Years in the planning, all twelve members of the Chile 8 Corporate Service Corps team finally meet in person. It has been a long wait, with a lot of hopes and wondering about who I will be working with over these four weeks. I’m so excited as we will soon begin our work with community groups in Arica, leveraging our technical and consulting skills to affect positive change in the local community.
I am going to start at the beginning (a very good place to start…).
It was back in 2014 when I applied to the Corporate Service Corps and was so thrilled to be accepted. I was also really nervous about leaving my family as my kids were 5 and 7 at the time. Then in 2016 I was assigned to a team, but had to postpone due to other things happening at work (which were also fulfilling and great).
And then again at the start of 2017 I was assigned to a project and was so happy that it was to be in Chile. I had visited Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador on previous excursions, and I loved the people and the experiences. I gladly accepted to return once again to South America.
The team then spent 3 months of prep-work. We talked on the phone weekly and shared with each other, and started to get to know our team.
Debbie and I ran into most of the team at the left-luggage/baggage storage at Santiago International and then headed up to our gate where we met our twelfth and final member of our team. The fellowship united. Most of whom had been traveling for 1-3 days to get to this point, from 10 different countries. It is fair to say that many brains were scattered at this point and excitement was high as we navigated the airport process and got to our seats on the plane.
We flew the 2,000km to Arica together (remember Chile is the longest country in the world) and every single bag made it. We were picked up at the airport and headed to Hotel Diego de Almagro Arica where we got to meet Carolina, our Regional Program Coordinator from Pyxera Global, and were very quickly assigned to rooms, our new homes for the next month. Exhausted from the travel, but enthused greatly for the journey that lays before us. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you.
#IBMCSC Chile #CSCChile8