )

October 15, 2009

WTF?

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 3:36 pm by Jenn

Well, here it is, October 14, 2009.  Where has the time gone?  I feel horrible that I haven’t been blogging lately.  There have actually been quite a few bloggable moments lately, but it’s hard to blog when you share a computer and work, and go to school and are watching all these stupid reality shows.  I need my other life back.  You know, the one I complained about all the time, but managed to fit in my therapy blogging on a regular basis.

There is a lot going on in my life right now.  I’m supposed to be leaving for Chile on October 27….that means packing, getting the dog export certificate and my visa in order.  That also means the last day of work which means, meetings and charting and making sure that all of the loose ends are tied up so the RD I’m covering for doesn’t think I’m a quack!

There’s also the fact that I have a project due for my Cardiovascular Nutrition class.  Yeah.  It’s due November 3rd.  I’ve started it.  I want to have it finished before I move.  That’s looking doubtful.

There are friends to see, food to eat and Ren Fest to visit one more time.

Scott’s in town for a conference which has thrown an incredible kink in to a lot of my previously made plans.  I mean, I should spend time with my husband given the fact that I haven’t seen him since June right?

There’s also a small amount of stress related to the fact that my husband is telling me that I should stay in the states rather than move to Chile.   He says it’s terribly expensive and that it will cost us money that we don’t have for me to join him there.  That’s all fine well and good and I wouldn’t mind staying in the States if I knew where we were going to be stationed next so that I knew where to potentially look for a job/house.

There is also the small fact that if I am to continue living in the US for now, that I’m sleeping on a futon in my parents very crowded, very disorganized house and it is driving me crazy.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful that I have been able to impose on them for all this time, but if I have to stay I’m going to need to buy a bed cause that futon just isn’t cutting it.  So, all that being said….what’s up with you?

Did I mention that I mailed my yarn stash to myself…in Chile….last week.  Uh oh!  LOL.

AND, I’ve decided not to get the Swine Flu vaccine.  I wash my hands enough and I think that I’m old enough to have had possible exposure to it as a child.  I think I’m just going to wait this one out.  I did however get the regular flu vaccine….courtesy of DaVita.

Stay tuned.

August 15, 2009

Sprussian

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 4:28 pm by Jenn

This was my third week back at work and I’ve been having a great time.  I really love working for DaVita and it feels good to be back with a patient population and making a difference.

I try to provide not only patient education, but a little bit of laughter for the teammates and patients and this week proved to be a LOT of both.  I have 60 total patients at this clinic and 10 of them are Spanish speaking.  A few of them speak and understand English well enough that I am comfortable speaking to them in English but a majority of them really need to be spoken to in Spanish to ensure that the message is getting across to them – great practice for me before heading to Chile.

I had one patient who’s labs were really great and I just needed to give him his report, find out what meds he was taking and tell him to keep up the good work.  Here is how the conversation started -

Me:  Извините пожалуйста.  Mi nombre es Jennifer, soy nutriciónista.  Как дела?

Patient:  ¿De dónde es?

Me:  Los Estados Unidos, pero en octubre voy a vivir en Chile.

Patient:  Oh!

Now, that seems like a pretty good start to the conversation right?  Well, what I said to him was:

Me: Excuse me please (in Russian).  My name is Jennifer, I am a dietitian (In Spanish).  How are you (in Russian)?

What he asked me – Where are you from?

What I said – The United States, but in October I will live in Chile.

What he said – Oh.

After his comment I realized what I had done and then I started laughing, which made him think I was even crazier.  My Spanish isn’t good enough to tell him that I had been living in post soviet Europe for the past two years, so I just left it alone.  I went on to tell him in my best Spanish, that his labs were very good and to keep up the good work.  I got his meds and got the heck out of there….Chile, here I come?  Oh lord.

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