This was the second continent trip that I have had the privilege and blessing to be a part of with Viridian. It was such a profound experience—one that I will yet again treasure in my heart forever. The concept of these trips is so amazing. To be immersed in different cultures, not to Americanize them, but simply to ease the burdens in their life a little. I am so proud of the impact we had on the Albanian people and their lives. To see firsthand the conditions of sheer squalor that they live in on a day-to-day basis was humbling, to say the least. Small, broken-down trailers. No kitchen or bathroom facilities. No running water. Just some mattresses thrown on the floor and maybe a small end table if you were lucky.
To see the beautiful grandeur of the Albanian mountains in the background of our work project was a huge reminder of God’s majesty. We worked HARD on this trip—if anyone ever told me I would be wielding a pickaxe into stone I would ask them what they were smoking. Seeing this project come to fruition from start to finish was extremely gratifying. Our muscles were so sore, but our spirits were soaring as we witnessed the solar lights come on for the first time—something we each had a hand in putting together in so many different stages. To hear the excited chanting of the kids as they readied themselves for the lights to come on over the soccer field that we built only increased our own excitement and anticipation. These experiences are seared in my mind forever. The language barrier was huge, but somehow we found ways to communicate. A smile, a gesture, an old man putting his hand on his heart, let us know that we were helping in a profound way. There is no greater joy than to serve others and personally, for me, what we gain from these trips far outweighs what we give. We gain a greater awareness and gratitude for the abundance that we have in this life. A greater awareness of what others do not have in this life. My heart overflows with gratitude to Viridian for giving me and so many others the opportunity to experience their global mission firsthand—and for learning an authentic Albanian dance! I am beyond proud of our company and the things we have accomplished in six years and I know in my heart the best is yet to come!
Then it was Buon Giorno, Italy! My homeland! We arrived in Puglia to rest and rejuvenate and we could not have picked a better place. The accommodations were outstanding to say the least. It was truly a bella vita from the amazing restaurants, to the sunset over the Adriatic Sea, to the tour of Trulli which was TRULLI spectacular, to olive oil tasting, the beach, horseback riding through the olive tree fields. Again, God’s artistry on full display. And the food—did I mention the food? And the wine—did I mention the wine? To share this experience with the people you just worked so hard with was rewarding beyond measure. I come away from each trip asking myself the same question—what kind of company does this? And the answer is easy. It’s an answer that is in all of us because we embody the mission and belief of our company—that’s how we do what we do. It’s a company that truly cares about helping and serving people. It’s a company that understands our responsibility in caring for our environment. It’s a company that has brought thousands of people together who share a bond in furthering their sustainability mission. It’s a company that is truly making the world a better place. It’s our company. It’s Generation V.
I am Generation V!