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On (pre)fieldwork to-do lists

The list of things I wanted to get done pre-fieldwork in Chile (coming from the US) felt endless. Getting hearing aids (which I’ve long needed, but seemed extra important where my hearing impairment is twice as noticeable when I’m already struggling with a second language). Studying and passing my doctoral candidacy exam. Making sure all other requirements for candidacy had been fulfilled and on record. Fulfilling grant requirements just in time, including medical clearance, and writing up an orientation presentation on my research and background. Compiling readings and resources on methods and fieldwork (ongoing). Figuring out my Brooklyn apartment and storage situation and moving things. Packing lists. Packing itself. Checking airline luggage size and weight limits. Ordering hiking shoes and good walking sandals, and a few months supply of a couple of my favorite toiletry items. Finding an apartment down here and coordinating with my future roommate. Ordering a new passport and an FBI background check in order to apply for a visa. Applying for the visa, and picking it up in person. Applying for a new travel credit card to avoid foreign transaction fees. Ordering foreign currency to take with when I first arrive. Setting travel alerts on my bank cards. Writing up and sharing an itinerary with flights, dates, addresses, contacts, and phone numbers with close ones. Sorting through books and slowly cutting down to the essentials I could bring with me given luggage weight limits (only ended up bringing two books and a Kindle! Though I did have some other books later sent here). Attempting to stay calm about leaving the life and home I’d built for so long to begin a very new phase of life for the next nine months. Making last visits and saying goodbyes.

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