GHF Retreat Blog Post 8/9/18 by Andrew Thetford (2019)
Our first day of the DC portion of our retreat was an early one. We met at the Arch at 6:30, bags in hand, and boarded the biggest NA bus to get on the road to our first stop at Cycle Technologies. We all made sure to be on time, because our driver, Roy, said that 6:45 was the latest time we could depart and still be on time. However, about 20 minutes into our drive, we experienced some technical difficulties with the bus and had to turn around and go back to NA to get on another, much smaller bus. It all worked out in the end, as we made it to Cycle Technologies with a couple minutes to spare due to an unnatural lack of traffic for a weekday morning in the nation’s capital.
Cycle Technologies was a very good start to the trip. They’re a corporation that designs products ranging from necklaces to apps that help women in both the US and especially countries in levels 1-3 to keep track of their menstrual cycle to avoid unwanted pregnancies as well as to facilitate family planning. We had a great dialogue with two representatives from Cycle Technologies, and came away very impressed with their innovation and energized for our next stop, Conservation International.
Conservation International is an organization that works with foreign governments, companies, and locals in biodiversity hotspots to conserve our world and essentially our ability to live. Our meeting with their representative, Ms. Janet Edmond, involved a general presentation about Conservation International’s work and a Q&A session regarding Ms. Edmond’s story and the interests of our group.
Our final meeting of the day was with the Save the Children organization, a group that works around the world to improve the child mortality rate, provide children with education, and help them escape conflict and violence. This was one of the highlights of the entire trip for some of the GHFs, and we left all of our meetings wishing we had more time.
After a rough drive in DC traffic, we made it to the hotel, unpacked, and headed out for our first dinner of the trip at some nearby restaurants. We ended the day with a reflection meeting and preparation for the next day of our retreat. Overall, it was an excellent start to our DC/Baltimore trip!