Monday, December 31, 2012

Conference, bis

The second day of the conference most of the Europeans have to leave for the airport by 4, which is a shame because the talks don't end until 5:30. Again the translator is often absent for the talks in Spanish, but we all seem to communicate anyway.
There's a 90 minute break for lunch, and my friends and I figure people will split up for the many small restaurants in the surrounding blocks.
But no, last minute change, all the invited guests are to be taken by taxi for lunch together at a big hotel overlooking the beach.
Peruvian schedule.
The people speaking in the afternoon session begin to worry about their talks when we are still not seated for lunch an hour into the break. The day, after all, is not extensible with half the audience leaving at 4.
(But what does it matter? All the speakers for the session are here at lunch, as well as the majority of the audience. Just project the slides on the wall!)
After the inevitable Pisco Sour and halfway into the ceviche starter, we applaud Jenny, whose talk is now « over ». As the main course is served it's Eva's turn to be lauded for an excellent phantom presentation. Helle should be up next, but the schedule is being rearranged so everybody can talk really really fast once we get back to the meeting. 

The Scandanavians are indeed very efficient, and amazingly the session finishes at the bell. Goodbyes are said all around, and we will all see each other soon in Lund.
For the last session, in front of the now nearly empty auditorium, the translation booth has again packed it in. It's just Xana, JB and me now for the visitors, and Xana translates key words for us as needed. The last talk is Mev's own, and she wraps things up magnificently.

And that's it. Now the Dominguez family can sit back and relax. They've all been going full speed to make this conference a success, and they've done a wonderful job. I've been amazed at their energy, and now I see the flip side as once back at the house all is quiet in the calm after the storm.
Everybody collapses into armchairs to discuss what I might do over the weekend, before heading south to Pisco on Monday. A new archeological site has opened to the north of Lima. It isn't very touristy yet, so organized tours are expensive and facilities there are limited. On the other hand, it won't be  very crowded, you can see it without an organized tour, and it hasn't been spoiled yet by busloads of camera-clicking hordes. Sounds like just the ticket.

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