Yup… I’ll be going to Bad Orb, Germany in seventeen days for a business trip, and while I’m really thankful I’m going, its driving the wife nutty that I’m not bouncing off the walls with excitement. I’m trying to get there… my mother-in-law sent me the above book, and I bought some German beer to get in the mood. It’s just that the trip marks the beginning of me being gone for twenty-two straight days (Germany, then out to Delaware and then to Indiana.)
I’m working on it, and once I get off the plane (I hate flying, btw) I’m sure I’ll be really excited to be there. For now, I’ll drink the German beer and read the German guide… I’m sure my inspiration will come soon.
It’s true (Wikipedia say so), there are penguins in Africa. There’s Madeleine up there hanging out with them. I don’t want to sound ignorant, but I never knew there were penguins in Africa. And I watch the Discovery channel. A lot. But this isn’t about the penguins. It’s about people I love that are in Africa, and the one I truly love wanting to go to Africa.
Carter, Madeleine, Jen and Dave are all in Africa right now. That blows my mind. Mostly because I imagine I might never get to see the things they are seeing. But it mostly makes me happy, because I know what an adventure they are having. Along with the adventure comes a deep love for people and an understanding of what is still not right with this world.
The day before we left Cape Town, we drove to the Cape of Good Hope where we saw wild baboons with babies on their back, a couple of ostrich, cape zebra and a huge whale out in the Atlantic. Earlier in the day the kids swam with wild African penguins at Boulder Beach near Simon’s Town. By the end of the day we were high from the sheer joy of it all. I have pictures, but no time to post.
We keep running into a lovely couple from San Francisco–Dave and Antonia–we were seated on the same section of the plane coming from New York. It feels nice to see a familiar face, and we laugh each time at the coincidence.
It’s so beautiful here in the Winelands, but a tiny bit sad. “I feel bad that only black people are cleaning and helping us,” Madeleine said. “No white people.” I feel the same, trying to unravel in my mind the complicated story of class and race in this country. Black or white, everyone we have met here has welcomed us with kindness and grace. We feel the blessing of warmth and the weight of histories not that different from our own as Americans.
Back here in the states, Jen’s African adventure has re-stoked the wife’s lifelong dream of going to Africa. Amazingly enough, an opportunity has come along for her to go to Sierra Leone as part of a church outreach ministry and work at a child rescue center. She approached me about it without any hope of me actually agreeing to it, but you know, I don’t want to be the guy that kills his wife’s one lifelong dream. I’m really excited for her. It’s mind blowing really, to think she will be a world away. I’m sure the experience will be good for both of us. I hope everything falls in place, and if it does, she’ll be heading for Africa come September.
I’ll be in Atlanta this week kids, doing some shopping, going out to dinners, and maybe catching a pro sporting event or two. No…I’m not on vacation, I’m working. Really.Hard. I swear.
I’m spending this week at our industry’s annual convention, talking to all of our vendors and buying lots of stuff for our business. It really is a lot of hard work, but the upside is that our vendors love to take take us out for dinner and drinks at the end of the day. That’s the good part, the bad part is that I have to be here in the first place. I usually bitch and moan about having to go on this trip, but there is a small little part inside of me that loves the schmoozing that goes on.
It didn’t help that I was totally unprepared for this trip, but it really didn’t help that my little guy Josiah had a bit of hard time when it finally hit him that I would be gone for the whole week. Nothing makes it harder to go on a trip that you really don’t want to go on than your little guy hanging on to you and *really* not wanting you to go. Granted, it was pretty early in the morning when I was getting ready to go, so I’m sure he was pretty tired. But I could see in his little eyes how much he just wanted me to stay there with him. *Sigh*
My boss and I decided to drive down instead of flying, which really works out for me, because not only do I have a slight weirdness about flying, I also get hyper-emotional when I fly. I start thinking of all the bad things that can happen, and eventually the only thought that is running through my head is that I won’t see my family again… Cheery huh?
But on to better things… our week down here started out pretty good. We got tickets to the Hawks-Lakers game. Which was pretty random, because we were talking about maybe trying to go see the game and not five minutes later a scalper walks by with tickets for $25.00 a piece. What a bargain, I said. Watching Kobe Bryant play was maddening, mainly because I can’t stand the guy, but I can’t help but be impressed about his skills. After the game we headed to McCormick & Schmick’s for a pretty awesome dinner.
So eventually we will work pretty hard (even though to the wife it sounds like all I do out here is play), but mainly I want this week to fly by so I can get home back to my family and to the neighborhood that I love.