I have been behind posting (again) but I have not been just sitting here doing a whole lot of nothing. Okay, there has been some times of doing a whole lot of nothing.
Summer in Rhode Island has finally arrived and while the heat is okay, the humidity is just not acceptable. 90 degrees, with 70% humidity and no rain sucks. In Bahrain, I got it…it was humid and sticky, but everywhere had air conditioning and since the electric bill at home was not totally on me I was fine running it all the time. Now, being on the tight budget I am on, I turn it on sparingly.
Work continues to trudge along well. In the past few weeks, one of my old bosses is moving from the company to return back to southern California. I am happy he is happy going back to his family as I know he has been looking at this decision for a while. I cannot be more thankful for him taking the chance on bringing me back to the company and opening the door for all these amazing things I have experienced over the past few years. I had been out of loss prevention for the better part of a decade, and he brought be into a position that was newly created and there is nothing like it in the company. He encouraged me to head off to Djibouti and Bahrain. It was fun times working with him and I will always think of the 2 o’clock calls to turn the radio up.
I have been able to get out and take some photos recently as well. No matter what part of the world I am in, the people I work with have always been awesome. One of the other managers I work with invited me to her family’s 4th of July BBQ, a tradition going on some 40 years. There were at least 4 generations of family there, and they treated me like I belonged. Great food, great people, and even some fireworks. I took a bunch of photos and shared them with her family which they enjoyed. The next day, they invited me back for leftovers and also a trip on the boat. One of the brothers took me through the bay and talked about the history of the bay, growing up there, and the landmarks. It may not have been MY family, but it felt like I was part of it. It was a great weekend. Some of the photos are here, but the whole album can be seen here.
A few weeks later, I found out about a local balloon festival they have over here. I decided it was worth the adventure, and headed out on that Saturday. The weather was too windy, so the balloons did not fly, which was kind of lame. In addition to the balloon festival, they had the Rhode Island state BBQ championships. 37 teams competed in four categories: brisket, pork ribs, chicken, and pork shoulder. Taking my cameras out, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some cool people and take some good shots. I got a bunch of great photos from the weekend.
That Saturday, I met a team from Connecticut, BIG ROCK BBQ. They were the only team who actually talked to me, and were willing to discuss the competition. Three guys, a contractor, real estate salesman, and mortgage broker. They invited me back on Sunday to come out and take photos of their process and it was a lot of fun.
Getting there early, I got to spend breakfast with them as they monitored their grills, and as they prepared for turn in. Like many, I have seen the TV shows about the competitions, but being part of it was awesome. Again, people are what makes things the best. They took me in as part of their team and shared their delicious food. The weather was HOT! And I got burned because I forgot to put on sunscreen. Dumb mistake as my head is now peeling bad. The team did not place, but they will try again for the national championship in Tennessee again in late August which I may head out to hang out again. The album is here.
The summer has been pretty fun so far. I have a few things coming up, including going to some hockey tournaments to be on the photography team which may turn into something pretty regular. School continues to slog on which should be over soon enough as well. This whole adventure, I continue to remember to “have fun at camp,” but the negative things still come through. Fighting through all of that has been the most difficult part for me. Of course I want to head home and see my family, but looking around here I am finding new adventures to go on and new things to learn.
New adventures and new friends to meet has been the best part of travelling and going through all of this. While it may not be things that have the most money, it is not always about that. It is about the experiences. If I wanted the money, I would have stayed in California. The loneliness of being on the road goes away when I realize that collecting pebbles from around the world has not monetary value.
Thanks for reading.