Monday, July 30, 2012

The Work Begins: June 15 - 21

Like most of my Friday nights this one was spent at the Vic, followed by an after-party at someone's apartment. As usual, there was drinking, dancing, and good conversation. Funnily enough everyone crowded into the kitchen rather than expanding into the living room. However, I spent most of the night trying to protect one of my guy friends from unwanted advances. That was awkward. Saturday night I was supposed to meet Alex and Sebastian at the Vic to then got to the Trough to hear Vanessa sing, but they had to work so we didn't manage to link up. Instead I had a couple of drinks with the CHC guys and resigned myself to a quiet night at home. Therefore, I was in a bit of a mood on my way home and as I walked past Deano's something happened which almost resulted in me starting a girl-fight. I was just minding my own business when a girl started yelling at a guy walking near me to come back to the pub. She changed her tactic, asking "if he was shagging young girls then, or old girls if that's her." I was the only female in sight to whom she could have been referring and I was not pleased to be called old. Fortunately, the night took a turn for the better after I got home. Via text message, Debs persuaded me to catch a cab to the Trough. The cab took about 30 minutes to come, but I manged to catch Vanessa's second set and had a great time dancing. After the Trough closed, we kept dancing at Paula's, where Sebastian may have called me the first North American he's met who could dance. I think this means I am no longer the whitest girl you will ever meet. The night went so long that I ended up crashing on the couch at Alex/Sebastian/Vanessa's house around 5am. However, this meant I got a delicious breakfast the next day of toast with avocado, scrambled eggs, and ham, accompanied by strawberry milk and tea. We had a lazy afternoon watching The Romantics, which Vanessa called a "rubbish movie," but I enjoyed it. The Russian House Exiles are just incestuous enough that I could imagine really going to a wedding as messed up as the one depicted in the film.

With the new exhibition opened and Liberation Day over with, I expected to walk into Leona's office Monday morning, find that she had scheduled some interviews for me later in the week, then walk over to Customs & Immigration to renew my visitor's permit. Yeah...not so much. At first, it was especially terrifying as Joleen handed me two post-it notes with interviews scheduled for this afternoon. Thank goodness Leona returned to her office a few minutes later to fill me in. She managed to schedule two interviews for me this afternoon with residents of Stanley who live just down the street from the museum. We agreed to focus on Stanley this week, then see if we can get me out into the Camp. With less than two hours notice, I rushed back to my house to grab my recorder and make sure it was ready to go. The batteries were fully charged, but the 1 GB SD card only had enough room left for one interview. I reformatted it and switched it out for my own 4 GB card, allowing much more time to talk. I've borrowed a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder (complete with accessories) from NMSU for the summer and while I have played with it a bit, today was my first time using it in earnest. It behaved very well during both 80 minute interviews, though I may want to increase the mic volume a little bit. I think the interviews themselves went very well. I got some great stories, didn't interrupt, kept my audible responses to a minimum, and got both release forms signed. However, I do need to squirm a bit less. You can hear the couch squeaking in the first recording and I think I kicked the table with the recorder a couple of times. The second interview may include the clink of my tea mug on its coaster and I had to interrupt it near the end to take a bathroom break. In general, I'm satisfied with the results (especially since I had no idea I'd be doing interviews when I woke up this morning) and I can't wait to do more! However, it was a bit hard to keep myself out of the conversation as I had several moments where I wanted to relate my own experiences to those I was recording.

I did two more interviews on Tuesday afternoon, though I had only expected to do one. Afterwards I stopped by the pubs since I knew England was playing a match in the EuroCup that afternoon. I found a bunch of my friends at Deano's watching England beat Ukraine. Hurray! It may have been a Tuesday, but this was still cause for celebration. We decamped to Andy P's house, where the boys cooked us delicious food since most of us had chosen football over dinner. This was the first time I got to meet Andy P as he had been in the US as part of the Falklands delegation visiting the UN in June.

I had noticed a tickle at the back of my throat during my interviews on Tuesday and unfortunately by Wednesday it had turned into a full-blown cold. I spent the next two days in bed coughing up a lung and had to cancel the rest of the week's interviews. Very bad timing. Throughout my time in the Falklands this cold/flu bug ravaged Stanley, hitting pretty much everyone. I was reminded of the stories last December about the Falklands turning away a cruise ship because of norovirus. International health professionals claimed that the outbreak on the ship was not large enough to be a danger, leading to comments that refusing the cruise ship had  been a political action. People, take this from someone who has experienced: any bug that gets into Stanley spreads like wildfire and the hospital simply cannot cope with an epidemic, nor could the Islands afford to have so many people out sick during the tourist season.

1 comment:

  1. Great comments re the interviews! I've told others doing public speaking that the hardest thing to learn is stillness - a useful skill in many situations, but minimizing movement to only those steps and gestures that add rather than detract is a difficult skill to learn and one probably never really masters it because of the emotional connection (such as fight or flight). Look forward to a chance to see/read some of the interviews!