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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Working and Teaching Abroad Never Looked So Good--We're Back!

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Nov 7, 2012 10:30:00 AM

It's great to be back.

We were closed Monday through Friday last week because of Sandy. We had no power, water, Internet, phones, heat. What was interesting though is the staff considered Internet a necessity…and of course that drives our phones. So we couldn't even hook up a generator for power. Xfinity was down.

So we went hunting again. Because this marks 14 days GeoVisions has been closed for weather in the last 13 months. Some of us moved our computers into the Guilford and North Branford libraries where they had power and Internet. Others sat in McDonalds and Starbucks and gained some weight in the process. Our town green, right across from our office, looked like a battle zone. Trees uprooted, limbs everywhere.

Storm damage on the Guilford GreenGuilford is odd with hurricanes. We are a shoreline community with a working harbor. So we get flooding from the sea. We are also an agricultural community, and so we have a lot of trees that go flying across roads during high wind. And the occasional flying cow.

I have to tell you, though, that our spirit is undaunted. After two hurricanes in one year, we feel knocked down, but we're back up and preparing for the next one that decides to turn toward us. Maybe 10 or 11 months from now. Our website never went down, since it is hosted on servers in Massachusetts and Arizona. Our email never went down, since Google hosts that. Our emergency phone service never went down since we forwarded all calls there in advance of the storm and that facility is more bunker than office.

The notes and emails sent to us last week from our offices and partners abroad, and our volunteers and teachers were more than we could have expected. Your patience as we dealt with this problem and your concerns and prayers were very much appreciated.

Through it all, we still have families desperate for au pairs. We have schools desperate for teachers. We have projects desperate for volunteers. The upside of being an Internet business is that the site is still live even when your office is getting pounded.

Thank you again for your patience. We are getting back to cleaning up the office, setting up our new telephone system, figuring out even more ways to be of better service to you all. If there is anything we can help you with, please drop us an email at programs@geovisions.org. Or call us on 203-453-5838. Both work just fine!

More important than what happened to us is what is happening to our friends to the south. Places that are now gone from us forever. People suffering today, families and children freezing cold from the low temperatures this week. Everyday we think about them.  

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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