Friday, March 18, 2011

A Final Goodbye

The following is an excerpt from Kat Mueller and Hudson Baird's letter to the Vanderbilt Spring Break trip after they returned to the states.  To read more about their trip and see a video of the trashcans they installed, read their updates here.

As fun as the last three days have been, it was the first half of the trip that was the most meaningful for us, particularly getting to know you guys personally.  We want you to know how proud we are of each of you.  We couldn’t have asked for better people with whom to entrust our reputation in the community.  You guys did such an amazing job interacting with the students, teachers, and community leaders and it's exciting that your work and the moments you shared, specifically with the students, will remain long after Kat and I leave.  The feeling we got watching you guys in the community, especially during the presentation, was something we didn’t anticipate, you each did incredible.

As you get back into life at Vandy the feelings you have right now may fade, but there are three things we'd like to leave you with:

1.     Poverty is complicated.
2.     The world is a lot bigger than your backyard.
3.     Take care of others.

We hope you saw a glimpse this week of Kat and my belief in confronting injustice in the world, and we hope you saw how much of a difference you can make.  It can be by tutoring kids in Nashville, by advocating for environmental issues, or by starting a school in Africa - what matters to us is that you find time in your life to help people who haven't been given the same opportunities.  What matters to us is that you find ways to keep making a difference in whatever community you're most passionate about.

Lastly, we hope to see you guys here this summer.  If you want to follow, friend, like, or subscribe to Manna across the web, you can find us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or on LinkedIn.  I'll send a follow up email tonight with info on getting everyone's pics in the same place.  Finally, add us on gchat - we want to hear about the rest of the year.

You guys were incredible.

 Hudson and Kat

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