Adventure Business

Day Three of Who Knows How Many.

23:04Meg Cowan

This is very different to our last trip.

The Cowan Team 2015

The bustling streets of Manilla echo in our minds. The heat that wrapped around us still warms our hearts. Here in Nashville the streets are wide and space is ample. Cool weather outside is countered by the efficiency of internal heating at the apartment and seat warmers on the pimped out Chrysler we roll in each day.

All this is a little hard to reconcile. America is the land of 'bigger and better'. I remind myself that purpose has many faces. Currently, this is the time for building our businesses, which works to fund our vision, and this is the place we need to be to do that for now. So, I am set towards this task and all the adventure it brings.

I felt strangely calm last week about leaving all that we know.

The part that stung most was leaving our family and the beautiful network of good friends we have.
G's true love, Aunty Hannah.
But the wind of support from them all has filled our sails and we are moved forward into the dream with hope and expectancy.

Our champion travellers flew well. 12 hrs from Auckland to LA, a 4 hour transfer time, 1 hour to Vegas and enough time to grab a nasty airport meal, then another 3.5 hrs on to Nashville for a midnight arrival. Mr Evan made friends with a gentleman on the plane and in a show of typical southern hospitality he offered us a ride to our accommodation. He lived just down the road and despite my initial reservations I trusted my darling husbands instinct (and the knowledge that both of us and our already indispensable nanny Emma, had the skills to put up a good fight if absolutely necessary) and we were rewarded with a quick transfer from airport to apartment.

The first few days have been full of setup and sleep at odd hours.
We had a refresh driving lesson to get us into the flow of driving on the right hand side and after a nervous start and puzzled faces over a couple of odd road rules we are now checking the correct direction before we pull out onto the highway. Honestly though, who thought up the idea that you can take a right turn, even on a red light, so long as the road is clear. Aaahhh'mericans.

A little trip to the very big Target for a few essentials and some late night revelry at Wholefoods supermarket got us off to a grand start.

Yes, this blurry late night shot is all bags full of Wholefoods groceries. My kind of food heaven.

Our apartment is furnished and an absolute godsend, made even more fantastic by the fact that my old flatmate, with his gorgeous wife and daughter, who are ex Nashville locals, are back in town for two months and living in the same complex. A fact we only discovered a few days before flying. All three of the children are super excited at the thought of having playmates nearby and bonded quickly at the airport as we also happened to be on the same flight as them!. 

After a late night wednesday arrival work began on friday and things seem to have kicked off well.
I'm not one to talk to any great extent about business in a public space such as a blog but suffice to say, we are pleased with the way one of our campaigns has started with the sales reps, which thanks to a slightly mad creative idea, has engaged them in a fun way and they are eager to get on the road selling our product.

The weekends have been reserved for family adventures as much as possible and so despite the drizzle, which will apparently be a regular event over the next two months, we had lunch out and a trip to the local library...



...all after we headed to the Nashville Farmers markets for the morning. Winding our way through The Factory, an old reclaimed space we saw it was now full of quaint antique shops, art stores and for this weekend only, a guitar expo. We met an elderly calligraphy artist who drew the kids in by offering to paint for free. 
Bob Coleman, calligraphy artist at work.

It was a 30 minute process during which we heard about his time as wingback star on the football team, how he overcame a childhood of stuttering and his life on a farm where they were the only white family. He told us, 'We had four to five black families working for us and I didn't know I was even white until college!'. The kids were enthralled and both handed over pocket money, despite his insistence that the work was free.

After dodging the puddles we also perused the local offerings out the back at the markets.  E and G were eager to spend some of their american cash and happily handed it over in return for a four pack of homemade gluten free muffins, only to have it handed back to them by the stall owner. The elderly farmer smiled as the realisation hit them that they had muffins and money left!. Southern hospitality is certainly alive and well. Generosity and manners abound and provide great teaching opportunities.

I paid for my gluten free cornbread (which was actually delicious) and to pass my change he unrolled two fistfuls of money. The currency here is still baffling, all the same colour and nickels, dimes and pennies continually play tricks on me. The time is also devious these days. It is 12am and I have no desire to sleep yet, but I will leave these musings here and attempt to make some kind of go at passing the night with my eyes firmly shut. Adios Amigos. 

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