In a couple of days I travel to South Africa to begin training/service with the Peace Corps. It would not be right to leave the country without recognition to two people who have inspired me the most. You might guess I am going to mention John Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. Okay, they are important figures, but who are foremost in my mind are Bernice and Millard Penney. These dear friends joined the Peace Corps about 25 years ago and served at a rather remote location within the Solomon Islands (the kind of location where the last step of the journey involved a dugout canoe!). Like John and me, they did this following retirement and amid a collection of well wishes and reactions of “are you out of your mind?” from friends and family.
|Millard at the top|
|I'm almost there|
A few weeks ago, John and I took a day from our busy preparations to go to AL to visit Millard, who had traveled from CO. Much of the day was spent walking around his family farm land which he had donated to the community to serve as an environmental outdoor laboratory. Once again, he led and we followed … through woods, and across pastures and fields. It was a wonderful visit and worth every chigger bite (of which there were many!).
So many actions and pieces of advice from Bernice and Millard have stuck with us, more than I could ever write about. Recently, Bernice sent us a card containing the following quote: “If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room.” For each person that “edge” can be found in different ways, but we thank you, Bernice and Millard, for showing us the wisdom and courage to look beyond our comfort zone and to truly live a little more on the edge ourselves!