Sunday, October 31, 2010

UPDATE - September 20, 2010

The Lord of the Rings concert was spectacular. It wasn’t perfect, but we had a great time. We gave a gift to the Swiss conductor (we also did this for the 2nd movie last year and the 1st movie 2 years ago). I was amazed at the purity of sound (and straightness of the tone) of the female soloist that follows the conductor around the world to give these performances. We’re now working on the Verdi Requiem at the Kennedy Center next month.

Last week, we had a weekly dinner at the house and the next day another gathering of guys from my church. Then I had the parents of a friend of mine visit from South Africa for the weekend; they just left this morning (Monday morning). So the house was full of guests which was nice because both of my roommates have been gone.

I sing with an a capella group, a bunch of guys who wanted to sing and therefore formed a group. I’ve decided that we will sing a Christmas concert; it will give us something towards which we can work, something that will motivate us. It’s very hard to schedule rehearsals; we can never get 100%, so that’s hard for me. But last rehearsal on Saturday, we sang a version of Silent Night and I was so excited. There was something magical about it. The arts excite me very much especially when I’m doing them, the way I have been doing them since I was a kid. I miss that. It’s hard to go through any time when I’m not doing them. I’m about to go in for a photo shoot to get headshots redone as I try again to enter the theatre scene here. We’ll see how they go.

A good college friend in the area asked me “Why don’t you be a pastor?” I thought it was a funny question but telling. I’m not the type of person who is not a pastor but feels led to be one and is running from that feeling or calling. I’m just me. . . . whatever that means. Most people think pastors are good preachers, some say great teachers, still others say strong leaders. None of those are what make a pastor. A pastor, primarily, is just that--a pastor. He or she is a shepherd. In my opinion that’s the quality that makes them best suited and most ready for the job. If you can’t shepherd or pastor or don’t do it well, the preaching, teaching, leading is probably meaningless. There was a church in Cape Town that wanted to hire me a few months before I left. I had a huge decision to make. I decided to take this current opportunity in DC. However, if I could forsee the future, I actually might have stayed.

With all those thoughts floating around, I’m in job mode. This is the second and final year of my fellowship. I can apply for another one if fitting, or apply for a job, or I can be hired on. I will say that I had my first meeting with the engineering services and urban programs team, and the team leader introduced me saying “This is Victor. He’s a AAAS fellow with us for 1-year, but hopefully he’ll be here for much longer,” and she looked at me, nodding as if to garner agreement or an acceptance of some implicit offer that she had just put on the table. I was taken aback, imperceptibly nodding my head, wondering if she was just talking.

They have a real need for engineers and they want to hire more. Funnily, I’m working with people who have the exact job that I had applied for over the internet 2 years before--engineering foreign service officer. On the other front, I handed in my badge, phone, and computer to my previous department/agency, but it was nothing like Cheers. No one knows my name; no one is ever glad I came. J I gave thank you cards to a few people (8), but all were gone except one. And she was sooo thankful. Then I got some “Cheers.”

Can I just say? Robbie Seay is one cool white brother. I don’t know if he gets up in the morning and just eats the Cool Wheaties but it oozes out of him. Regardless, it was such a blessing to have the Robbie Seay band in town to play for my church’s all-church celebration (where all 6 locations come together). He even spoke to me for a bit, and I thought maybe Robbie recognized me from Houston. There are only a few things that can remind me of Houston and Robby Seay band is one of them. My church sound guys play his music between services a lot. But I enjoyed those guys. Funny enough, they seem to write and play songs that fit in with the style of the church. He had one song whose words stood out to me very poignantly.

Oh God, may we be focused on the least
A people balancing the fasting and the feast

Wow. Unpack that.

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