Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Remodelación San José

Today I went back in memory lane few decades recalling the wonderful neighborhood where I spend my 26 first years of life back in Chile. Over there people tend to stick to the same state, city, and in fact many times people live in the same house for most of their lives. My parents have lived in the same house where I grew up for about 44 years. A huge collection of thoughts, memories, happy moments and a few (very few luckily!) sad ones are attached to that house with great strength.

Every year when I go back to Chile during Christmas we sit around the same table, recall many of the same moments, take the same family picture, tell the same jokes and laugh as it they had never heard them before, and resurrect the same family dynamic that we grew up with. During these regular visits I truly enjoy having my wife and kids be part of this world, a bit crazier, much more unstructured, but also very fun. Living without an extended family around has its advantages but also there is a piece that gets lost. Fortunately the current technology helps a lot to fill the gap with Internet, Skype, WebCams, YouTube, and blogs. Still the personal touch cannot be replaced and therefore we do the most we can every time we embark in this regular journey.

Why am I talking about all this? Well, today by a chance I found in Facebook a bunch of friends I have not seen for around 20 years and they created a group called "Remodelación San José" (the name of the "condominium” where I grew up) where they hang around.

I am not a big Facebook user, but recently I also discovered a group of my high School classmates. Most of us spent 12 years together all the way from 1st grade to the end of High School. This is another very dear extended family. By contrast in the US my 7 year old daughter has been already in two Schools and every year they shuffle the class on purpose. At the beginning I found it really strange and concerning. However, I now see that the kids adapt incredibly well and it gives them probably a better and more similar environment to the way how people relate in the US. On the other hand, without knowing they are missing the sort of camaraderie and friendship that only 12 years sitting, talking, and playing together with the same group of people (and all of their respective families) provides. I think that both are the best strategies for each place and culture.

Time will tell if I stay in touch with these old friends using Facebook. It's fun to get in touch with people that one have not seen for so many years. On the other hand, if I have not seen them in so many years, then really there is no major drama of living without being in touch with them anyways, as sadly as it sounds.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amanda playing piano

I am amazed by how quickly my 7 year old daughter can learn new pieces in piano. They do learn in bursts, the progress in the last 6 months has been truly remarkable, and the best thing is that she (and us) are really enjoying every bit of it. Estella, my wife has been awesome in "pushing" Amanda in this journey and learning herself to play the piano along the way.

We recorded a few song this weekend and put them in YouTube:

Frere Jacques, Gustav Mahler
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=6-teRiEK50g

Pizzicato Polka, Johann and Josef Strauss
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=OppVwll9BR0

Roses from the South, Johann Strauss
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqpMaVYLOs

The Surprise Symphony, Franz Joseph Hayden
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=bGp5czfskHU

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Post

In this historical day, and not necessarily related to the 680 point drop in Wall Street :-), I create my first blog page. Even though it's not as powerful as my personal Website (www.mihovilovic.com) that I do by hand, it's very convenient to quickly write something.