And So It Begins…

By: Geneviève Bisson

Since I’ll be the voice behind these stories, let me begin by introducing myself. Let me tell you what brings me here to Cebu in the Philippines.

It all started on a dark, rainy day…. Wait, no, that’s not it at all….

My name is Geneviève Bisson and I’ve always been fascinated with social studies. As a kid I would gravitate towards books of adventure and as a teenager towards travel books.  I loved maps and would get lost in thought imagining what the streets, buildings, and people looked like.

I took my first volunteer trip to Costa Rica at the age of 18. That was when the travel bug hit me (despite a tarantula making my bag its home). Since then I’ve become an expert at sleeping on airplanes and packing light… sort of.

It has now been 10 years and the travel bug is still there. However, it has recently undergone a slight facelift. When you expose yourself to new experiences, learn more about the world, and make connections with people from various backgrounds, the world becomes smaller, more intimate, and more personal. You cannot go back to ignoring what you know and feel.

For me it was clear from the start that my contribution would be through education. I feel very passionate about giving people opportunities by empowering them and providing the tools and an environment to thrive.

That’s why after teachers college I decided to take the road less traveled and well… go travel! I knew I had much to learn and felt this would be a method to achieve more global knowledge.

My road led me to Pandoo Foundation (so whoever said all roads lead to Rome was wrong), the non-profit sister organization linked to Pandoo Nation (Twitter – @pandoo_nation).

This opportunity came at the right time. I was questioning the amount of involvement I was going to have working in the development field as opposed to going back to the classroom full time. The debate was short: I fell in love at first sight with the Pandoo Foundation projects and there was no looking back.

I love the concept.

I believe in the Foundation’s values and the organization that supports it.

I believe in the impact we can have.

I believe in our vision.

I believe that the game and this Foundation have the power to do exactly what inspired me to travel in the first place – to feel connected to the world.

So, you get the point. I’m a believer. I’m just about to break into that song from Shrek. The educator, traveler, aid worker, and entrepreneur in me are all ready and excited for the road ahead.

On top of that, I get to bring you along with me through stories from right here in the field. Storytelling can be a powerful tool for sharing, educating, and entertaining. Hopefully it inspires a few of you to create your own stories of hope and change.

I’m seeking stories here that ripple into others.

So readers – mom, people that randomly found this page, and all of you inspired people out there – welcome to the first chapter.