The most common response I give when people ask me the specifics of what I’ll be doing in Chile is, “Ummm, I’m not really sure about that.” Sometimes, I try to piece together the things I do know into a short paragraph:“I’ll be living in staff housing, and I’ll be able to put my valuables in furniture with a key.” (That’s the English translation of “mueble con llave,” right? I’m thinking a trunk.)
Or, “I’ll be leading visitors on trips in the park… How long? Ummm. One day. Or maybe three, or four. I’m not really sure.”
“A work Visa? I shouldn't have problems getting one… The Chilean consulate says I need an FBI background check, an HIV test and to be pre-approved, but my employers tell me I don’t need any official documents, and I get it once I’m in Chile. I'm going with the latter.”
So, that’s how it goes, me describing my future. Basically, yo no sé.
I got as many answers as I could when I talked with my future employer over the phone that one time (in Spanish, which perhaps explains some of the black holes). In subsequent e-mails, I asked many questions, usually organized in bullet points, but I usually had to satisfy myself with an answer like, “It’ll all work out. No te preocupes.”
I’m not used to operating on so little information and such blind faith, but I hate to let a few unanswered questions hold me back from the chance to live and work in Chile.
As I sit at gate E11 in the Miami airport, behind newlyweds returning from their honeymoon, I wonder if I’m putting too much trust in people I only vaguely know. Once my plane lands in Punta Arenas 29 hours from now, I’ll begin to find out.