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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Volunteer Abroad And Be Proactive

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Aug 24, 2019 10:36:20 AM
Boston Red Sox baseball capTwo years ago this weekend I was packing for a 12-day trip throughout Asia.  I had just gone to the Guilford Fair Parade with my children.  So here we were again, sitting along the street with friends to watch a parade of history that identifies Guilford to this very day.  Guilford is an agricultural community and a seaport fishing town full of rich history going back to it's roots in 1639.

And it is also back to school...some of the floats in the parade are from the different schools in the area, celebrating Guilford's strong commitment to education.  The nights are considerably cooler, needing a cotton jumper to keep the evening chill away.  And we are watching the Red Sox baseball team.  We are one game of clinching a playoff spot.  Around here October is actually Soxtober.

Our staff has returned from all of their summer assignments...most looking for more!  Staff in our Paris office ventured to South America and found time to hike all around Machu Picchu.  Our staff in Bangkok spent time in Malaysia and then ventured to Cape Town to view new projects we will announce soon there and in Soweto.

Our staff in Boston headed for Madrid, Santander (northern Spain) and then Istanbul.  The result of the trip to Istanbul is an amazing Language Partner program where we will even provide round trip airfare for anyone headed to Istanbul to teach conversational English for 1, 2 or 3 months.

For me, I took to the back streets of Paris and then London.  I met with our partners from France and Germany in the Jardin du Luxembourg for a light meal and discussions on how we can make the conversational English programs in both countries even stronger.  The result?  The price for our programs in France and Spain went from $1795 to $1295.

It was a great summer season of travel with remarkable results that benefits our incredibly giving volunteers.  If we can provide airfare on some programs, if we can lower fees by $500 then staff travel is for the right reasons.  Those decisions mean we can provide more help abroad to those families and communities most in need of GeoVisions' services.

Kevin, Jim, Ray, Rebecca and I have just completed five days in New York City where we had 72 meetings with global agencies looking for our help to sustain their efforts in their own communities.  We are exhausted but be sure to keep checking our website to find even more meaningful projects that will take us to the end of 2008 and help usher in 2009.

The Guilford ParadeI am reminded of a quote I read somewhere recently that goes, "The more proactive you are, the less reactive you'll need to be!"  That sums up the volunteers from GeoVisions.  Being proactive enough to go abroad and make a difference in lives and make a sustainable difference in communities means our volunteers believe that being proactive solves problems now, provides sustainable tools and resources to people and communities, and leaves far less with which to be reactive.  Remember, Lucretius tells us, "Drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence, but by oft falling."

The above photo is one of the bands in the Guilford Parade.  I couldn't resist adding it.  Enjoy.

Randy LeGrant
Executive Director

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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