|blueEnergy board and friends in Granada|
By Bruce Noda - Eager to see the efforts of blueEnergy Nicaragua, the bE International Board scheduled their first board meeting of 2012 in Granada followed by an onsite visit to blueEnergy’s operations headquartered in Bluefields on the Caribbean Coast. Executive Director Mathias Craig presented an annual report on revenue, expenses, personnel, projects and social impact to the Board. This presentation was followed up with further discussions on fundraising activities as well as a presentation on “The Age of Reason” by Mathias and board member Colette Grinevald. As blueEnergy enters it’s seventh year, blueEnergy is in the maturation phase where we can start to distinguish the possible from the impossible and to appreciate true cost and opportunity cost. The age of reason is about understanding how things really are today, envisioning a better future and determining what it will realistically take to get there.
After the Board meeting, blueEnergy Nicaragua hosted a conference of its partners, including other NGOs, representatives from both the American and French embassies, and Nicaraguan government officials. After a presentation on blueEnergy’s various projects and areas of impact, conference guests were encouraged to discuss their particular experiences working with blueEnergy and invited to give their impressions of the work being done by blueEnergy. It was a highlight of my visit to hear these guests provide such a positive view of the work and impact of bE staff and volunteers in the communities we serve. This was an affirmation of the benefit of blueEnergy’s work by peers and oversight organizations that recognize the needs of our beneficiaries.
|blueEnergy board and friends enjoying the three hour|
panga journey from Kahka Creek back to Bluefields!
Following the board meeting in Granada, most of the board members along with long-time supporters from France and the US traveled to Bluefields to begin a tour of blueEnergy’s operations on the Caribbean Coast. We had the opportunity to meet with staff members of the water and energy team to learn more about their specific projects as well as met with members of Bluefields’ mayor’s office and government officials of GTRK, the Rama-Kriol Territorial Government. We also had the opportunity to travel to Pearl Lagoon, Kahkabila, Wawashang, and Kahka Creek to see several projects. We also met with blueEnergy staff, volunteers, interns and a group visiting from MIT who were working in conjunction with blueEnergy on several community projects in Bluefields.
This was my second trip to Bluefields. Although I had already visited the area in September of 2009, I continue to be impressed by the work and dedication of our staff. It was great to see that we are committed to employing more local Nicaraguans and that we are able to maintain a strong core of international volunteers and interns. Our management team is strong and effective and continues to reach out to the communities and other organizations with which we share a common goal and vision.
|Bruce with the tree he planted in Kahka Creek.|
On a personal note, my best memory of the trip was in Kahka Creek. We had an opportunity to help with a reforestation project and I was impressed by the community leader’s devotion and love of the land. He entertained us with songs from his heart of his devotion to the protection of the land and his country of Nicaragua.
Overall, my time in Nicaragua was well spent. I am proud to be part of the diverse blueEnergy team “working for a more equitable, sustainable world.”
Bruce Noda is Chairman of the blueEnergy International Board.