View of the Andes Mountains shortly before landing in Santiago, Chile
As overnight transcontinental trips go, it wasn't too bad. Two layovers in Chile gave views of the eerie landscape of the western side of the Andes Mountains range...completely desert climate, sandy, with snow capped peaks.
Had great service at the Santa Cruz airport, where I was met by my host conductor Roland Schlieder (former Butler student of mine, and now conductor and music director of the Orquesta Sinfonia Juvenil de Santa Cruz de la Sierra) and singer and horn player Fred Alba (who has become a good friend to me, with his wife Claudia, in my earlier trips here). We stopped by Roland's home so his young daughters Victoria and Sofia could say hello to their "Tio Eric," then it was off to dinner for the three of us. Conversation included the schedule tomorrow (soloists rehearsal/coaching in the morning, then I meet the chorus for the first time tomorrow afternoon), and recent job/musical goings on for each of us. You woulda been proud of me...we conducted about half of our conversation in Spanish (I reminded them, "I need all the practice I can get!"). Some sentences were a mixture of Spanish and English vocabulary, but it all seemed pretty natural to the three of us!
Conductor Roland Schlieder and Singer/French Horn Player Fred Alba take me to dinner (...and beer!)