We have some sad news to share; Our long suffering sole male, only American team mate is leaving us. I thought we would send him off with some love because up until now we've been a team of 4 and it's going to be quite different without him around.
First things first: our quote book will be rather lacking. Eric has filled our phones' notes with hilarious comments and we have all spent many an hour in laughter re-reading through the previous country's notes or ones from back at the very start of our track.
I thought that we could let you in on some of our favourites:
- "You can't spell "America" without "Eric"!"
- "I'm like Moses.. I like to guide you guys"
- "Girls walk with their hips, guys walk with their thighs"
- "Do they have chocolate vineyards in Norway?"
-"I eat slow because I have small teeth"
With Eric leaving we're losing a passionate photographer. I don't know if I've met anyone quite like him when it comes to his scenic shots and foreign portraits. He doesn't waste space on his memory card - only taking the exact photos that he wants. I'm sure you've seen numerous of his photos as we've travelled. At one point some of the teenagers in Bolivia referred to his camera as the 'Bazooka' which made us laugh because it's quite a good description!
We have an ongoing in-joke about Eric's poor water bottles. We haven't kept an exact tally of how many he has gone through .. but when we stopped to count up the ones that we could think of the other day the number exceeds 10!
Eric loves his layovers. He's always the one that is pulling for a longer layover so that he can go out an explore whatever city he is in rather than having a shorter transit time and going directly from place of origin to destination. As a team we've never actually had a long enough layover to do that, but Eric has made sure to explore on a couple of his individual flights in South Korea and Dubai.
He's also very prepared as far as foreign currencies go. Eric always has more than enough cash on him in whatever currency we're using. In fact - he has definitely gone through the most currencies out of the team because on several of his layovers (even when don't leave the airport!) he exchanges cash and makes the most of his time.
One of the things that Eric and us girls don't see eye-to-eye on is dogs. Eric is a huge fan, while the rest of us are not. Luckily for Eric, a majority of the countries have had plenty of dogs that have given him the amount of loving that he wants and he has often been able to seek out puppies in the different places as well.
Shopping for magnets is a very 'Eric' activity that Beth thankfully captured in this photo in our last country - Bolivia. This photo sums up many a moment that has happened in every country that we have gone. He decided to collect one from each place and stuck to that decision!
Without fail, each place that we've gone Eric ends up being followed by a large group of children. This is for a number of reasons - one being his camera - but mainly because of the way that he is willing to spend hours playing tag, letting them climb all over him and love on them despite the language barrier.
We're sad to see Eric go - I mean we've travelled the world with him, have numerous memories, captured opportune moments on camera and laughed at his Eric-isms for a full year. We've also had rough times as a team and grown stronger because of it. I know we're all confident that God has something great in his future and us girls will be cheering for him as that comes to light over the next little while.