Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012 - Africa, here we come ...

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Hope everyone has been well as there have been some birthdays and celebrations along the way. It's about that time for Jenny and I to hop on the plane across the pond, back over the sea and down to the desert of Africa, we can barely contain ourselves:)
The Duck has been amazing the last few weeks. Had my first opportunity to hire someone onto my leadership team and with so many great candidates, it was tough, but am excited to have Josh join the squad! Then we had a promotion, a volunteer of the month and one of my mentees just got promoted today to an analyst, so life has been awesome! We went through a slight re-org, nothing too drastic though, just reporting up through different leadership. We had our quarterly volunteer event at Feeding the Valley Food Bank where our team packed more than 10,000 pounds of food for those in need throughout our community, puts life into perspective a bit indeed. O yeah, from the way-back archives, the original We Got You Remix, 2009 Aflac's Got Talent style ... if you want a good laugh:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBzWJt1Y3CE
The volunteer front has been superb as well. My term as VP of Membership for the Young Professionals group has been rockin' and rollin' as we just found out we are 109% ahead of where we were this time last year! Plus, we're on target to have an awesome Timeraiser event towards the end of the year with our servant leadership squad. The Literacy Alliance has been fun with our Trivia Bee event and programs kicking back into gear. Most exciting over this last month was the 3rd Annual Live United Youth Camp. Words cannot explain the inspiration these students provided the adults at the camp, so here is the video to inspire you:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtuYGeIPtpQ&feature=related
The ol' doctorate has been going great working through my second course, Leadership and Applied Ethics. I finished up my first course, Leadership and Reflective Practices which really helped me to look at who I am as a leader forcing me to be a bit more introspective in what I do. Graduation at Emory is right around the corner too, just got my gown today so it's sinking in. I was honored to be one of the final two nominees to be the Master of Ceremonies/Orator for our class, hope to find out when I get back from Africa.
Speaking of, I should probably get some sleep. Tomorrow we fly out of Atlanta to Paris, then on to Cairo. We start our excursion hopping on a Nile Cruise, the Sonesta Nile Goddess, to see Abu Simbel. Luxor is to follow with a visit to Memphis, Sakkara, the original step pyramids and Giza to see the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Time to fly to Petra in Jordan and Wadi Rum after Egypt to visit the vast sand dunes. We then spend some time in the beautiful Victoria Falls and end the trip withabout 5 days of safari action staying out in the bungaloos of Zimbabwe ... wow, I think it's all just sinking in! O yes, and my wife rocks because we're doing all of this in three weeks with no checked luggage ... impressive!
We'll try to keep everyone posted on the blog with pictures and updates, if we can find internet connectivity:) If not, we'll get some of the pics/videos up when we get back. Hope you all have a happy St. Patty's Day and fingers crossed for us to have safe travels to and fro.
Nate & Jenny

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