For two weeks while I was enjoying myself in Florida with Lisa, Mike was in Paraguay. Fernando, a historian who has his doctorate in chemistry and a masters in psychology is part of the team there and was being trained to continue to do what Mike was doing. For years Fernando has been working and lecturing to instil national pride and raise the level of awareness to create a better future for his beloved country, then out of the blue he was asked by the President to be the ‘Minister of Culture’. What a blessing! So back to the drawing board and back to Paraguay Mike goes. This trip Mike travelled to Colonias Unidas and met with three men – two pictured here – who are leaders in that area. They are all enthusiastic and passionate about helping Paraguay grow and change. They have been doing the Round Tables and are willing to help carry on the work in the southern part of the country. Mike also met with the Minister of Education as a follow-up to an agreement that he signed with John Maxwell to bring change through values to the school system, starting with the teachers and then including all the students as well. All in all a successful trip.
A little restaurant and convenience store that was on the corner of the street where we stayed the last three times we were in Paraguay burned down. Mario, the owner began rebuilding immediately. He put his BBQ on the street, a few tables and chairs and opened up for business while he got going on putting up a new roof and walls. Hardworking optimistic people with no quit in them, these are the kinds of people we want to invest in, to make a difference with, to teach and to love.
After Paraguay, Mike flew to Costa Rica. Our friend Luis Morales, the pastor of a hispanic church in Boston, is a mover and a shaker. He is originally from El Salvador and travels there at least once a month. He is a man of influence and has started implementing Round Tables in his home country. One of the criteria for taking on a country for Transformation is to have an invitation from the president. That is not happening in El Salvador at the moment but our friend Luis also has contacts in Costa Rica! Through his contacts they connected with the President there who was very interested in bringing the values teaching to his country. So Mike and Jerry flew down to meet with the President, they also met with the President of the Congress, the President of the Supreme Court and the President of the Electorate. Could this be our next country to take transformation to? I hope so 🙂
From Costa Rica Mike flew into Houston to meet with the two teams from Guatemala and Paraguay. The purpose was to discuss how to move forward, attain goals, develop a plan, learn from each other and make it easier for the next country we go to. I flew to Houston from Florida arriving in time for the dinner on the last night and to hug all the wonderful team members we’ve come to love and admire. After that we stayed a couple of days with our wonderful friends Elvia & Alfredo where there is a standing invitation and a bedroom waiting.
Then it’s off to Pebble Beach!
Having been so involved with John Maxwell and Transformation Paraguay, Mike was invited to attend the fund raising golf tournament at the prestigious Pebble Beach Golf course in California. I got to come along and enjoy the hotel (every room has its own fireplace), walk along the ocean, shop in the nearby towns and hang out with Jerry & Jerri-Lee. What a blessing! More than a blessing – we feel spoiled! The hotel here is over $500 per night, that’s winter rates and does not include meals or golf which is $450 per round.
Mike played Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay golf courses with their stunning views, a caddy and free golf balls.
Many of the holes are right on the water’s edge, and where there is ocean there are sea gulls. While Mike was taking a break to eat some lunch a sea-gull swooped down and stole his chips, bag and all. When we compared stories that night, there were many who got their food taken, even a score sheet was stolen by the birds. But the most bizarre story was a guy who took his Rolex watch off to make a shot and a gull took his watch! He chased after it but the bird flew out to sea and dropped the watch in the ocean – what a helpless feeling! Each night we enjoyed a banquet and afterward there was entertainment, videos and speeches. On the last night there were prizes for all the golfers, Mike got a set of Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbuds.
I toured the neighbouring towns of Carmel (where Clint Eastwood lives and was the mayor for many years), Seaside and Monterey. Such quaint towns tucked into the coastline with historic Victorian style homes interspersed with Spanish adobe style casas and smaller beach houses. Many beautiful old heritage buildings have been turned into restaurants, gift shops, art galleries and B&B’s.
The 17 Mile Drive winds back and forth around the bays lined on one side by the ocean and the other by the private community of unique homes with lots of windows to take in the spectacular view.
We spent three days in this paradise. As Mike says he crossed off an item he didn’t even know was on his bucket list.
We met many interesting people and got to see how successful businessmen enjoy life! We also witnessed how generous they are, 2.5 million dollars was raised on the last night.
The weather report called for rain but it held off until the day we left and then it came down in buckets as we drove to the airport. Back to reality – now all we have is our memories.