Committing to a New Journey

Check out my Tedx Talk on the Taboos of Poo at Gettysburg College in 2013

This isn’t the first time I’ve packed my life into one backpack and headed to a new destination with no plan. Instead of a plan, I carry a longing to discover, learn, and be surprised. Nothing concrete, everything malleable — easily shaped into something new and formerly unknown.

I did this the first time in 2010 after graduating from college. While studying abroad in Bolivia I learned about the 2000 Water War in Cochabamba. I became passionate finding solutions to the global water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis, and applied to jobs and internships through idealist.org. After a handful of offers, I decided to try my luck in Guatemala with an organization building rainwater catchment tanks. Within the first few weeks I realized the fit wasn’t right. However, through that experience I was introduced to a water organization with more experience and was offered a job.

Because of my eagerness to learn, I absorbed all information I could about basic engineering and construction management. I connected with the Peace Corps in Guatemala where I trained and advised volunteers on appropriate technology and practices.

The series of experiences that led to a successful and productive two years in Guatemala reminds me of Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

Do not follow where the path made lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Each one of us is a unique individual and no matter our age or experiences, there is always a new trail to forge. Instead of weighing pros and cons of an opportunity, I ask myself if I am ready for a new commitment, journey, and reality that only I can create. if the answer is yes, then I go.

Working with the director of Agua Para La Salud, Lynn Roberts. He later provided me with my second job in Guatemala and became a mentor and friend.

Working with the director of Agua Para La Salud, Lynn Roberts. He later provided me with my second job in Guatemala and became a mentor and friend.

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