Today we had a great time hanging out with the Pueblo Children’s Chorale! We started out today hanging out with our host families for a while, but soon found ourselves saying goodbye to everyone (And,in my case, four dogs!) Our hosts took us to the Pueblo Riverwalk, where we split into groups to go on a river tour. The tour was fantastic with great photo opportunities along the way. Afterwards we went shopping in Pueblo, and then had an amazing lunch at an Italian pizzaria. Too soon, however, we had to say goodbye, and the Chorale surprised us by singing an excellent goodbye song… Now, as I type this up, we are on our way to Breckingridge to explore the Country Boy Mine. We are amazed, yet again, by all the beauty of Colorado, with towering ice tipped mountains and lush green forest and abundant forest life, too vast and beautiful to photograph…
Today we spent a wonderful day with the chorale! We first went down to the Riverwalk in Pueblo and took a boat down the Arkansas River. Afterward we went to a local candy shop to find many different types of taffy. Then we went down to a pizzeria, whose owner is a close friend to the Children’s Chorale. At lunch I learned the children from the Chorale have great personalities, such as two people I met Vivian and Julianna. Once we were done we said our goodbyes to the children and we felt that we knew them for a lifetime. So far we are taking a bus trip to our next stop, Breckenridge!
Touring with choirs has changed over the years as the times have changed. One of the goals of tour is to help young boys develop independence, responsibility and self reliance in addition to providing them opportunities that are both unique and fun.
With the advent of current technology we are never out of reach and yet we are frequently not in touch with the people next to us because we are lost in cyberspace: texting, facebooking, tweeting and just surfing. There is a difficult balance to be found between the ease of staying in touch and the difficulty in letting go.
Each traveling organization will have to work this balance into its psyche. A great deal of time and energy will be spent.
While tours are arranged in the best detail available before leaving we cannot predict what the road will bring and expectations can be difficult to negotiate. Will we always have internet access, will we have time when we do have access,
A director knows that parents and families are interested and thinking about their children when they are away but where is the balance supposed to be while on the road. Should the staff be focused on the children, on their safety, on their interests, on getting to know them better as people or should they be focused on how to get to the next point of contact with home so that parents concerns and fears can be alleviated. This is the new age of travel as it has changed in the past 5 years.
Touring is worth every headache and every lost hour of sleep. The joy of watching childrend develop skills they will need to negotiate life is priceless. This year’s tour has been terrific. The drive was long but easy and I never once heard, “when are we going to be there”” which is always a blessing.
The boys are having a great time and singing beautifully…really really well. The experinece in Pueblo was remarkable for them. They were an inspiration to the other children and pushed themselves to be everything we teach them to be and everything we hope they will be today and beyond.
Today will bring a boatride on the river in Pueblo and goodbyes to new friends. Happily technology will help them keep up with these new friends with common interests in music.
All too soon we will be back on that bus ride home. I am grateful for our drivers. They both have been spectacular, caring for our every need and appropriately concerned with our safety. First Class Tours are just that! I can only hope the ride home is as free from, the eternal, “are we there yet” as the ride has been thus far.
So when we got on the bus, we were all pretty exited about the bus ride. Everyone had their ipods and DSs ready, and we started playing right when the bus started. The bus was very cold. I read on a panel at the front that the current A/C temperature was 62 degrees! We started riding, and after about 6 hours, we had a restroom break while the bus refueled with gas. We kept riding, and then we had another restroom break. Then we stopped at a Travel Center for reasons that I don’t know. We then stopped at a motel 8 and switched bus drivers. At about 8:10, we went to a restaurant and had breakfast. I thought that their pankakes were huge! The restrooms were not that spacious, given the fact that only one person could go at a time, there was a very long line for the restroom. So when we all finished breakfast, we loaded up on the bus and started riding again.
There have been several times this season I have marveled at the goodness of these boys. I don’t mean the quality of their singing at this moment, but the quality of their humanity. They are simply put, good people who have pushed me to be better because of who they are, and therein lies the gift.
Four hours down sixteen to go. “mister” George the bus man is awesome. He took one look at his cargo and called it precious.
So, in two days I am off on a 20 hour bus ride for the pleasure of 22 boys and of course my own. Why do we do this crazy thing. I could be home relaxing, working out even “nesting” but it is the adventure of life from the perspective of a 12 year old boy that calls.
Perhaps there is something wrong with me or perhaps I am simply the luckiest gal in town. Whatever the answer I pray that the eternal father protects these boys on their journey through Colorado and through life.