Monday, June 4, 2012

Internship: first day

Today was an eventful first day of my internship. After a 45 minute walk to find the office (I only got lost once), my first task was to call a list of 15 people and confirm if they were coming to a round table discussion we are hosting later this week. I was pretty terrified since I didn't know them and knew they would probably have a hard time understanding me. Plus it is hard enough to hear on the phone without having to understand a different language. Also, people here talk very fast and I don´t catch all of the words. It went better than expected (ok, two of the people switched to English because they could tell I was foreign).

After that, I worked on continuing to translate the Foundation's newest publication on tax expenditures. My supervisor was impressed that I had already started translating it into English, because he doesn't have a budget to pay someone to do that (thanks to Aaron for the idea). However, I am supposed to have the whole thing read by tomorrow and I am only at the beginning of Chapter 3 (its long and there is a fourth chapter after that). I have a headache either from: translating, the altitude, or not drinking enough water this morning.

Finally came my two hour lunch break! I had my first experience with a Mexican ATM, then I went to find the gym that my supervisor goes to during his lunch break. The people at the gym were extremely nice and helpful with my limited Spanish. They waived the entrance fee and gave me a student rate, so I only have to pay $34 per month.  Then they pointed me in the direction of the supermarket so I could buy my lunch. 

I was trying to avoid eating at any dodgy places, but I couldn´t turn down the 1 dollar cup of fresh mango from a street vendor. He put chile powder, salt, and lime juice on it and it was so delicious.  I got turned around a little bit on my way, but made it with 45 minutes left to eat my lunch.

The streets here are absolutely crazy. Lots of people and cars parked everywhere, plus the cars who drive completely insanely. When someone says go two blocks, I have no idea what they mean. I didn't get lost on the way home but I did get stuck in a huge thunderstorm and had to wait it out for a bit. I was pretty soaked by the time I got back! However, I made it home alive so I consider today a success. 

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