Sunday, March 24, 2019

And The Mysterious Flow Of Energy

In my last post I ruminated on how life had seemed to grow and expand as Wife and I have hit and past the age of 70. But there is something else going on with this new adventure in Ghana...an incredible increase in energy. I wouldn't be so foolish to say that the arms of the clock of time have turned back but it is undeniable that the level of energy that I have had since I went off to Accra and returned has been amazing. It is just another strange manifestation of the mystery that this whole process.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Does Life Begin After 70?

My financial advisors are fond of saying to prospective clients that concept of retirement is dead. What happens now for those willing to grasp their future with both hands is a redefinition of who you are and what will make you happy.

I guess that would be a good definition of Wife and I. Wife has made a total commitment to her physical well-being through a focused and dedicated exercise program. It has made a remarkable turnaround in her health and physical ability! Slowing down? Hardly seems to be the case.

On my part the whole Ghana economic/job development project has taken on a life of its own. There hardly seems to be a day when some new connection isn't made, some new pathway doesn't unveil itself.

My work here, that which funds so much and keeps me integrated in the day-to-day world, continues uninterrupted with me harvesting the decades of work planting and nurturing referral relationships.

And we have another really great trip coming up to a part of the world I have been looking forward to visiting for a long time. Plus we will get to see two out of the three child units and their families. So things are good.!


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Swedish Invasion

This morning we took two visitors from Sweden to the airport. This was the culmination of our participation in a Rotary Friendship Exchange. These exchanges take place between Rotary Districts. One district asks another if they can host a group. The hosting district then takes responsibility for arranging all the agenda, housing, transportation, and activities for the visiting group.

Since one of our goals in joining Rotary is to create opportunities for us to enhance our ability to connect when we travel, this seemed like a good step in that direction. Or it seemed so when we first agreed to participate in the Fall. Then as we got involved in the organizational aspect of how this would all take place, we began to have second thoughts. Despite the fact that Rotary does tons of these and has over many, many, many years, it seemed to us as if there was a somewhat haphazard nature to the planning. We kind of expected that leadership would just tell us what to do  when what happened was the group (many of whom where new to this) were asked to figure out what we should be doing. It seemed weird to us.

Without going to much more into that, we kept in the project and we picked up our guests, a couple  M (male) and M (female) on Tuesday evening. We almost immediately hit it off with them. There were aspects of life experience that we immediately bonded with. Over the next three days we took them to all the activities the group had agreed upon. Each night we would sit in the living room with after dinner drinks and get into a wide range of conversations.

The female M had a terrible cold and was going down hill on the first day. Wife researched what urgent care could take a foreign visitor quickly and I got her there and then to the pharmacy. We missed one program but got her back on track. The Swedish leader was super appreciative. It didn't seem like such a big deal to us. I don't know what host would not do this for their guest.

On Thursday the group was eating at El Pinto, a noted New Mexican restaurant. I used the occasion to take our couple plus one other and their host (who jumped in with way more local history knowledge than I have) to do a bit of NM history and culinary background. Our guests really seemed to appreciate that.

Yesterday we had our guests to ourselves as all the hosts were to take their visitors to Santa Fe. The weather improved and we had a nice day at the Plaza and Canyon Road before we drove down the Turquoise Trail to Madrid and back home. There was a big celebratory dinner at one of the hosts house (we gather this is very traditional for these things) and stayed up with our guests until Midnight drinking way too much.

In the end we had made some wonderful new friends and have a plan to be visiting Scandinavia hopefully next year just as we hoped.

Sproing!

It seemed like in just a couple of days last week that Spring launched an all out attack on Albuquerque. We went from the brown branches of winter to a flood of early season trees and bushes starting to blossom. Leaves are rapidly coming out on many plants. We had a regression with a few days of really cold weather and even some snow after that. But yesterday and today we are back on track. It is nice that we get Spring so early here. And with a very full load of snow this year hopefully we don't have drought and forest fire issues around here this summer.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Life At Warp Speed Continues

First of all I want to be very, very clear that I am not complaining. It's just that coming at this time of life, when one thought one was on the the slow down curve to deterioration, to have something as stimulating, energizing and meaningful come into being is...well is just weird.

So just to give some context, since I've gotten back to the U.S. from Ghana, much has taken place that has given structure and focus to what we must do to give this opportunity a decent chance. Let's review what that is.
  1. The very small sampling of hands-on consulting is indicating first, that the population of owner/entrepreneurs would be open to doing the work necessary to change and will benefit from it.
  2. That implies a need to test much further and deeper
  3. The implies the need for money
  4. Rotary as good as it is at getting us into this situation and giving us credibility, is not going to be a fast source for those kinds of funds
  5. Enter daughter #2 in her shining armor, on her gallant steed, with her knowledge of the U.S. government international grant funding program. With her advice and direction we are pointed toward creating our own not-for-profit entity and looking for grant funding from the US government
  6. That of course requires a lot of organizational work. Fortunately, I have plenty of legal and accounting contacts to handle this in the U.S.
  7. I am still working with a small group in Ghana to provide the same there
  8. Working with our financial advisors we have come up with a way to do some of the funding ourselves. But this will only go so far. What we need is the equivalent of an angel investor for social programs.
Are you out of breath? I am. And on top of all that there is the actual work that would need to be done, how to do it, and how to make it culturally relevant.

And further, we have our on-going pleasure travel...so excited about our next trip which takes us to a part of the world that has intrigued me for a long time...my regular work which is going very well thank you very much...and on top of all that there is Wife's years long project of rebuilding her physical strength. The woman is so inspirational in her focus and accomplishment.

Honestly, who would think that in our 70's that our lives would become so dynamic?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Between Time

I'm in one of those interregnums.

I have been digesting the Ghana trip, doing all kinds of follow-up, figuring out what the next steps should be, etc., etc., and aiming toward a next trip in June.

I am just putting the finishing touches on the fifth book of my epic - another 400+ pages of writing

We have finished all the planning we need to do for out next personal travel adventure (stay tuned folks for all new countries in a new part of the world!) which will begin in May.

Work, the activity that keeps my mind and heart filled in between all the adventures continues at a nice steady pace.

It is the Between Time.

It is too soon to do much active planning or work on the next Ghana trip.

It is the sad time when I've finished the intimate relationship with my latest book. To get the next one going will take a regrouping of energy and planning before I will be ready to start writing.

The next travel adventure just has to wait until its time arrives.

For a stimulus junkie like me it is a bit of melancholy period. But soon it will be followed by all the adventures that we have created for ourselves and I will be in bliss that at this stage of life we get to live like this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Back Home Recuperating But Looking Forward

The flight home was a schlepp because the first leg out of Accra was late causing me to miss my connection at Washington Dulles. That ended up adding 5 more hours to my journey. But I used the time well and finished up my report on my trip for distribution to both the Ghanaian and U.S. interested parties.

While home, the mind is still fully on the project. The potential paths for implementing it are relatively clear. What is needed now is more entrepreneurial energy on site (meaning me) as we build the necessary overall system and plan. And that takes money...money that I don't have yet.

But I have a feeling of rightness about this. So we will see.