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Another Year, Another Trip!

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Hello All! This is Joann, Program Director of Spark Ventures.

As we approach the New Year, I am heading off to Zambia to work with our partner organization, Hope Ministries, on issues ranging from accounting practices to poultry farming. I’m excited to share my trip with you on this blog, and I’ll be working hard to blog at least every weekday while I’m away.

Despite wet tennis shoes from all the snow in Chicago, the trip is off to a good start as I bop around listening to my iPod while waiting in O’Hare airport for our flight to board. (Given my complete lack of rhythm, I think the lady next to me thinks I’m having seizures.) Rich was upset that I made fun of his musical tastes on this blog during our first trip together in February, so to even things out, I’ll share that I am listening to the Glee version of “Teenage Dream” on repeat. (Happy, Rich? 🙂 )

Thinking about the coming year and this latest trip (my third this year), it’s hard not to reflect on my past year at Spark. I started at Spark in January of this year, and it has been a truly spectacular 11 months so far. I’ve gotten to help plan the launch of a Zambian poultry farm, I’ve met some truly incredible Spark investors who give not only of their resources but also of their time and I’ve already spent almost a full month in Zambia, working with the dedicated and ever-generous staff of Hope Ministries.

I suppose this is all to say that I’m thrilled at the idea of what 2011 and this trip will bring. It will be an adventure to see what we can do for these kids together!

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