Preparing for Italy: Looking back, looking forward
A journey of a lifetime starts with a lot of work, to which the members of the Yuma Youth Choir can attest. After seemingly endless hours of BACHH (Businesses and Choir Helping Hands) work, fundraising, and singing all over the Yuma area to help pay for their trip to Italy, these bright young singers can say that they've really earned their way... and the long wait is almost over.
YumaSun.com is doing the next best thing to stuffing you in the overhead bins for the tour along with them. You don't even have to pack, get a passport or find comfortable shoes. Just be sure to check each day for new 'postcards' from the choir in the form of photos, videos, and stories from Milan, Venice, Florence, Ravenna, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and everywhere in between. We'll be sharing the sights, showing you what's on the menu and give a glimpse of history as seen through the eyes of Yuma's children.
Two years ago when Yuma Sun reporter Darin Fenger proposed covering the Yuma Youth Choir's travels in Europe by going along with them I never would have guessed I'd be following in his footsteps to Italy. The project was a great success and produced 13 stories and 44 blog posts, 33 videos, and a photo gallery packed with 153 shots from the trip and many great comments from the community.
My role during Darin's European jaunt was long-distance technical support and I admit to drooling over his posts from Europe green with envy. Now I get to be the one trying to find internet connections in ancient cities (yes, the hotel has wi-fi, no, nobody knows how to log onto it), lugging gear (how did this 2-pound camera get so heavy?!)... and sharing my glee at discoveries from around the world (look at my creme brulle!)
This also means I get to spend time with those students I met through Darin's video interviews and tales, and the awesome support team of parents and music lovers who travel with them. Three almuni are joining the current members, and Dr. Beth Tibbs also added a men's choir to add deeper voices to songs, making this a slightly older group of students. YYC alum Alexa Juarez said in a newsletter, "Dr. Tibbs and I would joke that I’m going to be 40 years old and still in the Youth Choir."
"On one of our trips I said 'If we are going to be traveling like this, then I’m never leaving the choir,' but then (would I) have to make her change the name to, like, 'Alexa and The Youth Choir'?"
As your travel guide in cyberspace, I'm honored to be joining this group on their whirlwind tour and encourage you to participate by asking questions or sharing your experiences traveling in the comments area of these stories.