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Goodbye Liza

Friday, November 11, 2011

Six weeks ago, I was pretty much dreading the fact of having a new gringa roomate (remember?); this morning, I dropped my friend off at her bus out of Palena.  Liza, what a treat it has been.  Best of all, we are both from Massachusetts and have promised to see each other in January when we are back.  The thought of mate with this girl in Northampton is already making leaving Palena easier.

Top 11 favorite moments with Liza (in no particular order):

  1. The night she arrived, we fought over doing the dishes — an early sign of our highly compatible living styles (order, cleanliness, list-making, etc.)
  2. When we hitchhiked to Melissa and Tito’s for our First Swim, we walked for an hour and a half (about half way) before hopping into the back of a truck, squeezing in around sacks of flour gas (as seen above).
  3. Last week, Liza came back from the working in the garden and announced, “We have a problem,” before letting loose in the kitchen an aggressive puppy that had followed her home.  An hour and several helpful neighboors later, we got the dog back to its owner.
  4. What a luxury to get out of the shower after a stressful Thursday to enjoy a yummy meal prepared by someone else!  We also shared key moments with Shane-Nuss (milk chocolate with almonds), Frac cappuchino (I’ve mentioned these cookies before), variations on mashed potatoes (with squash!  with beets!  with cauliflower!  who knew?), good beer and cheap (but still good!) wine.
  5. Last Tuesday night, Liza came into my room at 1:30 AM and said, “Someone’s knocking on the door.”  Sure enough, I heard the knocking, as well as a young, male voice calling, “Margaret!  Liza!”  We huddled under the covers together laughing and crying in terror and panic until it occurred to me that I could call someone, that in fact I had to call someone, regardless of the time.  I am so, so grateful to have friends in Palena — Alejandra and Ariel — that called the police and walked over to our house in the middle of the night to take care of us.  Who had been knocking?  The new architect from our sister company who had gotten in a car accident (no injuries!), lost his phone, and, clearly shaken up himself, had no where else to go in Palena.  Of course we took him in with open arms, but Liza and I were both too shaken to fall back asleep immediately.  I can’t think of a time I have felt more fear in my life, and I can’t imagine getting through that without a friend by my side.  If only he had thought to identify himself when knocking — we would have welcomed him inside immediately!
  6. Liza and I developed a long list of inside jokes and impressions of key Palena characters, such as the notoriously dangerous and sleezy school driver, a few of the hot shot guides, the owner of the dog that followed Liza home that day, and others.  I am so glad I will be able to go through these jokes with someone who shares them back in the US!
  7. Liza helped me with my high school elective and my English Olympics team.  This means we shared my favorite recreational activity: talking about students.  Our last day the kids presented her with a thank you card full of sweet little notes.
  8. Liza’s father is from Spain, and everyone here remarked on her funny accident — kids, adults, everyone.  Though our language background is quite different, we share a dedication to and joy of Spanish — and a love of impersonating Chilenismos!
  9.  It was so delicious to be able to trade stories/reflections about dating/relationships/sex with someone from a similar context.  I’ve missed having those sorts of girl talks in person.
  10. During our six weeks together, the water heater didn’t work for one week (options were boiling or ice, and boiling only lasted 2 minutes), the power went off in Palena once, the electricity went off in our house twice (fuse problems), neither of us had internet in the house for a week, my internet didn’t work anywhere for two weeks (resolved today!), we both got fleas (I’ve had them since August), and we ran out of mate twice.  All of the above were easier, and more fun, to weather with a friend — especially a friend who generously shared her laptop!
  11. Liza and I celebrated with spontaneous weeknight dance parties in our (shared) genres: reggaeton, gringa trash, and lesbian guitar music.  For example: “Vaina Loca”, “Vamos a la playa”, “Esta noche haremos el amor bailando”, Kesha, Taio Cruz, Chris Pureka’s “Wagon Wheel”.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane Woodman permalink
    Saturday, November 12, 2011 6:20 am

    You both look so beautiful!! Cheers to your shared spirit of adventure, xo

  2. David Russell permalink
    Saturday, November 12, 2011 5:17 pm

    I’m so glad this worked out so well!

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