Thursday, November 02, 2006
Greetings from the Straits of Magellan
Punta Arenas, Chile
Flew down on LAN airlines from Santiago yesterday morning. Argued with the airline beforehand about the excess baggage charge, in addition to the one I paid in NYC. We compromised. Then I sat down on the plane, and a young woman twice my weight sat down beside me. Go figure.
I arrived yesterday afternoon and met up with those members of the team who have arrived already. Great bunch of people from all over. We had lunch at a local Croatian restaurant - fully 30% of the city of Punta Arenas is of Croation origin, then Italian for dinner. Never ordered lasagna in Spanish before.
Staying in a small local hotel. I was chatting with the night desk clerk who turns out to be the owner. Turns out he was an American Field Service exchange student in Troy Michigan in 1982. Then went to law school in Chile and got his masters in maritime law in Britain. Was then hired by the Mengistu government in Ethiopia to draft a maritime code. Worked on it while living in Geneva, where he met his British wife. Mengistu government then fell, Ethiopia lost Eritrea and became landlocked, and Ethiopia continued nonetheless to keep working on the maritime code. When that was done, he moved his wife and children back to Punta Arenas where he practices maritime law by day and manages the family hotel by night. AFSers, everywhere you go!
Love to all. Adam