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I discovered I liked community. I didn't have a plan or an agenda to becoming a community activist. After a few volunteering opportunities when I was quite young, I was encouraged to run for City Council; AND I WON! From there I chaired the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way campaign, and numerous other civic boards and organizations. The pay was generally a pat on the back, occasionally a kick in the butt, but mostly, the joy of being involved and trying to make a difference. I felt that same sort of camaraderie, esprit de corps with my co-workers at the architecture firm. We were all working together with purpose to do work we felt was important and made a difference. If you want to know where I've really sensed community, a bond that draws us close, it’s through the traveling and world community Rhonda and I have been blessed to be part of this last 7 years. We have definitely felt the kinship of shared experience with new friends who travel with us on every trip. When we get that call that these friends are going with us again, it's really a highlight of what we do. Nothing, however, compares to our international sense of belonging to God's community through the cultural experiences we have had with diverse people from many lands. The architect from Christchurch, New Zealand we had dinner with, the teachers in the Netherlands we had coffee with, the village chief that welcomed us in Zimbabwe, our Muslim guide in Morocco who destroyed my prejudice with his kindness. These, and many more experiences have given us an education you cannot learn in books. It's given us a love and understanding of people. At the end of the day, we are all the same; we love our families and we are seeking to serve God's purpose in our lives (though we don't all agree on the same God). If you want to gain a great sense of community and friendship with your fellow travelers, try a group tour. If you want to get a great sense of understanding and perspective on our world community, travel. I'm convinced, if more people did, there would be a lot more love and a lot less war. For the education of your life, travel and meet the world's people. This community we call earth will be better because you did (and you will be too).

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