So, I have taken the plunge. After receiving great advice from friends and family around the world and thinking long and hard about my decision, I have said yes to a few months of freelance consulting with EY Chile.
On Monday I met with the Partner in charge of the Climate Change & Sustainability Services (CC&SS from now on) team. Silly me thought that the conversation would possibly be in english as to be a partner here in Chile you have to have done a secondment overseas which means you can speak english. But it was all in Spanish and I think it went terribly. I forgot even the most basic language which I know well and I certainly didn´t have the technical language I needed to tell him about clients and projects I worked on in SA. Yikes!!! Talk about a baptism of fire!!! But he seemed to like me and already they are talking about this potentially being a longer term thing then I think I am ready for just yet. I certainly don´t want to lose focus on my travel plans and my desire to explore other things in South America.
So today it suddenly dawned on me that my working wardrobe here is rather poor and I can´t wear the one pair of black pants I own for the next two months solid and EY here seems a little more formal than it was back in SA…so I attempted to go shopping for clothes and also some working shoes. Now I have to bear in mind when it comes to shoes here that I have to do alot more walking than at home since I will take the metro and walk about 10 minutes from there to the office. So I need sensible shoes (and yes Jen, I was looking for genuine leather too ;-). But it was a frustrating afternoon and I came away with no shopping bags – it seems that I am a giant in Chile and no shoes that I liked came in my size. Now, in most other countries size 7 is a normal size, but here the biggest size for many women´s shoes seems to be the equivalent of a size 6 and I think often these are on the small end of what a 6 would be else where.
So I will have to try another day. I am now off to do some studying of more technical spanish to try and show that I am not totally inept at this language when I next see them all…