Home Alone

This weekend, Angela is on a retreat with many of the high school girls from Alliance and I’m on my own for a couple of days. In recent weeks, it’s been pointed out to me several times that I’ve started to refer to Ecuador as home. I guess that’s true. I do feel like we’re settled enough to feel that this is our new home. Of course, my home has changed every 3-5 years since college, so that’s not saying too much. But, it does mean that we’ve become more comfortable here and despite occasional tough weeks, we’re getting through it and feeling more secure in our life here.

Still, every week we are here, new challenges are presented and we’re forced to figure out the right path forward. This past week was a crazy one for me. Not so much with school, though that continues to be where the vast majority of my time is spent, but in extra non-school activities.

Friday Night Concert
A few weeks ago, I was approached by the music pastor at our church with a unique opportunity. A Christian singer from the U.S. was visiting Ecuador and was going to perform a live concert at the church. Would I be interested in playing bass? Sure! As the concert got closer, I started to realize what I had gotten myself into. After listening to her music, I realized it was almost entirely latin – a style I had ZERO experience with. But I was up for the challenge and started practicing the songs. Then, about a week ago, I found out that the concert was to be recorded and made into a live album! Suddenly there was a lot of pressure surrounding this little event.

Long story short, the concert (on Friday night) went extremely well, even though we had never played together as a band and had only 3 LONG nighttime rehearsals (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) to prepare. The crowd loved the music and we had some crazy dancers up front and on stage for a few of the songs. Afterwards, we had kids and teenagers asking for autographs (a first for me) and wanting to take pictures with my bass (see below!). It turned into a great experience and I’m sure I’ll have more to post if the live CD ever gets finished. I was just sad that Angela wasn’t able to be there.

A few of my fellow band members
Band Members

Warming up before the show
Warming up

Future bass players
Posing with bass

Posing with bass 2

A Little Rest
After 4 late nights in a row and 15+ hours of bass playing in 4 days, I was ready for a break. So, I pretty much took Saturday off. Watched a few episodes of Mythbusters, did some laundry, caught up on email, etc. I did venture out to a local coffee shop that has become a favorite for it’s “American feel” and the best coffee that we’ve found yet. It was nice to have some time to slow down after a busy week…and before a lightning-quick trip to the U.S.!

One of our local hangouts
Coffee Shop

Enjoying my coffee and some light reading
Self-portrait

36 Hours in America
In about 4 hours, I’ll be leaving for the airport and a 6 hour red-eye to Atlanta. When my old company called a few weeks ago to ask if I could help them out on a client interview, I didn’t have to think too hard before saying yes. It’ll be a free trip to the U.S., a few bucks in my pocket, and a couple days off school.

In reality, though, it’s going to be a grueling few days with hardly any rest and very little time to enjoy my native country. I’ll arrive in Atlanta at 6am tomorrow (Monday), catch the light rail straight to our downtown office, work all day on preparing our presentation, get a quick night of sleep, do the interview, and then fly home on Tuesday afternoon. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I am looking forward to breathing air at a much lower altitude (9,350 ft. in Quito vs 1,027 ft. in Atlanta), speaking English freely, and carrying my wallet in my back pocket. If I’m lucky, I’ll also get some Starbucks, at least one good Southern meal, and a few items to bring back to Ecuador!

So, this weekend has been a calm and relaxing couple of days sandwiched between two unique and incredibly busy weeks. I’m praying for safe travel and enough energy to return to school on Wednesday morning.

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doug March 17, 2013 Ecuador