The door handle broke after work; I’m stuck in the bathroom.

The door handle broke after work; I’m stuck in the bathroom.

I can’t believe I’m trapped in the bathroom.

Hashtag #myinternationalifeinChile

I am so convinced that these special moments happen to me just so that I can make a funny and interesting blog post. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!! So, this is how it all began tonight.

Typically, either my office mate Olga or myself are the last two people to leave the office for the day. Since the recent change to daylight savings time in Chile (we recently entered fall season), it has begun to get dark outside even before we all depart from the office work day. Today, Olga and I left around the same time and I decided to stop by the bathroom in order to make my walk home more enjoyable (I drank a lot of juice today).

It had been raining like Noah’s Ark this past week and the door is made of all natural wood. It was particularly damp today as my glasses started to fog over as I worked at my desk. In response, I opened a window to help with air circulation upstairs. Returning to my bathroom account, as I attempted to exit el baño downstairs, the unlock mechanism would not engage to open the bathroom door. Now there are two locks on the door, one is a simple turn-key device and other is an automatic lock. I looked at the area more closely to ensure that I had not mistakenly turned the manual lock the wrong way. To my shock and later horror, I realized that I had not made a mistake and that the manual lock was open; and that I had in fact been trapped in the bathroom.

Everyone was gone for the day and the campus was approaching empty with regards to inhabitants. I kept trying to turn the lock manually in hopes that it would pop open but, the damp weather had softened the wood. Instead of popping open, the lock hand and screw just popped off into my panicked hand.

At first I just stood there in disbelief waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of nowhere and tell me I had just been “Punked” (a popular US TV program). Then, I began to frantically search for any MacGyver-like instrument that could be used to free me from my “indelicate” prison. I located a steak knife that was under the bathroom sink cabinet where we keep our coffee supplies and tried to pry the lock open. But, it wasn’t working. I then started to pound on the door, “¡Hola! ¡Hola! ¿Alguien está allí? ¡La puerta se rompió y estoy atrapado dentro!

I next, just took a step back and calmed myself. I started rationalizing, well it won’t be so bad if I have to spend the night in the bathroom in our office. At least I have coffee. Then I thought, well I usually get home after everyone else in the house and they will likely not even notice that I’m not home. I felt the panic starting to mount… what if my daughter sends me a Facebook share or message, and I never respond back during the whole night? I know after a few hours she’s call my cell phone and that’s inside of my purse which is now resting on the couch on the other side of the door. Then, she’s going to get upset and call one of my sisters and before we all know it, it will be an international incident being played out on CNN (of course I’m exaggerating for humor’s sake). So, I said to myself, I’ve got to get out of this bathroom. I took a deep breath, said a prayer (which I should have done in the first place anyways) and the knife popped the door right open. I don’t know how, but I was free.

As I approached the exit there was a man standing there with his cell phone in hand who had heard my cry for help. He was in the process of calling the campus guards to come help me. I told him what happened and that I was fine. We both had a big chuckle as I explained to him what had happened. I thanked him for his willingness to rescue me and headed home. I first wrote our office manager a note on Facebook about the incident when I arrived home. But before that, I left a note on the door in Spanish telling everyone not to close the bathroom door because they will be trapped inside. lol I finally rushed home to write this blog post. I guess the moral of this story is don’t panic, because I am just lovin’ my #internationallifeinchile. 🙂

Parte Dos de ¨Mi computador se murío!¨

Parte Dos de ¨Mi computador se murío!¨

My new transpacific tech team. I officially extended membership to this pretigious group today for Fernando and Christían at Universidad Católica del Maule.  I am a lot calmer now knowing I have the documents I need the most.  I told them they were going to be famous after I post our pictures to our blog.  Again, special shout-out to my Compañera de oficina Veronica who put me in contact with these guys. 🙂

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Fernando works on my dead computer to pull off files that I need now to continue my activities now

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Christían also lends a hand to transfer my information to my flashdrive. I had hoped to transfer it all but he told me I had over 70GB of data and only 20GB of external saving capacity. So I cherry-picked out what I needed the most for the time being.

 

Today the Interviewer Became the Interviewee

Today the Interviewer became the Interviewee

I was the guest lecturer for Professor Patrick Matzler’s class at the Universidad Católica del Maule. His students from the English Language and Intercultural Communication class today asked great question about international scholarship. Fue una experiencia buenisíma!!  I also paid tribute to Micheal Jackson with my white footies and black shoes in this picture. Ha ha! 🙂

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Profesor Patrick Matzler is originally from Sweden and has been an academic in Chile for several years now.  His wife is Chilean  which brought him to the country.  He has also been of great assistance to me with my focus group interviews and dissertation research data collections so I was more than happy to meet with his students.

CI promised the students that this blog post would be in both English and Spanish.  Therefore, I’ll have to write it out first and translate to Spanish for posting.  They asked great questions as we shared in rich discussions.

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Verción Español

Hoy día yo tenía un tiempo bueno con los estudiantes de la clase Idiomas Inglés y Comunicación Intercultural.  La asignación de los estudiantes fue  entrevistar a mí e también escuchar a qué yo tenía compartir sobre ser una erudita visitando de un otro país. 

Preguntas incluían deportes, (el nombre de LeBron James nos hablábamos muchas veces), educación con fines de lucro privado en Chile, UGA, mi vida en Ohio y Georgia, colegio atlética y comó jugadores son pagaban, educación International y carreras, CTIM, comida, adaptación cultural, el elección presidencial, y mucho más.  Todo el mundo parecía muy atento a mi hablando e yo espero que ellos puedan usar la información yo daba completar sus investigación proyecto de clase.

De nuevo, una gracias especial a Profesor Matzler por me permitía visitar con suyo estudiantes.

 English Version:

Today I had a great time speaking with students from the English Language and Intercultural Communications class.  Their assignment was to interview me and listen to what I had to share about being a study abroad visiting scholar.

Questions ranged from sports (the name of LeBron James came up several times), private for-profit education in Chile, UGA,  my life in Ohio and Georgia, college athletes and  how players are paid, International Education and careers, STEM, food, cultural adjustment,  to the recent Presidential elections and much more. Everyone seemed very attentive and interested in what I had to say and I certain hope that they will be able to use what I shared with them to complete their class research Project.

Again, special thanks to Professor Matzler for allowing me to visit with his students.

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