Monday, October 03, 2005

Adios, y buenos noches

Let me say that it is good to be home in Portland, Oregon. It is so nice to again be able to ride my bikes, see live music, drink beer, soak up cold, rainy days and dose myself with the world's best coffee. Oh, and to be surrounded by more friends than anyone as surly as me has any business having. If I died and went to heaven, the only difference between it and Portland would -- hopefully -- be cheaper housing in heaven.

When we came up with the crazy idea to move to Bolivia, I started this blog as a way to keep our friends and family up to date on what we were doing and where we were. Somewhere along the way, it became a general forum for me to rage on about whatever was on my mind.

Most surprisingly, people seemed to enjoy what I was writing. I can't get over how many people read this thing. I get a ton of e-mails from complete strangers telling me how much they enjoy the blog. That's nice. One of the best compliments came from an acquaintance here in Portland who recently told me that even though I've been thousands of miles away this past year, she feels like she knows me so much better now because of the blog. That makes me feel like I was doing something right.

Well, now that we are home in Portland and have finally found an apartment, I just don't think that there is anything left to write about -- at least anything that fits the confines of "Life in Bolivia." So, I will end it here. I may start a new blog about something else. Maybe I will work up enough energy to expand the blog and turn it into a book. Maybe. We'll see.

There are truly too many folks to thank individually for their help and support during this crazy adventure, but I will single out three.

First, my brother Jeff. There is only one person on this earth that we could not have done this without and that is Jeff. Our beloved 3-legged Rottweiler Juno needed a temporary home while we were in Bolivia. Without hesitation, Jeff agreed to take her. He spoils her rotten and she loves it and deserves it. No Jeff, no life in Bolivia. Muchas gracias, mi hermano.

Second, my parents. I could call my folks up and tell them that I was going to build a rocket in my backyard and fly to mars, and their only reaction would be to say "What can we do to support you." They realize that the best a parent can hope for is to have happy kids who are the best individuals they can be. The object isn't to make tiny clones of themselves. I hope to remember this with Mac and Jane. If I can be 1/2 the parent my mom and dad are, Mac and Jane will be lucky kids. Muchas gracias, mom and dad.

Third, Lu, Jheyson and Vlady, our Bolivian family. They took care of us, watched out for us, counseled us, and provided invaluable insight into the "real" Bolivia that we otherwise would not have had. If there exists a better human being than Lourdes, I have never met them. Muchas gracias, mi familia.

Finally, if there is a take-away point from our entire experience, it can probably be summed up in this quote from Cash Peters, who hosts a Travel Channel TV show:

"Every five or ten years, you have a big adventure; otherwise, you are not living."

Think about it. If you keep pushing off your dreams until next year, or until you can only save up enough money, you will never, ever realize them. You will never do anything. And you will die thinking about all the cool things you always wanted to do but never got around to. Please, do it and do it now. And don't forget to tell us all about it. The only regret you will ever have is the decision not to go.

Us? We're already dreaming up our next crazy scheme.