truly offensive

A brief, yet powerful sermon we all need to heed. Having just returned from a trip that included both India and Nicaragua, this resonates with me more than ever. We all need to stop being so sensitive to personal affronts and far more sensitive to the real pain, greed, and injustice that fills the world.

a joy I find nowhere else

It’s almost 5:00pm and I am on my way home from India and Nicaragua. I am feeling a little ragged around the edges, but it will definitely be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I am currently in Atlanta. My flight gets into RDU after 9:00. By the time I get my car and get on the road it will probably be around midnight before I see Lynchburg. Since we left the hotel just a little after 5am that makes for yet another long day, but nothing a good night’s sleep won’t take care of.

I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time in Bangalore. But, the time in Nicaragua was like a cure for all that ails me. Being back in the field brings a joy I can find no where else. It makes all the stress of long flights a long layovers bearable.

I’ll be glad to get home…but the truth is that I would far rather still be in the mountains of Nicaragua working to change the lives of the least of these among us.

Back where it all began

I left Bangalore, India on Monday morning a little after 4:00 after a full day and evening of events. After a mind-numbing flight through Dubai and Houston, Texas, I arrived in Managua, Nicaragua Tuesday night sometime after 8:00. I finally got to my hotel around 9:00 or so.

A driver picked me up Tuesday morning at 5:30 for the three hour drive up to Matagalpa where I met the Fill the Bowls team. We spent the day visiting two schools we support. Since this is the rainy season, we were soaked by the time we got back into the city around 4:30 when we all agreed it was time for a late lunch/early dinner.

It was a fantastic day and again demonstrated to me the immense power that is generated when we all work together. Fill the Bowls is changing the lives of hundreds of children in the four villages where we are working.

For me, this is a special trip. First, I am back in Nicaragua. Nica is the first country I visited when I started Stop Hunger Now. That trip was in January 1998.

Another reason for this trip being so meaningful for me is that I am here as a board member of Fill the Bowls, a nonprofit organization founded and directed by Chessney Barrick, a close and very dear friend, and a former member of the Stop Hunger Now staff.

Seeing the excellent work being done by Chessney and Fill the Bowls is just one more affirmation that we can make a real difference. Working together, we are helping to end hunger in Nicaragua.

I am back where it all started still working to end hunger in our lifetime. Life is good.

it might just be a long day…

Normally I have no trouble with jet lag and different time zones. Not so on this trip.

I got to bed yesterday at 3am. I slept until 11am. After a full day today I turned out the lights at 10:30pm. And…I still haven’t been to sleep. I blame the beautiful Bangalore full moon.

I stayed in bed until 4:30, but finally gave up, got up, and have been working ever since. Hopefully, I might get a short nap before this afternoon when I make my presentation at J.P. Morgan Chase. (it’s always embarrassing when the speaker is the first one to nod off.)

After my first presentation I have a dinner meeting and longer presentation to Stop Hunger Now India’s board and key volunteers. And, unless I miss my guess, that will be followed by a more informal time of getting to know one another and building relationships.

My good friend Dola, the Director of Stop Hunger Now India, has promised me I will get back to my hotel in time to get my bags and check in at 2am for my 4:30 flight to Nicaragua. I just hope I can stay awake long enough to make it onto the plane.

Back in Bangalore

I arrived here in Bangalore, India sometime after midnight this morning. By the time I had gone through immigration, picked up my duffle bag, cleared customs and exchanged some dollars into rupees, it was after 1 am.

The Palms, where I normally stay in Bangalore was full so my excellent staff booked me into the Taj Bangalore Airport. Since the Taj was less than a 10 minute walk that’s what I did. Even after one in the morning the heat and humidity had me breaking a sweat before I got to the hotel.

The staff was as courteous and friendly as I expected, and I got to my room around 2 am. After a hot shower, I still couldn’t get to sleep so I read until after 3 am.

Later today I hope to meet with Stop Hunger Now India’s director. Dola is a dedicated, passionate leader in the fight to end hunger, and I am really looking forward to some time with him.

Tomorrow I am to make a brief presentation at an event hosted by J.P. Morgan Bank, where I get the honor of thanking them for their continued generous support of our efforts to end hunger in our lifetime.

And at 4:30 am on Tuesday, I catch a flight to Managua, Nicaragua. Once there I will switch hats, and represent the board for Fill the Bowls, another life-changing nonprofit.

I’ll admit that the schedule is a little rough, but I wouldn’t change a thing. This is just too much fun.

ending hunger in 15 years

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