Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Yet again, our plans change...

Just yesterday, I found out that I need to deal with some stuff with my rentals. But I should be able to slip away to Dominican Republic and Haiti for a month to be with Andre, visit all our friends (left) and meet his family. Then I could fly back and take care of business. When that's all done he could fly to Tijuana, Mexico. That's just a 9-hour drive for me and my dad lives right at the border in Chula Vista. My nieces Corrie and Tiese could cross with me and say hello to the man they've heard so much about. Then Andre and I could travel throughout Latin America while we're waiting for his U.S. visa.

There are many advantages to this new plan: we both speak Spanish so it'd put us on equal footing and would be easier for him as a novice world traveler; as a Haitian he'd be more welcome in Latin American countries than in Europe; it would be cheaper and closer in case I had to run back temporarily; and best of all, we could play racquetball everywhere. I introduced Andre to the game in Santo Domingo and he fell in love. He's going to be Haitian national champion with my coaching.

The last time I was farther south than Guatemala was in 1983 when former racquetball pro Steve Keeley and I traveled for six months throughout Central and South America teaching racquetball clinics to the extremely rich. I've often thought about going back and trying to look up my former students: owners of banks, mines, hotel chains, factories, Miss Costa Rica, Gabriela Pozuelo, and Irene and Carlos Schenstrum, owners of the largest cattle ranch in Bolivia, to name a few. Many of my students had private courts in their homes. In Cochabamba, we stayed at the consulate's house and had our own servant. In Quito, Ecuador the club owner told us that his members had asked him to raise membership fees so that the middle class couldn't afford to join. I could even write up our adventures for the racquetball magazine again, just like I did 24 years ago.

So, as of today, these are our plans. Stay tuned to see what else changes.

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