Today we embarked on our dreamBIG adventure! Thanks to 2nd Watch we are fortunate to be able to travel to Guatemala to volunteer in a children’s home and bring them much needed supplies and new computers.
Today was a day of travel…we started early this morning in Houston where we met up with a group of 10 women from Austin, TX who are also spending the week at Eagle’s Nest putting on a women’s retreat for 100+ Guatemalan women from around the area. When we arrived in Guatemala City we loaded our massive amounts of luggage (donations we brought) and 13 women onto an old school bus to start our 4 hour journey up the mountain to Solola. It was a beautiful (crazy!) drive and we were able to see a lot of the lush, green countryside. It was also very humbling to see how these families live as we drove through the little “towns” and realize how fortunate we are to live in America.
When we arrived at our destination, Eagle’s Nest, we were able to meet with the owners and learn about the history of the orphanage and the plan for the week. Tomorrow we will be able to meet the kids and give them all of the sports balls and other goodies that we brought for them.
Until next time…Adios!
Our new travel buddies from TX.
Guatemalan country side on our way to the children’s home.
As we disembark from this adventure of a lifetime I reflect back on all of the amazing things we have seen and experienced over the past couple of weeks. There is no doubt in my mind that this experience will be something we all carry with us and cherish the rest of our lives. What a blessing to be able to go and visit such an exotic land with an entirely different culture than we are used to. Also an incredible blessing and honour to be able to use our resources and time give back and do something that will hopefully make an impact for generations to come. To get to meet those orphaned children and to experience and share in the joy that they have for life. I know without a doubt a piece of our hearts will always remain in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Since “a picture is worth a thousand words” I figured I would provide a quick run-down with pictures of what we experienced…
Fishing and site seeing in the Indian Ocean
Providing a computer lab, facilities improvements, and humanitarian relief to Jehova Jireh Haven Orphanage in Alexandria
Safari tour at Addo Elephant Park and Schotia Safaris
Hunting at the GrootDrai ranch with Rufus Luttig and HuntSA
JB and Caitlin take Cape Town!
What an amazing life-changing experience we had!
Today four 2nd Watchers (Caitlin Collom, JB McGinnis, Pete Irwin, and myself) set out for South Africa’s Eastern Cape on the adventure and experience of a lifetime! The first milepost of our trip will be the Jehova Jireh Haven orphanage (JJH) in Alexandria. We are going to be setting JJH up with their first computer lab (in fact, their first computers of any kind). We will also be getting them set up with Internet connectivity. We are going to be giving the kids basic computer training, and giving some regular volunteer students from Rhodes University more advanced training so that they will be able to help maintain the technology after we are gone. In addition to the technology projects we will be working on several facilities improvement and general humanitarian aid projects, as well as getting to know the kiddos and spending some quality time with them. Once we finish up at the orphanage we will start on a deluge of uniquely African experiences including: Addo Elephant refuge, Schotia Safaris, deep sea fishing in the Indian Ocean, bungee jumping from the tallest commercial bungee jump in the world, cage diving with great white sharks, hangin’ with South African penguins at Boulder Beach, Summiting Table Mountain near Cape Town, and some African big game hunting… (to name a few). To quote Dick Vitale… “It’s gonna be awesome baby!”
I’ve never heard of a company (much less worked for one!) that has sponsored such an incredible adventure for a very lucky group of employees to go on. This is a true honor to be a part of. I’m extremely excited for the impact we are making for this orphanage and the amazing things we will see and experience along the way! 2ndWatch is a company unlike any other and I’m blessed to be part of such a great organization, team, and family!
In 2014, 2nd Watch announced a new employee con called ‘dream BIG.’ The challenge was all about making our dreams come true.
2nd Watch asked us to consider what was on our bucket list. Have we ever wanted to run with the bulls in Spain? Sail through the Caribbean? Learn how to surf in Hawaii? With this in mind, the employees of 2nd Watch set out to work as teams to craft creative presentations to be entered into this con.
While reviewing the entries, the 2nd Watch Executive team noticed a theme. Quite a few of the submissions highlighted a desire to complete a humanitarian project abroad. After a little bit of thought, it was decided that not one humanitarian project was enough. 2nd Watch Leadership awarded ALL of those with humanitarian dreams the trip of a lifetime.
A group of seven employees total will take part in this year’s ‘dream BIG!’
The first group of four will be departing in April to South Africa to work at Jehovah Jireh Haven Care Center in Alexandria. Our goal is to set up JJH with their first computer lab and install a wifi connection. In addition to setting up the computer lab, we will teach basic computer skills and provide manual labor and supplies to the Center such as de-worming medication, toiletries, stationary and more.
During the 3rd quarter the second group of three employees will be traveling to Guatemala to work with the orphans living at Eagle’s Nest Children’s Home. During our time at the Children’s Home, we will support the mental and spiritual growth of these children through teaching, clean-up, sports and work with missions teams.
2nd Watch is supporting these trips with airfare, accommodation and limited humanitarian aid. However we are asking our coworkers, family and friends to help us raise additional funds to support ongoing work with the orphanages. As of March 24th we have already raised $4000 and a portion of this has paid for the installation of internet, a year’s supply of internet fees and a year’s supply of deworming medication for JJH! We are still collecting donations for both trips. For more information please visit our GoFundMe Page
We will be documenting each trip on this 2nd Watch blog. Please look for updates mid-April as we work with Jehovah Jireh Haven as well as the other adventures South Africa holds.