I've been back in the US for 6 days now, and what a full six days they've been! This time last week I was at 35,000 feet heading north along the Chilean coast. I was blessed with four poignant goodbye parties in a row, ending on Monday Dec 15th. I have some great gifts which will enable me to remember Chile for many many years. I'll post some pictures soon.
After arriving in RDU on Wednesday, I visited with my dad and grandmother, then headed over to the campus of NC State to watch them play East Carolina University in basketball. Then Thursday I did some shopping with mom & prepared to head back to Cary for Charles and Kim's wedding. We drove up on Friday, setup the rehearsal dinner, rehearsed, ate some great bar-b-que (and I was able to support U-Chile futbol team and tell Paw Paw's "do nothing for each other" joke!) The wedding went well on Saturday, even though there wasn't a wedding coordinator (I've been in many weddings and now see their value, even if they are sometimes a pain to work with). Sunday morning we went to First UMC in Cary with Gran, and I left after the service and drove up to MD. I-95 in northern Virginia is a beast, but I survived and crossed the Potomac into the much less crowded roads of the Maryland part of the Capital Beltway.
I posted earlier that I've decided to rent a room for my first months in Annapolis, and that I'd been looking for a place on Craigslist. Well, I met him, David, and toured my future apartment. I'll have my own bedroom & bathroom, and of course we share the common areas. The apt is 1400 sq ft, located about 2 miles from campus, and has a nice living area equipped with cable tv and internet. After visiting with David, I ate dinner with my dept chair and his wife, who invited me over to their townhome for home cooking. Monday was filled with meetings at human resources (I think my payroll will be setup in time for my first paycheck to come in early Jan!) and with several other faculty members. I rode over to the AT&T store after the meetings and got me an iPhone (I know, it's quite a purchase, and I don't have a great justification for it other than I want it.)
I'll try to get some photos posted of my last 2 goodbye parties in Chile and of Charles and Kim's wedding. Meanwhile, please have a very Merry Christmas!!