Tuesday, October 11, 2011

3-2-1 Liftoff: Three More Days Until Travel

Where does time go? Last year I was just learning that I was an Eisenhower Fellow for Agriculture and now I have less than three days until I leave for Argentina.

I am used to being gone 3-5 days maximum, but being away from Rhonda for three weeks and the boys for five is definitely a new challenge. The emotions are starting to hit all of us. To be sure we had quality time the boys and I golfed Sunday with beautiful weather.

I was able to see Logan’s football game Monday night, but miss the rest of his and Dillon’s. If the team keeps winning, I will miss the playoffs and potentially the Idaho Championship game.

Rhonda stayed home this week to help me get things organized and we have spent some great time together talking about farm stuff and the trip. However, life happens and those moments are interrupted.

Seeding is done with both soft white and hard red winter wheat poking through. Most things are winterized and I have tried to get things lined up for my brother to take care of on the ranch while I am gone. The only thing left is to spray roundup on the stubble and chisel plowing. Oh, how I will miss my tractors.

This weekend panic started to hit. I realized I didn’t have any clothes except suites and jeans with cowboy boots; nothing in between. A trip to Spokane, WA fixed that and now I have stuff in between. I just might stick out with a chaw of tabaccy and a cowboy hat down there.

I believe all of the paperwork is done. Crops reported to insurance and the government, bills are paid, and other paperwork is finished. So far no fires to put out. Travel arrangements are made, meetings set up, and clothes are being washed. Gifts are bought, my PowerPoint presentation is finished, and confirmation on meetings when I get back are done.

WHEWWWW! Trying to cram so much stuff into a smaller time frame with what seems like a ton of bricks on my mind is starting to get to me. DID I FORGET SOMETHING IMPORTANT? I will wait to sync my computers and phone, packing will be tomorrow and Thursday, and airline tickets will be printed as well.

Toothpaste, tums, aloe vera, bug spray with DEET, socks, shoes, ties, underwear, etc. I feel like I need to take the kitchen sink. Did I remember my underwear? I am as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

With all of that aside, I have some very interesting meetings and opportunities ahead of me. In Argentina I will be staying an evening on a farm (Estancia), one of five farms (Campos). The link is http://www.caldenes.com.ar/campos/estancia.html They raise Polled Herefords. Maybe I can drive a tractor down there.

I will also spend time with the Argentina No-Till Association (Aapersid) http://www.aapresid.org.ar , an Argentina based ag biotechnology company (INDEAR/Bioceres)  http://www.indear.com , and something similar to our University Extension systems (AACREA) http://www.redcrea.org.ar/aacrea/site/PortalInstitucional-internet/index.html . There are quite a few other meetings.

After Argentina I head to Uruguay by way of ferry (2-3 hours) from Buenos Aires to Montevideo. I will visit Uruguay’s Parliament and meet with Senators, give a presentation to the Faculty of Agrarian Sciences, Universidad de la Empresa, and then travel to Delores City (Northwest of Montevideo) and participate in and give a presentation to Agronegocios del Plata (ADP) at their annual meeting. At the meeting will be Uruguay’s Minister of Agriculture, what an opportunity. You can also see me listed on their program at http://www.adp.com.uy/programa_jornada.php . It is definitely different seeing everything in another language.

From Montevideo I travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil and meet up with Rhonda…on our anniversary! While in Brazil I meet with their Ministry of Agriculture people, the President of Monsanto – Brazil, and EMBRAPA (similar to our extension) http://www.embrapa.br/english . On November 15th I get to share the honor of having my birthday with Brazil becoming a Republic.

File:Flag of Brazil 15-19 November.svgIn Wikipedia – “Upon the proclamation of the Republic, one of the civilian leaders of the movement, the lawyer Ruy Barbosa, proposed a design for the nation's new flag strongly inspired by the flag of the United States. It was flown from November 15, 1889, until November 19, 1889, when Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca – acting as provisional president of Brazil – vetoed the design, citing concerns that it looked too similar to the flag of another state.” This will be special because I truly believe in the power of a Republic!

The last week there will be vacation. Dillon and Logan will join us on November 19th. We will spend time in the Rio de Janeiro area and celebrate Logan’s birthday on the 23rd (November is a big month in our family). 

Writing this hasn’t helped to cure my nerves like I had hoped, they are still there. I know once I am on the plane I will relax and my mind will be working in another mode. I am hoping that it will take my mind off of missing my family and little corner of the world.

I will try to post as often as I can on the blog and Facebook. I will have a couple of different cameras and I also bought a GoPro to attach to me for video. Since I am not as proficient with video I probably won’t have much up until I get back home, we will see. I will have email and you can contact me through the blog or Facebook. By the way, did I pack my underwear?

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