Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Dellas and the Stans

Life has been frenetic.  That could be my understatement of the day.  I have been busy.  That is a fair statement.  Where to start?

I have been going gonzo, trying to get Della Mae off to the 'Stans.  Della Mae is the utterly phenomenal 5-girl bluegrass band that I have the privilege of taking through Central Asia.  I have been fighting a long slog of Absurdistan visas and State Department bureaucracy to get them off to the Silk Road.  I scarcely know where to begin.  I have had to deal with inadvertently cancelled passports and visas to Pakistan that required the hope and prayer that a good visa in a cancelled passport was still legit.  At some point I became a mother hen, worrying like a good Jewish mother.

The ladies of Della Mae began arriving in DC on Monday.  Arriving in waves, as I was greeted early-on with a phone call on the metro of a girl who overslept her flight.  And she still needed typhoid shots.  But arrive, they did.


Three of the Dellas made their way over to Voice of America, where they played for Radio Deewa on the VOA Pashto service to Pakistan.  They also played a song for the Persian service (they are visiting Tajikistan, which is Persian-speaking for all you linguistic geography buffs playing at home).  There performance was definitely a treat for VOA, and had multiple offices coming over to hear them play.



To celebrate their arrival, we had all sorts of locavore, farm-to-table fare at Founding Farmers, alway a fav.

I picked up the fourth Della (Shelby) at the airport that night and the fifth (Celia) the following morning, after a round of needles.

We made our way to WAMU's Bluegrass Country, for an interview and performance on the public airwaves.  They were incredible.  I am a lucky fellow.  They played a song for me.  The sweetest of cultural diplomacy in the form of Sweet Verona.  The Dellas picked and we enjoyed.  After the show, they even bumped into Diane Rheem. She grand dame of public radio gushed at how beautiful they were.  Will have to work on getting them on her show when they return.



After the interview, they had their State Department orientation, then i drove them off to the airport.  At some point I was inducted into the "Della Man" club.

Mother Hen Rockower bade goodbye and prayed for safe passage for his chickadees.  Heaven help me if I ever have a daughter.

Thankfully, they all arrived safely in Pakistan, and I will join them soon on the Silk Road.

PS: They packed so well, I was amazed.  Something around 25 pounds each!  I had to change my suitcase plans accordingly.  Breaking out the trusty, rusty backpack.

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