When Ed and I headed to Belize from Nova Scotia in 1998, it was our plan to spend the next 3 years, essentially working as volunteers, for Habitat for Humanity International. As our oldest daughter was already in college, we left with three of our four kids in tow, and it was to be the adventure of a lifetime. Well, that’s exactly what it turned out to be, but 3 years quickly morphed into 4, then 7, and before we knew it, almost 25! It was during our time in Belize that we first met Wayne Fowler, and it was because our friendship with him, that we eventually ended up working with Hand in Hand in Nicaragua.
Before landing in Nicaragua, where we always knew we wanted to be, our work took us to several different countries. Our 3 youngest kids basically grew up abroad. One neat thing we like to tell people is that each of our children graduated high school in a different country…. Kate in Canada, Sally in Belize, Edward in Argentina, and Jacqueline in Nicaragua. A lot happens in 25 years and they are now all married with children which has made us the proud grandparents of 7!
Working with Hand in Hand to create the Pathway to Change scholarship program, and then administer it for the last 18 years, has been such rich and rewarding work for us. For all of our children, the experience has been rich and rewarding too, although it certainly came with some challenges. They all got top-notch educations through the international schools they attended and the various cultures they came to know and love. Our oldest, Kate, never lived abroad with us but was a frequent visitor and ardent supporter. She and Sally have done a ton of volunteer work for Hand in Hand over the years and now Kate and her family even sponsor a child.
We are now living in Nova Scotia, which has been a wonderful and welcome transition for us. Two of our kids and four of our grandchildren live within blocks of us here in Halifax and we love that. From here, we continue work and keep up with our Nicaraguan “family” online, as well as make an annual visit.