Skip to main content

Visit to Ecuador

Dear Members and Constituents,
In our casual conversations, many of you have asked to hear about my pilgrimage to Ecuador. I must admit I have found this line of questioning particularly hard to address. How do you characterize a month-long trip within the confines of a short hallway conversation? Invariably, my answers have been a combination of a pause (drawing a blank for something clever to say) followed by some comment that falls short of doing the trip justice. Given these circumstances, a top-ten list seems like a suitable mechanism to give you a taste (à la David Letterman)...

From our home box office in Cuenca, Ecuador, here are the top ten highlights of my trip
10. Family. With 31 of my paternal Grandfather's 55 living descendants (not counting their spouses, or my wife's family) residing in my hometown, the list of relatives to visit was extensive to say the least.
9. Friends. Four high-school buddies in particular. You'd think 24 years later they would have matured... not so much.
8. 70º. Getting a good taste of that famous year-round mild weather. Somehow the knowledge Colorado was enjoying a long streak of the nineties made that experience all the more enjoyable
7. Horses. I had the occasion to shoe, groom and ride these admirable animals on my dad's ranch
6. Alcohol. If you Google "highest per-capita alcohol consumption in the world" you find many places claim that dubious distinction. I am, therefore, inclined to dismiss my hometown's claims to this title as aspirational. That said, most social interaction requires the accompanying social drinking. (Refer to #s 10 and 9 to get a feel for the amount of social interaction I engaged in)
5. Elevation Training. Set in a picturesque mountain valley some 8,350 feet above sea level, Cuenca is a good place to build-up your red blood cell count
4. July 27. We invited 80 people which could be categorized using numerals 10 and 9, enjoyed some activities which would fall under numerals 8, 7 and 6 at my dad's ranch (which at 10,350 feet, definitely contributed to #5 above). Enough said.
3. Cemetery and Library. Not your typical tourist attractions. In-fact, neither of these have previously figured on any of my infamous "sabbaticals" --until now, that is. A few months ago I caught the genealogy bug and took advantage of these local resources to conduct some research on dead relatives.
2. Rest and Relaxation. There is something to be said for an extended change in activities. You might even call it Recuperation.
1. Guinea Pig. I did indulge in this traditional delicacy once during the trip (and no, it does not taste like chicken)


For those of you who may be (more than) a little disturbed by this last entry, may I turn your attention to a different kind of food. One we indulge in every Friday and today is no exception. Paul Savill has not let this week's bump-up in the Org Chart detract from his donut execution and delights us today with four dozen assorted donuts -- and the trip to grab one is a short one, so come on down!
Happy Friday,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Remote Donuts

Friends, I knew working from home was going to be weird, so I had mentally prepared for some of the inevitable challenges. I decided to keep as many personal routines as possible intact . I’ve been getting-up at the same time (even though it is tempting to sleep-in due to the shorter “commute”) and have kept-up with personal grooming (showering, dressing for work, having breakfast, etc.). I got a nice desk and dedicated ergonomic space and brew a pot of coffee every morning. As for the isolation, I suppose it can’t be helped. Sure, video meetings are nice, but they can’t take the place of hallway conversations. On whole I’d say my first week working from home has been a guarded success. Still, there were a few unexpected twists. Fresh air. On Wednesday afternoon I realized I had not set foot outside my house since Sunday –and quickly remedied the situation. Invisible chair. The edge of my camera view catches a corner of the room with some “invisible” clutter. As it …

Donuts, here for your safety!

Friends, This week I discovered our Denver North office has a Bitcoin Teller Machine (BTM). What?!? A convenient way to cash-out on all your Bitcoin millions before the hype wears-off. Except, this teller only TAKES your hard-earned dollars and converts them to Bitcoin. It does not DISPENSE hard currency. What’s the use case for that? Never mind, duh! It’s the general scenario that will ensure Bitcoin never goes to zero (despite recent trends). Crime! Say you are a crime boss (or petty criminal) who wishes not to have your transactions traced. An anonymized crypto-currency is the perfect vehicle to contract for that hit job, buy and sell stolen goods or funnel your monies far from prying eyes. But what if your cash business still accepts, well, cash? What do you do with all that clunky paper? Depositing it at your bank so you can buy your crypto online defeats the whole scheme. Enter the BTM. First you rent some office space at Spaces (which, by the way, makes for a great front). The…

Family and Friends

Friends,
I’m trying to maximize the time I spend with friends and family while in Ecuador. My dad had nine siblings, my wife’s dad 15. As you might imagine, my cousins and their families are fairly numerous (despite the fact five of my dad’s brothers didn’t marry or have children). Then there’s my wife’s family and my childhood friends. Needless to say, there is never enough time to see everyone, despite a valiant effort. Of course, I’m also working from “home”. Corny as it may sound, working half a world away, I realize I miss my Windstream “family” and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, there are donuts, here today courtesy of John Huddleston.  So, enjoy some comfort food with regards from my Cuenca family (pictured) to you!