So much has happened in my life since March of 2015 when I started MakeSafe. My team and I have overcome so many hurdles and accomplished more than I ever would have imagined. Three years ago, if someone would have told me that I would be moving to Africa, living in a truck with the Serengeti plains as my back yard and going village to village setting up emergency medical systems I would have laughed them out of the room.
Flash forward to today and that seems like a perfectly reasonable lifestyle. To be fair, however, I never have been one to follow a traditional path in the first place. We often joke about how our story is like The Lord of the Rings, like a group of hobbits leaving the safe confines of the Shire to trek over to Mordor. MakeSafe's cofounder Kyle and I grew up in a very small town in Wisconsin. When we tell people back home what we are doing they really do respond with shock like we're traveling to Mordor. Lucky for me, we're going to a beautiful country teeming with wildlife and full of white sand beaches instead of a fiery hell filled with angry demon monsters trying to destroy the planet. We're not naive though, we are aware that there are areas of heightened risk in Tanzania and security is always a top priority.
It can be a challenge balancing operational security and transparency but it is certainly possible. I have learned so much since we started this journey and I know the same goes for everyone on the MakeSafe team. We have come a long way from where we started. When our organization was in its infancy and it was just Ed, Kyle and I running the show, we all lacked business experience but we all had one thing in common that set us up for success. We were all military veterans. Not only are veterans used to working together in the worst conditions imaginable, we also have a knack for being able to tackle a task with great efficiency and rapidly adapt when a problem presents itself. We combined that ability with passion, motivation, thorough training, hard work and proper planning to create a recipe for success. However, the recipe for success is not enough on its own.
For a nonprofit to be successful it also needs results and to get results we needed an opportunity to prove that we can walk the walk as well as we talk the talk. Trek Medics International and Tanzania Rural Health Movement provided us with that opportunity, which brings us to this moment as we make the final preparations to launch Operation Serengeti Saviors. For the first time, with complete confidence I can say that I am entirely ready. We will succeed in accomplishing our objective, we will stay until the mission is complete and we will not be satisfied until every person we can possibly reach has trained first responders who are only a phone call away.
Don't just take my word for it though. Watch us work, follow us on Facebook, track our progress and be the driving force that turns MakeSafe International into MakeSafe Global. This week we are taking a road trip to Wisconsin in our Systems Command Vehicle, we are doing some huge modifications on the beast and we'll be posting updates throughout the process. It's going to be one hell of a summer!