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The Ride of My Life

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I have been on all five 7 Continents in 7 Years trips and I have to say that Nicaragua was the most challenging by far. However, it was also extremely rewarding and with all the different things we experienced, I have to say that my donkey ride up the mountain was my highlight.

It was the very end of a long day and we were all starting to realize that we had a long uphill trip back to the community area. Cami had requested a horse for one of us to travel back on and, unexpectedly, two horses arrived! No one else in our group wanted to get on the donkey so I decided to jump on the opportunity to take the ride back to camp. I had no idea what I was in store for, but this was the ride of my life, straight uphill and all rocks. All I could think was “what the heck was I thinking.” I was scared for the first few moments as all I could see was a hoof of a donkey meeting solid rock. How could this donkey not slip? Then it occurred to me that this donkey made the trip around Platanal every day and I became much more relaxed and I started to really enjoy the ride. I was able to view the mountains and see all of the beauty of Nicaragua with amazement. After about ten minutes riding the donkey, I realized that it was the only way to travel and I didn’t want to get off, I wanted to keep going forever. It was one of my all-time favorite moments in all my adventures.

Upon return to my home in Maryland, my wife and two kids said, “Tell me about the trip!” and I replied, “Let me tell you about my donkey ride.” Then I went on to tell them that the next family trip will include donkeys and mountains. They didn’t seem nearly as excited as I was, but they loved the story.

I really enjoyed doing a project where we were able to see results on the same day. The solar panels were installed and working within a few hours. It was so gratifying to watch people get light for the very first time.

I was blown away by this village and their way of life. They are a tight-knit community and they kept their properties very neat. I know that the people of Platanal will take good care of their new solar systems and they will never take them for granted. It would be amazing to return one day and see the ripple effect of our journey and these solar systems.

Thank you Viridian Energy and all the people at corporate that work so hard to make these trips possible and who make Viridian what it is today. This is the best company in the universe and I am so proud to be a part of this journey.

My name is Ed 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.