Monday, November 19, 2012

Marketplace Revolution 2012

So much has happened in the last few weeks!  Shortly after getting back from West Africa, I was joined by my colleagues from the countries I had just visited.  It was great to be hosted by them, and then to turn right around and be a host to them!  We toured Grand Rapids, Chicago, Wisconsin (Fond du Lac and Friesland), and Indiana (DeMotte), in just two short weeks!  We attended the Partners Worldwide Marketplace Revolution 2012 at Willow Creek in Chicago, visited the Shedd Aquarium, took an architectural tour of downtown Chicago, visited Rick Slager's farm in Fond du Lac WI, visited Alsum Farm and Produce in Friesland WI, participated in two days of Vision 2020 with Partners, and concluded the visit with Belstra Milling Co in DeMotte IN.  Lots of driving, lots of great conversations and debates, lots of planning, ideas, and dreams...and lots of laughs!

Here are a few pictures that capture the essence of the last couple of weeks:
Allen Gweh and Moses Davies from Liberia watching the US election results the day after arriving....I guess it wasn't too exciting...but in their defense, they were jet lagged!
The Ghana delegation visited the Shedd Aquarium.  Here is Juliet, her husband Nana Yaw, and baby Nhyi, on the Chicago Skyline.  It was amazing to be at the Shedd and see God's amazing creativity in creating some many beautiful (and not so beautiful) creatures!
A few of us went on an architecture tour of Chicago with Dr. Lynn White from Trinity College.  This was one of my favorite buildings as it was such a surprise!  With the cool architecture and design, who would have guessed it is a prison!  Dennis Atta-Peters was only the second of two guests for the tour guide to EVER guess that it was a prison! 
A quick trip to Wisconsin allowed the Liberia and Ghana delegation to visit with Rick Slager and his "Produce with Purpose farm", as well with Larry Alsum to see his amazing food processing factory!  A truckload of seed potatoes are on their way to both Liberia and Ghana as we speak!
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending the week with the Partnership Managers from around the world with Partners Worldwide, going over the training material.  It was a great group, with representatives from India, Romania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Liberia, and the US!