Now that the moment’s upon us, I’m not quite sure what to say, or how to say it.
For six months now, Dana and I have awaited this hour, the time when we’d return to Ecuador to breathe new life into a very different future.
In 24 hours we’ll drive 70 miles to Memphis International Airport, take a quick flight to Atlanta, then on 5,000 miles south to Quito, then Manta, grab a rental car there, and drive an hour further south to Puerto Cayo where our new home is finished and where we’ll set up shop for a new family of marketing-related businesses. Latitude 1 South. We’ve been laying the groundwork there for almost a year.
And quite a year it’s been.
My 71-year-old dad died in January, and for me it created a profound moment, when for the first time, I’d truly assess life’s “vaporish” quality. I began writing my first series of books focusing on redemption. Three months after dad’s passing we made an exploratory trip to Ecuador, purchased a 1/3 acre lot by the beach and began building second home. We joined a new church that helped us better understand our roles as “every-day missionaries,” and just more than 60 days ago the human resource director at the company where I worked called me into his office to say “the owners have decided to go in a different direction, (and you’re not going along for the ride).”
Enter Plan B.
Fortunately, the wheels in my head had been turning just enough to assess the possibilities for one last entrepreneurial adventure, this time in a “foreign” land. The moment we first laid eyes on Puerto Cayo, Ecuador, I told Dana it was soon to be something very special and you could see opportunities everywhere. So there’s a be-careful-what-you-wish-for lesson in there somewhere.
Now, we’re headed for a 99-day follow-up trip to see where it might further lead.
His book’s subtitle is, “Moving from Success to Significance.” What we’re about to do, Buford would say, is a “seismic test,” a low-to-moderate risk to assess the bigger possibilities for the greater good. And so, our seismic test now begins.
It all means several things for Dana and me, including but not limited to:
- A willingness to “unlearn” many of the cultural biases that are almost instinctive. We must leave behind the notions that the way we do most things is the correct manner in which to do them. That’s not necessarily true in a very big world.
- We must exercise patience, and listen a lot more than we talk.
- That even if this venture fails by our standards, it’s not the end of the world because you never, never, never quit, and God has a plan even when you don’t.
- A greater understanding that life is a balancing act, and your best is all you can do.
- Finding new ways to help others understand that redemption, in whatever form it may present itself, is a wonderful and powerful thing.
My wife saves everything. She’s not a hoarder, but somehow uses her skills to organize our chaotic life. Last night she showed me a few “fortunes” she’d saved from the cookies we’d broken over the last year during visits to some of our favorite Asian restaurants. Yes, she saved the fortune cookie fortunes. A few fortunes read:
- “You discover treasures where others see nothing unusual.”
- “Ideas you believe are absurd, ultimately lead to success.”
- “Others take notice of your radiance. Share your happiness.”
- “Every production of genius, must first be the product of enthusiasm.”
- “God looks after you, especially.”
We’ve said our goodbyes to family and friends. And now we go.
To all the readers for whom I’m so very thankful, my next post, and all those that follow for the succeeding 99 days, will be from a new base in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador. We’ll share stories of our new adventure, grab photos of this beautiful land and invite you to enjoy it all with us.
Until then, thanks for coming along. If you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further.
Vaya con Dios for now.