Basque Mass @ Loyola

(12 June- Menlo Park, CA) -This is Tuesday the day before we depart for our second tour (in as many years) to sing in really big old churches and perhaps impromptu performances along the way. I like these tours for two reasons, one I get to see again, or for the first time, places I really love and second, when I hear the students sing it makes me weepy. I know what you’re thinking’ about manly men keeping it all together, but I have to tell you listening to these teenagers sing in venues that are way older than me, is very moving. This is coming from a guy who bought a purple suit case to take along. (It was on sale for God’s sake!). This year the group is made up of students whom I do not know and who don’t know me. They seem to be a quiet group and I’m not at all concerned that we will have a blast…in a good way.

Our journey will take us first to Venice to sing in some pretty cool places. Then an overnight train trip to Paris for a few days followed by a bus trip to Bordeaux then to the birthplace of Ignatius Loyola, Azpeitia in the Basque country of Northern Spain. A flight home to SFO caps our tour arriving in the evening on the 24th of June (in case you want to welcome us with candy or something). Now I’m not a big fan of air travel but there were no boats available. (John Madden and I share the same phobias). Why am I going along? Well, I know stuff and stories about some of the places we will be visiting…so there!

Today, however, was a mixture of sadness and anticipation. As I write this on the porch of our apartment here in Menlo Park it’s about a bazzilion degrees. I should be at the pool…in my shorts. Scary thought. I say sadness because I am saying good-bye early to a few  of my language students who will be moving on while I’m away. I know it is important that they take the next step, but it’s still difficult knowing that I will probably miss them for a long time and maybe never see them again. Over the months good friends like Christine, Vito, Angela, Rina, Miyami, Lucas have departed and as long as my memory holds out, I will remember them and others with great affection. I still stop and listen while the 9 a.m. train whizzes by the school and think that Lucas will join us in a few minutes. Evan, one of my first students back in November returns to China briefly then returns to California to start high school in the Fall. Michelle, as well will be beginning college. That’s what language school is all about, the next step.

And speaking of the next step, tomorrow we fly into history with the St. Ignatius Chamber Singer’s tour with Chad Zullinger at the helm. You can follow our adventures, after arrive, right here at “Jesus Is My Buddy” so you won’t miss a thing. Photos will be posted on “Facebook” here as well as my “Flickr” account here. If you want to see the photos on Facebook, just “friend” me here for two weeks then “unfriend” me after the tour is over. I won’t mind nor feel hurt…I’m used to rejection.

So until late tomorrow night from Venice. Have a great Tuesday and Wednesday.

and so it goes….