What an unforgettable experience!

It was confirmed multiple times! The decision to become part of the Orquesta Latinoamericana and travel back to Europe with them was the right one. We had an amazing time, we played great concerts and the most important thing, we became good friends! Les quiero mucho chiquillos y chiquillas !

After a wonderful concert in the KulturWerkWissen, we finished the week in Germany with a day in an indoor-waterpark, which under this form does not exist in Chile. Many cannot afford the journey and the entrance to outdoor-waterparks here in Chile. This is one of the many details that are still forming the difference between the most developed Latin-American country and the west-european ones. Arriving in Luxembourg, the “youth hostel” in Echternach with a 14-meter climbing wall and a huge sports hall stressed this contrast once more. Only 18 positions are between Chile and Luxembourg in the “Human Development Index”
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index) and yet, as Chile’s public sector is largely privatized, a youth hostel chain (like in Luxembourg) supported by state funding is unimaginable. Therefore I had to laugh very hard of the funny reaction of one of the parents, who sent a picture of a shelter in Patagonia, built with loose stones, saying that this is how a “youth hostel” looks in Chile.

It was time to see my family again and by chance we arrived the exact same Sunday where my grandfather celebrated his 80th birthday. My brother, who came to pick me up, was the first family member I saw. In the three months I was on the other side of the globe, he did not just declare my room for himself (on the 2nd day I was gone), he also became an adult with a driving license. After always driving with him in the passenger seat, the other way around was a funny experience. Then came the family reunion, where my “huge” beard that I let grow became subject to major discussions leading to a haircut appointment in the following week.

Instead of writing down all the great experiences, I will upload some photos and additionally you can get a lot of nice pics and live videos by clicking this links: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ERMVE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1821252721499656 & https://www.facebook.com/pg/ERMVE/videos/?ref=page_internal

Two intense weeks came to an end with what all participants deserved, an audience of almost 600 people on their feet. The day before the final concert I had posted on Facebook, that we would blow off the roof of the Trifolion and we did exactly that. Standing ovation for the Orquesta Latinoamericana, standing ovation when we played the last three songs together with the “Symphonic Youth Orchestra of the Conservatoire du Nord“ and the percussion and dance departments of the “Ecole Regional de Musique Echternach” and a room full of people dancing to Tito Puente’s famous “Oye Como Va”.  It was without a doubt one of the most emotional concert I have ever played in my life. I am so proud of the 10 boys and girls! By mobilizing their last bits of energy, they made that audience go crazy !

I want to thank first of all Evelyn, Belén, Gabriela, Francisca, Aaron, Thomas, Lucas Y., Lucas B., Giordano and Camilo, who let me in and made me feel welcome, who treat me like one of their own and who I had a hell of a lot fun with! Another huge thank you goes to Alexis Castañeda and Antonio Vargas, the two music teachers of the EPA. They are simply two wonderful human beings, who worked very hard to make this happen and burdened themselves with an awful lot of responsibility.

My “Mama” deserves in my eyes the biggest thank you. It was the dream of a lot of people that one day a delegation of the EPA comes to Luxembourg, but my mom took three years ago the decision to realize what was also her dream. She drafted the project, planned the budget and went to find partners, with the help and the know-how of my father, who also put a lot of energy and time into to this. Both of them, as long as I can think of it, were fully dedicated to whatever social causes there were and they do not only get a infinitely big thank you for their involvement in this project, but also for being such great role models. My not so little brother anymore, far from being a role model ;-), has always been my partner in crime and one of the major helping-hands in this project. Muchas gracias for that, man !

There are to many people, who deserve to be thanked for their help, their support, their work and their commitment, that I could mention them all here. Everybody should be very very proud of their involvement and more than satisfied by the outcome. I will never forget these two weeks, neither will the 10 students and their professors and I hope that you too have a strong memory of this.

A special thank you goes to all these people:

All my friends and family
Michaela Weyand and Eduardo Cisternas, the founders of the EPA
The “EPA equipo” with their director Christian Aguilar
The whole crew of “Niños de la Tierra” and especially my Volo-group
Marc Demuth
Marc Juncker
All the involved music teachers and the team of the EME
Marc Jacoby and his team of the Conservatoire du Nord
All the involved music teachers and the team of the CdN
Georges Wagner

Nadine Bichler, who had put energy, time and a lot of commitment in this project as the future director of the EME, but could not attend to watch the result of her work because of a terrible illness. Sadly she passed away only recently leaving us all in a huge shock. Rest in peace Nadine!

All the involved of the Lycee Classique Echternach
Jemp Origer
George Letellier and his film team
All the translators and helping-hands
Crews of the venues we played in
Sponsors and  everyone who supported this under whatever form

Keep supporting, guys !!!