Happy New Year to everyone! I recently created this poster as a type of reminder that action produces results. This year has been phenomenal and I look forward to what the next year holds. We all have fears, doubts, issues with confidence that hold us back. Even in the midst of these dark thoughts, I want to keep moving forward by strengthening the relationships I have and by working harder than ever. May 2016 be a year of lasting joy and peace.
Life is hard. Life is beautiful. Life is worth it. I wasn’t thinking this earlier today. No, instead I was processing or attempting to process all the tragedy that surrounds our human state of existence. Why keep trying? Why keep helping others? Why?
With so much sorrow, like the recent outbreak of Ebola, victims of sex crimes, young lives cut short, deaths of the innocent at the hands of ISIS. Are we foolish to keep pressing on?
In times like these I pray and grieve with those who are suffering. Often oscillating between feelings of trust – trust that the situations will be resolved – and outright concern for all those affected by hard times. I also pull back, and realize – life is worth it. Life is beautiful because of the impact we have on others. We do matter and what we do here and now can make all the difference in someone’s life.
How refreshing is pure clean water on a sweltering summer day? Our team experienced the joy that pure, revitalizing water can bring to a thirsty community. When I signed up for Team Living Water’s (the race team that raises money for clean drinking water) trip to Guatemala I had know idea what lay ahead. Organized by Living Water International, our group of 12 ventured to the village of Los Lotes, Guatemala to build a well. When fresh, pure, “limpio” water gushed from the earth I felt the joy of what we had accomplished. This well would be the source of better health for the 45 families in the village both now and for many generations to come.
To say it was a remarkable experience would be an understatement. The entire process from ground breaking to the final ceremony — with the singing of the Guatemalan national anthem, the children dancing, and thanks from the mayor of the region — took my breath away.
What was most remarkable was the joy and love from the community members. Yes, their lifestyle was a jolting comparison to the fast-paced, tech driven culture I have grown accustomed to. And in their simplicity was joy and smiles, love and compassion. But their was more. Mothers with unspoken concerns about the futures of their children. And the children were joyful, yet was this the life they in fact wanted?
Leaving the village was that much harder. It left me with mixed emotions.
May we never take forgranted all the blessings we have been given. And at the same time, how can we continue to give back to those all around us? Returning stateside I didn’t want to lose the feeling of wonder I experienced throughout the week. I will continue to look up at the sky and breath deeply in awe of the wonder of creation. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had the chance to experience this with the Team Living Water crew. Getting to know each person throughout the week made the experience even sweeter- like a refreshing, pure glass of water.
Everyday I want to remember all of the reasons I have to be thankful. Worry, doubts and fears should never take residency in our minds. Even on challenging days, in difficult situations, it is possible to remember the incredible aspects of life.
Yesterday evening, my friend and I ventured out into the wintery evening to watch the premier of the independent food documentary: GMO OMG!
GMO OMG is not a film that will answer all your questions about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). It does however show how ubiquitous GMOs have become and highlights the struggle to preserve biodiversity in seeds. This award winning film, directed and featuring Jeremy Seifert raised many questions for me: Are GMO crops better? Should we be labeling? Where is the conclusive scientific evidence supporting or disproving the long term impact of GMOs?
This movie doesn’t propose all the answers. Instead, it is a journey, Jeremy as a father takes along his path of determining what he would like to feed his family. So if you are in-favor of GMOs, would never eat GMOs or have never even heard of them- this movie offers a perspective that should be seen.
So you drive an energy efficient, zero emission electric car or a hybrid with a battery pack. What happens to the lithium battery when you are finished with the car?
Recycle: Car manufacturers, including Honda and Toyota, both of whom have been building hybrid vehicles for more than a decade, have programs established to recycle old batteries.
Reuse: Electric vehicle batteries have longer lives than those in PCs or cell phones. In some cases up to 70 percent capacity remaining after 10 years of use in an automotive application. This longevity allows them to be used for smart-grid community energy management systems or battery energy storage.
Repurpose: Nissan operates under the “4R” business model to reuse, resell, re-fabricate and recycle lithium-ion batteries. This allows them to repurpose the battery as energy storage systems with an estimated battery storage capacity of 50 kWh (enough energy to power 15 homes for 2 hours).
Hopefully these options will in fact be implemented. This makes driving an electric car an even more conscionable choice.