My year as the volunteer Global Blogging Ambassador for Heifer International is officially over (that’s the sound of me sobbing).
A look back at the numbers makes me feel simultaneously exhilarated and a tiny bit exhausted. I traveled to 14 countries (15 if you count my test run to Uganda in October, 2011), and spent at least 280 hours on airplanes and another 390 hours (but who’s counting??) bouncing around in trucks.
It’s been an unbelievable year … and I’ve got more than 10,000 photos to prove it.
I’ve written 113 posts and my blog was viewed about 84,000 times by people from 164 countries.
Along the way I was also voted Volunteer of the Year from the South by the Classy Awards (thanks for voting for me, y’all!!). But my biggest joy was meeting people (and Heifer staffers!) in these developing countries and getting to see their homes, their children, and their farms & animals — and how incredibly hard they work every day.
What I’ve learned along the way is that our Earth is a staggeringly beautiful place…
That people everywhere have a lot more that unites us than separates us….
That when we reach out to help others, we gain more than we give…
…and we invest in our own happiness.
Thanks a million to Heifer (and especially CEO Pierre Ferrari) for trusting me to convey these incredible stories of inspiration and vision.
Thanks to my husband and family for their unwavering support, and to Michelle B. for her stupendous travel counsel.
And thanks to YOU for coming along on the journey!
Feel free to come back and troll through the archives anytime! (If you click on “The Countries” navigation button, you can pull down all posts from whichever country you’d like.)
(And if you miss me, please subscribe to my new/old blog What Gives 365 where I’ll be freshly posting!