Nicaragua to NYC to NC

We’ve been stateside for seven weeks now and EVERYONE has been asking us — “What have you been up to?!” With the exception of a few filming projects in NYC and Charlotte, the answer is “EDITING!” We have lots of videos we’re excited to share with you!

The month of May marked the fourth time we’ve visited AMOS Health and Hope in the past six years. Each time we go back, we see improvements in Nicaragua — both in the Nicaraguan infrastructure and in the lives of people living in the communities where AMOS works. This year, AMOS is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and we had the opportunity to film and produce their anniversary video. It’s our honor to share with you the below video, which dives deep into the foundational approach of the organization that really began 50 years ago, and on through the organization’s growing impact in the lives of Nicaraguans so they everyone can enjoy health and hope.

During our six-year-back-and-forth relationship with AMOS, we have NOT often had the opportunity to accompany a mission team delegation into a rural community where AMOS works. Going with a group from the States is much different than tagging along with the AMOS staff on routine supervision trips. We got the special treatment, traveling with a talented Nicaraguan cook who prepared three meals a day for us. Though, that’s where the luxuries stopped. Everyone still had to sleep in cots on dirt floors and our generator only turned on for two hours a day. But that is just part of the raw, but rewarding experience serving with AMOS! We traveled 12 hours on bumpy, dusty roads with a group from the American Baptist Church of Pennsylvania and Delaware. They were such a joy to serve alongside — all of them had uniquely positive perspectives and hearts to serve the people living in the super remote community of El Bambú. We love how the below video turned out, which really gives you a glimpse into a delegation trip with AMOS. Enjoy!

One of the evident areas where AMOS has expanded and improved their work over the years, is their work in the urban areas. Just outside Nicaragua’s capital of Managua, the “city without center”, is an area called Nejapa, home of the new AMOS campus and their urban clinic. Check out the video below to see the work that they do to improve the heath for those living in this urban city.

After our four weeks serving with AMOS in Nicaragua, we took a week of vacation to celebrate our four-year wedding anniversary in Costa Rica! We rented a car so we could experience some of Costa Rica’s top sights — a surf break and beach town, the world-famous birding destination in a cloud forest, and a town at the bottom of a picturesque volcano with volcanically heated natural hot springs. We had a very romantic, relaxing anniversary and wanted to share some of our pictures from that side trip.

When we got back from Central America, we headed to New York City for more video projects. For two consecutive years, we’ve had the pleasure of documenting the Communications Institute for The Opportunity Agenda. The Communications Institute is an annual event that brings together diverse social justice leaders from around the nation for intensive communications skill-building and support. The Institute, which takes place in New York City, is a four-day residency that prepares the movement’s up-and-coming voices to cut through the noise with effective messages that will persuade and mobilize key audiences. We produced a whopping 42 videos, most of which were takeaways for the fellows to use on social media to raise awareness for their work and promote their movements. Below is one of the short videos we produced to give people an idea of how effective this training is. To see more of our videos and to learn about the movements these social justice advocates are working on, click here.

After our work with Opportunity Agenda in Manhattan, we headed to Brooklyn for a creative film collaboration with our friends Jeff and Juhu. Jeff was the creative mastermind behind this social media film project, the idea for which he only revealed to us the night before we filmed! Even then, Jeff only gave us a loose outline of the approach: an exploration of water inspired by his essays, haikus, and photos. Jeff’s wife, Juhu, graciously agreed to let us film her as the surfer starlet in the film. Below, we present you with something a little bit different than what we normally produce! Hope it’s like a breath of fresh air (or a drink of cool water) for you, as it was for us.

After our filming projects in New York City, we headed upstate New York to visit Jordan’s grandfather before slowly making our way back south, camping and hiking along the way in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina. We even got a chance to stop in D.C. to visit some of our best friends — Joe and Abbie and their two precious children!

Since being back in North Carolina, we’ve been furiously editing the 59 videos we’ve filmed in the past three months, but we’ve made sure to enjoy time with our family and friends (and even edit home movie projects for them too!). We even got to attend an unofficial family reunion with Cassie’s extended family over the Fourth of July. It’s been a joy to be “home” during this editing phase, but we’re looking forward to our next filming trip in Moldova, beginning this weekend!

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