Things have been really busy lately.
I just spent three days of intense conversation with Father Alex in Arequipa. We locked ourselves in a room (not really) and talked, debated, took notes, and wrestled with deep ideas. Why? We're writing a book. A book about HBI, the Mission of Alto Cayma, and the collaboration that has spanned over two decades of partnership and friendship. The project is just getting started, and the book will more than likely not be out until next year, but its intense work and It was a whirlwind trip.
Immediately following the trip with Father Alex, I was back in Portland in equally deep discussions planning for a documentary that will be produced about HBI and our unique model of collaboration. The documentary has come about through serendipity. We were approached by two Portland-based, phenomenally gifted documentary film producers (Will Cuddy and Zach Feiner). They have graciously donated their talent and skills to produce the documentary. We'll be filming over the month of September - and hope to have our first screening sometime in late November. Needless-to-say, planning and executing a documentary is a pretty time consuming proposition.
On top of these two important projects, we're preparing for the 2018 Bridge to Change Benefit Event at Andina Restaurant over September 25 and 26. Planning for such an event is practically a full-time job in-and-of-itself. Benjamin has been taking the lion sharing of the heavy lifting, but we're both working feverishly to get donations for the silent auction and reservations for the two night event.
During times like this, things can feel a bit overwhelming. There are so many little "to do" items that I start to feel disconnected from the reason I am doing all the work. I have a photo on my desk. Its positioned in such a way that I can't help but look at it when I am working on my computer. The photo is a family we met many years ago. A family with a story so intense, it's difficult to consolidate into this blog. In many ways, the family had a huge impact on my life. They taught me that helping means letting go. They helped me to understand that creating connections is more important than creating outcomes. They showed me that caring for and with another person can be messy and complicated.
Just before leaving Arequipa, Father Alex told me - "never forget, our work is about connecting with people. Because when two hearts connect, everything changes and all things are possible."
When I look at the photo on my desk it reminds me what is most important about the work of HBI. It reminds me that our work is about connecting with people. It grounds me in the knowledge that all of the busyness and "to do" items on my list are important, but never take the place of building connections.
We're really busy - and, I feel so privileged to be a part of such great work. Thank you your ongoing support.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.