Being well into 2017, I haven’t posted anything for a long time. So many life changes but so few blog posts. Here’s some of it for the record:
Wrapped time with my NGO
In the beginning of 2016, I wrapped up my time with Illuminate Nations, the NGO I helped start with some friends. It was a fantastic experience with a great group of passionate young people, and I was happy to have been a part of it, but turns out working at very Christian NGO wasn’t my biggest strength. I learned a lot in my time there - being organized, how beautiful a deep Christian faith can be (very different than whatever you read about Evangeticals on the news), and how critical it is to see all value in all lives and cultures. The things I learned at Illuminate Nations have shaped my personality, my faith, and my political views strongly. It was probably the best end of a college career I could ask for, sans a degree. I wish them all the best as they continue their work around the world.
Did not exactly finish the boat project
After me and Wilson’s good friend, Austin moved back to California, we did not finish the $400 craigslist boat. It was a lot of fun. We eventually took our boat on the lake once, the motor did not work, but we had lots of fun. I’m not sure what happened to the boat. It’s Virginia. It’s likely on the side of a highway.
Visited a country that nobody I know has ever been to (Armenia)
One of my goals in 2016 was to visit a place nobody I know has ever been. I came across a country called Armenia from a movie I saw about a British guy who biked around the world. I booked a ticket in Febuary 2016, planning to travel in September. Between then, there was a war in Armenia, and the airline I choose suffered a fatal crash somewhat near Armenia. It was an adventure. After being the only white person on a budget middle eastern airline flying over Iran, I saw my first glimpses of ex-Soviet life. I think 3 or 4 people in that whole country spoke English. So many dirty stares! Old soviet tunnels and trains! Yerevan was weird. I am excited to go back in the winter sometime.
Bought a 4Runner!
Last October, I purchased vehicle number 4, a Toyota 4Runner. I’ve only been able to get 3 serious off-roading trips in but they have been well worth. A large portion of this vehicle was paid with the insurance settlement for the idiot who chased me off the road in 2014. Thanks, idiot! My hand still hurts though. But the car helped with the next item…
Moved from Lynchburg, VA to San Diego.
In May, I packed all my things in a U-Haul trailer and moved across the USA from Virginia to San Diego. My brother and sister-in-law copiloted the 4Runner as we pushed from Fredericksburg to Yuma nonstop. We setup a bed in the 4runner and burned about 10 barrels of fuel in the process. Good times. I followed my good friends out here, but have really enjoyed my time here on its own merit. San Diego is an incredible city with amazing weather. I don’t see myself raising a family here, but highly enjoying the time I have to spend. It will be a gateway to my life on the west coast.
Passed the 4-year milestone at my job, Patronage.
In May, I also completed 4 years at Patronage, meaning I’ve been doing the same thing for longer than 4 years, which is a record for me (the last thing with this record was High School). It’s been a lot of fun working on a small, remote team and we’ve been getting some very fun political and NGO projects using things like Firebase, React.js, and Stripe. The nature of our work doesn’t allow me to speak publically about it, but I can say we do lots with maps, donation platforms, and work for some clients whose work is critical given our political situation.
Visited India. Not once. Not twice. Three times.
This is probably the biggest thing. I’ve spent 5 weeks total in India between September 2016 and September 2017. I can’t really say much more, but if it isn’t obvious, there is somebody special there. That’s all I can say for the next year :)
Found new hosting
Just moved the site over to Cloudfront. Still using Jekyll, but finally have modernized every other piece of the tech stack! woohoo.
Thanks for reading! I’ll post again next year (I think) for the 10-year anniversary of kylehotchkiss.com.