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Giving the Gift of a Lifetime

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Each year as we approach the annual 7 Continents in 7 years trip, I always get an anxious feeling because I know I am leaving my comfort zone and traveling to the unknown. This trip was no different except we were more prepared to see the scope of work through our webinar sessions with corporate and GRID Alternatives. I must say after watching the webinar I was more anxious than ever before, but the information also made me more excited. It was hard for me to imagine that the village we were going to install solar in had never lived with electricity or benefited from the simple acts that basic electricity provide. We arrived in Managua and in our first training session at the hotel we heard that we needed to be aware that we could see scorpions and they might find their way into our bags. I was a little freaked out and, needless to say, I heard a couple of squeals from the crowd. Unlike past trips, this year I decided to video my experience so I could share it with my wife Margaret and my children, Marikate (11), Barrett (9), Finn (7) and Cullen (3) when I returned.

Our journey this year was my favorite and it was so special to me that we were able to build a relationship with each family we worked with to install solar on their home. Each family was so excited that we were there because they knew the tremendous impact our project was going to make in their lives. At every home, we asked the family to flip the switch to see their light go on. It felt like Christmas at my house! It was amazing to see the family’s reaction when they opened that gift, or in their case flipped the switch, except they had been waiting a lifetime for this gift. I feel so blessed that I was able to see this special moment twice, as the team I was working with installed solar systems on two homes. Taking this experience home with me to share with my family was important to me and my family was so proud of their father. Sharing each video I made and watching my children totally engaged and excited to see what we did made this journey an experience that will last forever in my mind and soul.

My name is Brenden Kenny and I am Generation V.

In March 2015, Viridian traveled to the breathtakingly beautiful and still mostly undeveloped “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” To complete our most ambitious project to date, we hiked to the small agricultural community of Portrero Platanal, an off-the-grid village that’s inaccessible by car. With the help of the nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives, we were able to install clean, reliable solar systems on the homes of 40 families, bringing the opportunity for a better life to an entire community.