After receiving my degree from the University of Iowa, I did what any new MBA degree-holder would do: join the Peace Corps? Assigned to the Philippines, the experience was so enjoyable that it began a career in international development.
Looking back 50 years, my most fun job accomplishment was the 1988 introduction of computerization to a US-based nongovernmental organization in Manila, and helping to train 100+ Filipino staff having no previous computer experience. Astounded by the improved productivity, they were also happy to learn new job skills.
Years later, a State Department position had me writing agreements to fund US government agencies providing international development training/mentoring to countries world-wide. This led to federal and contractor work over nearly 20 years, requiring coordination with and travel to branch offices in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, ending with retirement last year.
During those 50 years, two Filipino-American sons (Kyle and Luke) were born in the Philippines and relocated to a new life in Northern Virginia (NoVa). They began learning tennis at ages 5 and 3, respectively, with Luke playing on his university team, and both continuing to teach the game as adults, to NoVa tennis enthusiasts.
I began lap swimming nearly 40 years ago. Now living in a Mexican paradise, I swim in the Pacific off of a beautiful Oaxaca beach where cruise ships dock, providing multiple health benefits and, occasionally, a mouthful of saltwater. This is an effort to keep up with my father, who just turned ninety-nine years old.
During walks with my two adopted stray dogs (Valentino and Ranchero) through a forested national park in town, we usually meet a particularly curious wild deer, who likes to approach and cover Valentino with kisses. Though it’s hard to predict the future of this relationship, it occurred to me that it may be the closest I have come to grandfatherhood.
Though I wish I had prioritized Mrs. Ringo’s Spanish classes, I have found my tribe, and life in Mexico is good.