My first reaction was to write about the loss – huge loss – for his family and friends and colleagues at Calabash; the communities they work with; volunteers; and indeed to me as a friend and people and places as a partner – but I wasn’t comfortable with writing that way – it took me a while to work out why.
Paul was – a gladiator – a huge force for good – a passionate advocate for the people he worked with – confrontational – an inspiration.
For me he was a loyal friend – a teacher – a partner – a mentor.
That’s what I want to remember – what I gained by knowing him – not what I have lost.
When Harold, Kate and I decided we wanted to develop a responsible volunteering programme Harold told me that all his experience in responsible travel led him to believe that Paul Miedema at Calabash had to be one of our first partners. I was quickly convinced……Paul wasn’t….. (more…)