The power of taking uncomfortable chances

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Recently, Nick and I spent time in Guatemala, where we met wonderful fellow Rotary members and families who unofficially adopted me as “Tía Jennifer.” On the third day, after visiting Patzún in the mountainous western highlands, we set out for Lake Atitlán, which we needed to reach by nightfall. If we took a back road we could get there faster. Locals told us it had just been repaved and assured us, “You’ll have no problem.”

RI President Jennifer Jones and her husband, Nick Krayacich, talk with Náthali Batzibal, a student they ­support through the Guatemala Literacy Project, during April visit. Since 1997, the project has improved education in rural areas of the country by providing books, teacher training and scholarships.
RI President Jennifer Jones and her husband, Nick Krayacich, talk with Náthali Batzibal, a student they ­support through the Guatemala Literacy Project, during April visit. Since 1997, the project has improved education in rural areas of the country by providing books, teacher training and scholarships.

At first, it was a breeze. We wound through misty green coffee and corn fields covering the hillside like a patchwork quilt. But at a river crossing, we found a bridge washed away. The only way to continue would be to ford the river in our small bus. There were a few tense moments, but we decided to give it a try and, thankfully, we made it across safely.

Former ­scholarship recipient Rosa Ixcoy (right), also supported by Jones and Krayacich, with her ­daughter and mother.
Former ­scholarship recipient Rosa Ixcoy (right), also supported by Jones and Krayacich, with her ­daughter and mother.

This adventure reminds me of two important truths in Rotary. One, we rely on local, on-the-ground expertise to do what we do best. And two, sometimes you have to take uncomfortable chances to reach important goals.

Every day, I am honoured to learn from our Rotary family. Every lesson is an opportunity to grow, and each story adds a chapter to our collective Imagine Rotary year.

Jennifer Jones
President, Rotary International

One comment on “The power of taking uncomfortable chances

  • Sep 07 2022 at 11:17 pm
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    This was an inspirational read. Glad that President Jennifer Jones shared her experience of having visited Guatemala. Her message towards the end resonates with me at a deeper level.

    • Rotary Club : Rotary Club of Deonar, RID 3141
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