Transitions are times of change. Times of change intensify experiences and emotions. My transition back to the United States has been no exception.
I guess I have not yet shared about my experience in Mexico City. I thought Bogota was enormous, but Mexico City (DF) is another story- it was once the largest city in the world! It was an incredible week and it truly was the best way to transition back to the states. Spending time with my friend Issac and celebrating his graduation from dental school helped cement our friendship. While there, I performed a show for a group of about 30 orphan girls from an orphanage that his family helps support. I thought it was going to merely be me visiting the orphanage and doing a few tricks for the girls. However, after learning that I was willing to do the show, the community of his family and friends quickly made it into something much bigger. One person donated his event hall for the show, another person offered to do a show as he is a professional clown, another group offered to cook a large meal for everyone, and before we knew it this turned into a full-fledged celebration! As I was leaving the event, I shared tears of joy and connectedness with a few of the community members who organized the event. It was the first time they had done something like this. On my last night in Mexico, Isaac’s relatives and the community members who organized the event came to his house and surprised us with a special dinner. They did a toast to what we had done for those wonderful girls. This is a true example of community, dedication, and faith in action. It was beautiful to be a part of it. Additionally, I got to see one of my former babysitters, Jenny Collins, who is living in Mexico City! On top of this, I re-connected with some very special friends from Gonzaga who were either studying or living in Cuernavaca, which is just outside of Mexico City. It was so great to re-connect with fellow Zags, I am so grateful and honored to be a Gonzaga Alum.
A lot of my plans, hopes/expectations have changed since I have gotten home. The biggest and most influential one of those changes is that I will no longer be going to India as soon as I thought. After speaking with some advisors and medical schools I realized it would not be wise to be in India during the fall as it is prime-time interview season. Medical schools operate on a rolling admissions basis and prolonging my interview would greatly minimize my chances for early acceptance. So, I am going to be in the NW at least through the holidays. Right now, I feel at peace with it. While it is not what I had envisioned, I think it is truly for the better in the long run. We are hoping that everything will work out for me to be in India for a few months this spring. This will give me a chance to get my professional life squared away before leaving on another adventure which will in turn allow me to be more present when I go.
I just sent out my primary applications to 15 medical schools. Please send them some positive energy when you can. I am really curious and excited to see where I will end up studying medicine.
Due to upcoming expenses for medical school (application fees, travel for in-person interviews, and eventual enrollment) and because my previous investments have slowed, I have been forced to prioritize establishing a more regular income. Although not ideal for my personality, my new job is ideal for my needs and situation. I am now subcontracting as a home inspector for banks. As long as I get my work in on time, I can make my own hours and receive a healthy income while working about three long days a week. This allows me to be available for magic shows and outdoor summer fun. For the time being, it is perfect. Once I get more of a regular schedule going, I am planning on volunteering on a weekly basis performing at a hospital in Bellingham as well as taking violin lessons to eventually incorporate into my magic shows.
Speaking of magic, something exciting is brewing here. I had two incredible individuals from Skagit Valley separately solicit me to sponsor three magic shows for migrant worker communities here in the valley. I am thinking and hoping that this is the start of something bigger. There is some energy around this- the fact that it happened separately with two different people tells me this. Ironically, on Friday, a large population of the migrant worker community went on strike against wages and working conditions. I am still not sure how this all will connect, but I am feeling curiously excited about it. I am very grateful for our two sponsors: Anne Schreivogl, a local, well-known artist and Bobbie Day, a neighbor I used to pull weeds for. I hope to continue what they have initiated. It is an honor for me to be the medium between a community in need and those who want to contribute to such a community.
With this and other upcoming shows, things are gradually beginning to pick up some momentum. I will be performing on the main stage at the Anacortes Arts Festival on Friday, August, 2nd at 11:30 AM. I will be at the festival for the entire weekend doing workshops and street performing. Additionally, I will be performing regularly at the Conway Muse. My next performance there is Saturday, July 27th at 8pm. It is such a wonderful place to perform, to eat, and to just hang out at. Please keep tabs on my facebook page (and like it if you have not done so already) for upcoming performances: Ryan Bart- The Magic Man.
On top of everything else, I am working on a new and exciting start-up. This is an idea I have been brainstorming about for years with my close Gonzaga friend, Warren Carter. Over the last year, he began to put things in motion and he wants me on board. While we were doing different things this last year, we were thinking about the same thing: energy. I was thinking of it more in terms of spirituality, health, and connectedness. He was thinking of it in this way as well as in terms of actual physical energy that we use on a daily basis such as fuel and other resources. I don’t want to disclose too much right now, but I wanted to share my excitement. We will call it: BOSS Systems (Biological Organic Sustainable Science Systems). The basic idea is to begin a paradigm shift about how we as consumers (or prosumers) interact with our environment. BOSS Systems will utilize what earth has provided and what already exists for sustainable, usable, and realistic sources of energy and products.
There is so much to say, so much to reflect on that it is actually a bit overwhelming (everything seems to be that way right now). Since arriving back home, there have been so many small moments of joy and excitement as well as nostalgia and sadness. Like I said, transitions tend to intensify everything and because of that, being back home has been one huge reality check. It’s like starting over, once again. I welcome the challenge.
Things I miss about Colombia:
*Johanna (we are still together and doing well)
*The Magic Project: Carlos and our magic students, performing at the hospitals
*Ridiculously fresh tropical fruit
*Studying with Santiago
*The sense of adventure and being in a foreign country
*Not having to think about the future too much
*Cheap meals out
Things I love about being home:
*Friends and family
*Having nature at my fingertips: kayaking, hiking, running, and everything in-between
*Having a car and going where I want, when I want, with everyone and everything I want
*Living on Samish Island- what an incredible place!!
*Hummus, varied cheeses, and lots of veggies
*Performing at the Conway Muse and other great venues