Friendship…and life on the road (from Ben)

There have been so many things to be grateful for on this trip, and not a day has gone by where we haven’t reflected to one another on how fortunate we are on so many levels. Yet perhaps what has been the most moving is how meaningful some long-term friendships have been and what a gift it has been to incorporate them into this adventure.

A question we have often asked ourselves is “What couples would we be compatible with to travel given the kinds of things we like to do and the kind of values we have?” And while there are surely others, over the course of the last thirteen weeks we’ve spent time with friends we would do anything/go anywhere with.

The last week has been spent in Montana with Ernie and Kim Parizeau – Nobles friends who have simply wrapped us into their family for over twenty years. Their generosity, sense of fun, humility, spirit of adventure (including being pioneers on the first Nobles EXCEL adult adventure to Southeast Asia), and appreciation of those who do important work in education makes our time with them invariably full of laughter, relaxed yet meaningful conversation, hours in the outdoors, and opportunities to learn and grow together. This week has been all of that – and more. 

Our month in Chile with Alec and Susan Lee was also reaffirming lifelong friendship and opportunities to build on that in the coming years. Alec and I were thrown together as first year college roommates and while he, Susan and Sarah were in grad school introduced me to Sarah (thank God!). We have lived on opposite coasts for over 30 years and fortuitously stepped away from long-time jobs (he founded Aim High in the Bay Area which has served thousands of middle school students from under-resourced communities) at the same time. While we have stayed in touch over the years, our month together simply picked up where we left off 30+ years ago – an appreciation for one another and the beauty of Chile, a shared commitment to young people, a bit of noodling over what comes next (although Sarah and Susan are fully immersed in the next chapter!), and excitement over what is surely ahead. 

Oh, yes – and let’s not forget the Barnes and Taylors (written about and appreciated earlier in the blog). Go anywhere, do anything with these friends of a lifetime. 

Finally, a bonus of these last few days has been (again fortuitously) to connect with Reis and Steph Alfond (Nobles grads), Jeff Schwartz (Nobles grad/trustee/parent), and Denise Dupre and Marc Nunnelly (Nobles parents). What a gift all of these friendships are.

Playing pickle ball!
Kim & I ⛷
Alec & Susan in Chile
With Steff and Reis

Be safe out there, everyone ❤️.

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