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On December 29 Isabel attended the ceremony of the National Prizes (Premios Nacionales) in Santiago, Chile. the Chilean government grants the Premio to distinguished persons who have excelled in their professions and in service of the country. This year the awardees were two scientists, a historian, a musician and Isabel. (Interesting side note: Only three other women have ever won the Premio award. Isabel joins Gabriela Mistral, Marta Brunet and Marcela Paz.)
Upon receiving her award, Isabel got all emotional, although it wasn’t because it was a surprise—she’s known about the prize since September (see posting Willie is NAKED). The ceremony took place in a beautiful old building that originally was a convent. A small orchestra played songs from l810, the year Chile declared independence from Spain, while President Piñera and the Minister of Education handed diplomas and rather large checks to the five awardees. Isabel gave her check to her parents but has yet to let go of the diploma. She carries it around like an umbrella and keeps showing it to everybody. Because I love her I don’t have the heart to tell her it is weird to keep showing this thing around now that she’s back, given that so many of us cannot read Spanish. After the ceremony everyone was treated to hot dogs and chips. Wait, that was Jerry Brown’s party… never mind.
|Isabel standing between Joaquin Lavin, the Minister of Education, left, and President Sebastian Piñera. Also pictured, far left to right, are the other Premio Nacional award winners.|