Investment Lessons

by Justin J. Pearson, Summer 2 Intern

Your journey of a thousand miles may begin with one step, but who you are travelling with helps you reach your destination. I am fortunate to be on a journey of self-awareness and evaluation with my Mannamily. I am challenged to think creatively when making Camp J.A.M. plan. Analytically, when helping create Business Development strategy and introspectively while walking in the communities where we serve.

Our service is only part of the experience, but how the community serve us is the other part. I continue to learn that service is understanding that the people you work with/ serve are giving of themselves and their stories to help you grow. The communities we work have strengthened me. I only hope I can help some in theirs.  Our shared vision is culminated when sitting with a community member in her home and listening to her tell about her hopes for the future. These moments define holistic community development by understanding the community.

Here, I grow. I have learned how to evaluate the community without imposing preconceived beliefs or ideals. I understand the investment that Manna has in this community and the investment of the community in Manna. I have learned more Spanish, met more people and engaged in the Nica experience. I work with my Mannamily and work in the community.

The meals we share and our travels strengthen our bonds with one another. The homestays, the classes, and the work we do strengthen our bonds to a wider net of humanity. There are few experience that have challenged the way I think more than my time here in Nicaragua.

Each step strengthens me. Each conversation I discover more of who I am.