My name is Mike (Michael) Walsh, and I am a real, live human being! Going into a bit more detail, I am a husband, a father, a son and a brother. I am somewhat tall, measuring 1.82m - tall by some culture's standards, and normal by others.
I try to separate what I am from what I do. They are not the same.
I try not to separate what I like from what I do. They should be the same.
The Early Years
I was born in a hospital in Hinsdale, Illinois. (That's in the north-central part of the United States). I was a happy child; I rode my bike everywhere, I went to school, and then I went to the University. Eastern Illinois University, to be precise. During my many, many years there, I learned many things from books, many other things from life, and managed to walk away with a few papers that said I was "educated".
Favorite toy: Legos. Without a doubt. I loved putting them together and taking them apart. As a ritual, I would first put together whatever particular Lego set using the step-by-step instructions provided. I would then look at the box the blocks came in; there were always about 3-4 more variations of things you could build with the same blocks. After that, I would create whatever crazy thing I could think of. They were a pain to put away. I often left my bedroom a disaster, thanks to Legos (sorry, mom!).
Legos were a very important part of the process. Thanks, Legos!
The "Higher Education" Bit
During my time at the University, I also had the opportunity to spend 3 months in the south-central part of Chile, in a city called San Pedro de la Paz (Which is next to Concepción, an even larger city).
This would prove to be a very important detail in this story called life.
While I was in the University, I became fascinated with the World Wide Web. In the really early years - we're talking 1997 - I remember going to the basement of the dormitory where I lived and searching for "How to create a website" on the internet. Since I was a poor university student without money or credit cards, the only hosting I could access was ...*gasp*... GeoCities (I hang my head in shame).
Little by little, as the years passed by, I became more adept at designing, and coding. While everyone else was going out to the bars, I was taking my first steps in learning PHP...
I also discovered that, once I learn how to do something, I thoroughly enjoy explaining how it works to other people. This is where the "pedagogical love" part of my education comes in, I suppose (K-12 Illinois Teacher Certificate: Spanish).
Anyways, those "papers" that the University gave me said that I knew a thing or two about History and Latin America (B.A. History, Minor in Latin American Studies), as well as languages. Especially Spanish (B.A. Foreign Languages - Spanish).
After a bit of searching for what to do with my life, I took the drastic decision to move to Chile.
The Great Move
The actual process of moving to Chile was looooong. It involved sleeping (somewhat) in the Atlanta airport, discovering there was a small problem with my air ticket which almost left me stranded, and - of course - the 14-hour flight with all my possesions.
But once I arrived in Chile, things got better quickly. I started working in an institue in the city of Chillán, which connected me to many wonderful people (including my wife) but was otherwise unremarkable.
I have since lived in and traveled to many cities in Chile. When I get the chance, I will write about it. For now, I live in south-central Chile, near Villarrica, and I pass the time with family, designing and teaching stuff to people.