Friday, August 21, 2015

Heading home... at long last :-)

The month-long journey is almost over. One more day at the SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) conference in LA and then I fly to Portland tonight (Friday). It's been a great trip, but looking forward to being home again!

Flying over my beloved Rocky Mountains on the way out of Denver...

And into smoggy Salt Lake City.

Super-crammed waiting area where several planes were loading at once. It got even more jammed after I took this picture.

Carol and I presented our workshop, Q&A The Big Bold Way, on Thursday morning, and had a lot of fun with it. Feedback has been positive too :-) Then in the afternoon, Carol was one of 16 MAX talk speakers. She was part of the "Inspire" track and did a great job. Here she's chatting with an attendee afterwards in the "Engagement Lounge."

The view from my room at the Marriott.

Taylor Swift performed at the Staples Center last night and there are 13 (count 'em - THIRTEEN) Taylor Swift trucks lined up to load up the gear.

I may do one more post when I get home with some photos I've received from others. No promises. I'm thinking there might be a few things to catch up on ;-) Thanks for following along!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Family Reunion in Colorado

I'm now at the YMCA of the Rockies, near Estes Park, Colorado which is on the doorstep of Rocky Mountain National Park. SO great to be in the Colorado mountains...

After our arrival on Sunday and a relaxed evening, we packed a lot in today. Started with the annual softball game. Brother Dave has just made a hit in the photo below. I actually got a couple of decent hits (had a young runner running the bases for me!), was not very good as a fielder (we had about 3 mitts between all of us), and had a great time. Mix of kids and adults - some good players who tried hard but didn't get all wigged out by errors or runs scored by the other team.

 Softball game over; time for mini-golf. Dave was the champ. We all got holes in one!

After lunch, 3 of us went on a zipline. Nothing in the online registration told us we'd have to climb a telephone pole to get to the launching platform. Jumping off for the zipline was easy after that! Here cousin Randy climbs on up.

The view from our lodge. They have a bunch of "reunion lodges" here (besides a whole lot of other rooms and activities). The reunion lodges have a kitchen, big dining room and big meeting room, besides a lot of bedrooms. Perfect for the 60 or so of us gathered for the reunion.

They have a lovely little museum here. Dave's checking out the piano, of course!

A.A. Hyde, founder of the Mentholatum Company, was a huge supporter/donor for the property.

A mountain bunny...

We're at the Petrie Family Reunion, and here's the original family. The mother in the photo is my great aunt - my dad's mother's sister. Because my dad was an only child, all these kids were his first cousins, and they did a lot together. The little girl in the center is Barbara, who is the last left in that generation and is now 90 years old. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it to this year's "every 5th year" reunion...

The Beck clan, who are the ones we've had longest acquaintance with. Our lodge in the background... 

Posing for our "official" photo.

View from the lodge deck.

Dave singing for the talent show...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Back in the States

A few photos from my final day in Kenya.

Maggie's and my charging station for all things electronic :-)

Maggie working on the visual art project with students.

Kevin and Nate.

 Reading of the final third of the Joseph story.

Sammy, who's an alum and helped me in the drama group.

Alum KC with Maggie and Ann.

Final performance. Eric is recording it on his iPad - sort of a surprise that he has it since money is super tight. On the other hand, old ones are pretty cheap here.

The teachers are enjoying the students' performances.

Irene, the director of the school.

Maggie with the finished art work.

I was driven directly from the school to the airport to avoid the bad Nairobi traffic. Plenty of time which gave me a chance to have a meal at the Java House, or as Janet calls it - Starbucks on steroids. Lots of coffee and American foods.

Flying over Greenland...

Working on a plane in Amsterdam...

I'm not yet back in Portland. For the past few days I've been in Colorado with my long-time friend, Judy Fleming for a little R&R. Every morning we've done a 3 mile walk in her neighborhood.

And of course had some pool time...

Yesterday we took a drive back to the old neighborhood where we grew up. More and more "scrapers" - houses that are bought and razed so that a new gigantic house can be built. We walked a bit in Washington Park, and I visited the bench where we have a memorial plaque for my mom.

Now I'm off to Estes Park for a family reunion of the Petrie clan :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Final Kenya Days

About 24 hours from now I'll be at the Nairobi airport, getting ready to leave. Hard to believe. I'll be heading to Colorado for a few days R&R with a long-time friend, then to Estes Park for a Petrie Family Reunion - an every 5 year affair of my dad's cousins' side of the family - and finally I'll fly to LA to present a workshop at a national conference of marketers for the AEC industry (Architecture, Engineering & Construction).

This was our second day at New Dawn high school, where we spent a good part of the day working with our various groups.

A view of the Huruma slum from the top floor of New Dawn.

The street on which New Dawn is located.

The side of a house.

The Vanderveen boys joined our Healing Arts Team today, and I think the girls were happy to see them.

Our daily agenda is that we start with all of us together in one room (there are 40 students), sing a song together (Becci is teaching them "Joyful, Joyful"), we do a theatrical reading of a segment of the Joseph story (our theme story of the year), Kay leads a devotion and we have two alums of New Dawn give testimonies.

Our two alums...

While we're creating art with the students, Hans is teaching the teachers about the Joseph story. I'm sure they're getting a lot more in-depth than we are :-) Here he's talking with Pastor Sammy.

KC, on the left, is an alum that Maggie has bonded with over the years. We were so glad to see her and to hear of the volunteer social work she's doing with orphanages. We're hoping that will lead to full-time work for her...

Tomorrow the students will put on a production for their teachers, and we'll hand out certificates to all of them. Another bittersweet day. I'll be leaving directly from the school for the airport.