Friday, March 30, 2012

up and running


So, after a month of being here (again), I have FINALLY gotten the computer up and running! The adapters that I had been using last year didn't fit in the outlets at the new apartment, and it took some trial and error to find a workaround. One of the fun/irritating things about Paraguay is that there really is no fast way to do anything. If I want to find, for example, an electronic item, I can ask somebody where to find it . . . but in the end, looking for anything usually goes something like this:
1) Wander around downtown looking for stores that might have what I want
2) Go into a store, look around, don't see what I want
3) Ask employee if they have it
4) Try to describe it, draw pictures, mime, et cetera, when the employee doesn't understand what I'm looking for either because I don't know the right word in Spanish or because whatever it is doesn't exist here
5) Find out they don't have it, ask they have any suggestions on where to look
6) Wait a minute while employees discuss amongst themselves
7) Listen to their suggestions of where to look, understand about half of what they're saying, and head off in the general direction that was indicated until I happen upon someplace else that looks promising.
8) Repeat

It's kind of a process, but I can't say I really mind . . . usually. It's all part of learning not to be in so much of a hurry, I guess! :)

So, since we've been here -
Jake took a two-week Spanish class (3 hrs a day!) and is off to a good start. Since then he's been studying a lot at home and working a couple of times a week with a friend of mine. It's slow going, but he's really improved a lot in the short time we've been here and is able to get around a bit by himself.

We had one concert at the orchestra, so far - an operetta by Franz Lehar called The Merry Widow. It's not great music really, but it's light and fun with some pretty songs. Since our next concert program consists entirely of works for string orchestra, I've had a TOOOOOON of time to practice - which is fantastic, since I have big plans for this year! On the agenda so far are:
- July - CPE Bach Concerto in D Minor with the Orquesta de Camera Municipal de Asuncion
- July - Recital of American Music in Rosario, Argentina, with the lovely Silvia Galeano
- August - Repeat of American Music recital in Asuncion. The program is going to be Copland Duo, Muczynski Sonata, and Liebermann Sonata. Flutists, am I crazy??
- I'm also hoping to talk Jordana into a flute/bassoon recital in October-ish . . . hehehe. :)
- Oh, yeah, and there will be orchestra concerts, too.

Needless to say, I'm practicing my fingers off, and it's fantastic. :) I'm really excited about these concerts. The concert with OCMA will be my first solo concerto and is such a gorgeous piece (go listen to the second movement RIGHT NOW if you haven't heard it!! Israel's Eyal Ein-Habar has a fantastic performance on YouTube). The American concert is especially important to me, because while these three pieces are super-standard for flutists in the States, they'll be brand-new down here. I really wanted to pick pieces that are important parts of our repertoire, because I think it's a cool opportunity to share that with my friends and colleagues here.

So there you have it - things are rolling along down here, and now that the whole computer/power outlet situation is resolved, I promise to fill you in much more frequently.