Blue Knights-Bahrain Daily Blog Post (4.14.16)

Thoughts and feelings from Drum Major Ashley Drayer
Today. Was. Hot! But amazing! Up early for a beautiful breakfast at the hotel, where there were legitimately too many options…. Good thing we have a couple days to try it all, believe me, I will be taking full advantage of the wonderful options. I walked outside this morning thinking “wow, it’s actually really nice right now! I can do this all day!” Then got slapped in the face with the reality that it was 6am and about to get A LOT hotter. The ride to the track was really cool. It was amazing to see the architecture, houses, and environment of this country. Also, a nice chance to ground myself a little before rehearsal on the track. The set up to the track was quite incredible. Love sacks, kid areas, a dinosaur exhibit (yes, you read that right), a LOT of food, tents, stages…. Everything. We got on the track for the first time to time our parade to the Grandstands, got to relearn some staging, as a racetrack and a football field are VERY different to move and perform on. We didn’t play a note until our final run through (as today was mostly visual) but DANG, it sounded good! Couple more things to work out, but definitely in good shape thus far.
We got in some sectional time to work out a couple issues and made some fast, strong changes. All the while my skin burnt to a crisp whilst residing on the surface of the sun… Note to self, more sunscreen tomorrow… Too much is never enough. We got to enjoy some of the food at the track and hear some of the F2 cars race, setting up for all the F1 cars soon to follow in their footsteps. I have never been to a race before…. So needless to say I was just in awe a lot of the time.

  

After rehearsal we had some very necessary jet lag recovery time. I had some pretty high ambitions of showering, taking a short nap, then getting out and doing something. I got as far as showering and crashed. HARD. The sun can really take it out of you!

We got to have a wonderful dinner at the hotel, complete with entertainment. It was really nice to sit back, relax, be social with an amazing group of people and remember just how lucky we all are for this opportunity. Also, Nick got our entertainer (a belly dancer) to teach Mark AND Abe some sweet moves…. If you know either of them, PLEASE get them to show you.  I think we are all just barely scratching the surface of all the amazing things to see and do here, and sadly will not have time for it all, but I am definitely soaking up every second. So far I have been nothing but humbled and amazed by the entertainment, people, food, and environment here in Bahrain. It is truly beautiful. But now, time to rest, rehydrate and re-energize for tomorrow’s adventures! Good night from this magical land.

Be sure to check in each day of our Bahrain trip for Ashley’s insights as she leads this group of passionate performers to a place where no drum corps has gone before!!

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