I am writing this from the south shore of the Turks and Caicos reflecting on a year and considering the future. I came here on a diving excursion to get away from the day to day and to refresh for the new year.
I am writing today to say thanks and to seek the future actively. I want to say thanks first and foremost to all of our supporters. Those holding a note book, those reading the invasive hitlist, and those around the world who are wearing FM-31 scrubs or winter clothing. You all give us so much passion, and drive to continue innovating, to continue driving forward and to continue growing. Thank you all for your willingness to embrace change, your interest in helping others, and for sharing your stories with us.
Jesse and I go around to a lot of different places and ask people what they are passionate about. What they want our next project to be, what they care about, and what they wish they could do more of. These stories, are beyond encouraging. They demonstrate that everyone has some inner passion to start something that matters.
When I first arrived in Caicos, the airport was half built, and the existing structures were torn apart by the same hurricane that crashed into Puerto Rico. Homes, restaurants, shops, and almost any other building you could think of had its roof torn off. Coral was destroyed on our dives and half the mooring balls were ripped from the bottom of the ocean. Now South Caicos and most of the Caribbean islands are no strangers to hurricane season, but after talking to dive instructors and locals on the island, this felt different. South Caicos is on a road to recovery lasting a year and a half, and while tourism is returning, the islands have a long road ahead of them before they can shake off the storm.
It was a humbling reminder of how in the midst of a reflective calm, the storm lingers. I am emboldened and reminded of my ideals, and grounded in the understanding that in order to craft the world we want, we must understand the work that lays ahead. At FM-31 we believe in the power of storytelling, and I can feel that the beginning of ours is just starting to be written. It will be a long road, and most likely uphill, but we look forward to the challenge.
Happy new year to all, and peace and prosperity to all those affected by the great storms of our time, both literal and metaphorical.