Putting in Some Overtime

22 May

This was a busy week. On Thursday and Friday alone I put in 3o-something hours working first at the office and then heading over to special gala events that the company had put together. On Thursday night the event was at Errazuriz Palace, which is also the National Museum of Decorative Arts. The building is a mansion, built in the beginning of the 20th century in a 16th century Renaissance style. So it was interesting just to be in the place.

Like at the estancia a few weeks ago, my job was to take a few pictures, take notes to do some write ups, and help out in any way possible. Also, to get out of the way unless needed. Standing around in my suit and tie, with the waiters and special seating arrangements, I couldn’t help but feel like I was at a Bar Mitzvah. I think anytime I put on a suit and tie that’s the sensation I will have.

I saw the guest list and read Tony Blair, so as a joke I asked if it was the same ex-Prime Minister of England, and sure enough it was. Without getting into details, this was a kind of research/conference trip for Zurich Financial Services. To me, it seems like they were assessing potential for investment in Argentina and the rest of Latin America, and though I would have loved to have heard Blair’s speech, I wasn’t allowed to stay in the room. I’ve been unable to find any connection to Blair and Zurich on their Web site, but it could just be that he was a guest giving advice.

But having him walk past me a couple of times, I couldn’t help but think that maybe one day, since I will be pursuing a career in Foreign Policy, that this could become something normal, to be at a gala event with heads of state. A few of us were outside in the cold drizzle when suddenly the power went out. Security immediately went into action and the cars were started, one lined up at the door ready to leave when the passenger came in. Everyone stood around anxiously, because after all, there’s still a bit of tension of the Falklands (Malvinas).

The power came back on and the rest of the night went along fine, but I have to admit my first thought was something negative. I wasn’t the only one aware of it, as we all discussed it afterward. Yesterday the events continued, this time with a farewell dinner at El Zanjon in San Telmo. I’ve been there a couple of times but never for a function, so finally after doing so much work with the place I was able to see how it comes together.

As guests came in we spread out, heading around the corner to eat quickly, then coming back and finding more food available for us. A musical performance, followed by a special tango show, and more dancing continued to the end of the night. A speech was also given by an Argentine professor, though it was hard to keep up with such at thick accent in English. It could have been interesting, but with a dull monotone voice, I was fading.

Now I find myself fresh after sleeping deeply, though the weather is not cooperating. I think I’ll head down to the center for a couple of hours and check out the Bicentennial activities, bringing my camera of course. I’ll keep you posted on how the celebrations are going. The sweetest thing of all–it’s a four day weekend!

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