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At GeoVisions We Don't Save Lives

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Jun 4, 2014 10:45:00 AM

Clinic Medical School Brigade1 resized 600Our CEO, Kevin Morgan, sometimes has to remind us that, "We're not saving lives here."  And this typically comes up when someone is taking what we do too seriously.

Now, there isn't anything wrong with taking travel and cultural exchange seriously.  In fact, that's a good thing.

But sometimes we obsess on why someone we've been talking to for 3 months decides not to take the jump and do a GeoVisions program ... or, chooses another organization.  sometimes we get grouchy when a participant calls from overseas and is having an issue with a host parent ... but they end the call with, "Please don't tell them I called you."  Well, how can we help, then?

GeoVisions was founded, ultimately, as a place where people can have fun.  We try to create an atmosphere where staff can come to work (no matter how busy or stressed they are) and have fun doing good work.  We create programs where our participants can have fun meeting and exceeding their goals.  We always try to provide home stay exchanges whereby a host family in another country will have fun with a GeoVisions volunteer living with them.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with savings lives.  It's just that we're not doing it here.  And that isn't why we exist.

I am attending a conference in Berkeley, CA for two-days at the GoOverseas.com offices.  One of the speakers today asked one of the founders of GoOverseas why he founded the search engine.  Mitch replied quickly and definitively ... "I wanted GoOverseas to be the Yelp for overseas programs."  It's the first time I ever heard Mitch put it that way.  I liked it.

We started GeoVisions to have fun exchanging our culture with other cultures.  It never came up that we'd save lives or save the world.  And honestly?  We don't exist to change the world.  That kind of presumes we know how the world should be.  And we don't.  We are happy taking responsibility for making sure we give all of our participants a platform in which they can meet and exceed their goals, exchange their culture with other cultures, meet and live like locals and have fun doing it.  Period.  Full stop.

Is it hard teaching or tutoring English?  Sure.  Can you laugh out loud teaching "four," "fore," and "for?"  We hope so.

Smiles do not need translation.

Written by Randy LeGrant

Randy is the Executive Director of the GeoVisions Foundation. He has spent the last 44 years managing organizations that send people abroad on cultural and educational exchanges.

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