Monday, May 23, 2016

Mount Everest 2016

I have been so busy as acting PR manager for my brother, Isaiah, that my own blog has been the dismal, ignored, ugly, step-brother. I will get to that in a moment.

Between working ~50hour weeks, trying to make new friends in a new city, and following my brothers' every step, my free time has been near zero. Where to start?!

As I make more friends here, I am finding out how many local cultural norms I do not know. They are all subtle ignorance's, but make me look unintelligent in a group of people. Most of the time I just smile and nod and keep my mouth shut so I do not look/sound dumb then ask someone later what the context was. On a positive note, that means I am meeting more people and learning new things! My apartment has a pool, which is the best decision I unknowingly ever made. I am actually getting a real tan and have only been at the pool the past 2 weekends. I cannot remember the last time I was able to say that in Wisconsin in May. Needless to say, I love it! So, even though that is what I am doing with my free time, it is all in the name of meeting people, like my neighbors.

Work has been absolutely nuts. Two short months ago, I was one of about 5 people working at our new facility and now our parking lot is nearly full every day. It has been so exciting seeing it come together, but let me tell you how challenging!! I absolutely love my job, so working my first 13 hour day was not as depressing as it sounds. I have been wearing every hat possible, meaning I have been doing every and any role necessary to ensure customer satisfaction. Out of all my new coworkers, I have been with our company the longest, which means I know many things that no one else knows. Every detail counts. It is all very exciting including the fact I hired my first intern and have another starting in a couple weeks. It is beyond satisfying having a "mini-me" as well as getting to reminisce about my internship experience and how I can create that experience for my interns. Thank you dad for suggesting I take notes! Those notes are GOLD now.

MY BROTHER! My dearest, overachieving, extraordinary, big brother. Isaiah Janzen, in all his glory, reached the SUMMIT of Mount Everest this past weekend!! As I watched his progress throughout the day on Friday I became increasingly more excited and nervous as I watched his GPS tracker tick closer and closer to "Mt. Everest". Shortly after 4pm CST, I realized his GPS placed him on Hillary Step. I was sitting in small town Mississippi, behind my work computer, on the edge of my chair, watching my brother climb through "the death zone". Around 5pm, I felt like I was watching the slowest/longest golf game in the planet, immensely more suspenseful. By 5:30pm, I had everyone in the office painfully watching his GPS and by 6pm, we were all cheering when we saw Isaiah at 29,029ft followed by a Twitter update that he was on the summit. My immediate thought; "Okay, you can come home now". I updated Facebook to let the world know of his great accomplishment and received 200+ notifications over the next few hours from friends and family across the world celebrating his success. Getting up is one thing, now getting down is the other. I won't rest easy until he is home!



Those of you who know my brother, knows he stops at nothing. I am so proud of him for accomplishing this feat. This is a defining moment for Isaiah as much as he will likely down-play the seriousness and extremity of the situation. I am so proud to be his sister! What is next after climbing the tallest mountain in the world?! Only one person can answer that and I'm sure he'll find something.

On a serious note, putting this all into perspective, I want to offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the 4 people who lost their lives this year on the mountain. Nothing is certain up there. It has been a painful, sleepless past few weeks knowing the danger that awaits its next victim. God bless!