Simon is the director of STAESA and has been with the organization for about 11 years. He is the one that I have been communicating with since I started the research of this trip. He has answered probably 1,000+ questions and helped put me at ease about traveling so far by myself. His detailed emails have always had not only lots of information, but they were very genuine. He is the reason I chose STAESA to be the volunteer organization that was right for me. There are so many organizations out there and I think I looked at over thirty of them.
Simon is also crazy!!! In the best way possible :) He is a visionary and an extremely passionate person plus a lot of fun. I finally got to meet him last week when he picked me up in Denu to take me around Ghana a bit before I left for Tanzania.
It was great to be able to talk more with him and get to know more about STAESA and all of the different projects that they have throughout Africa. Simon oversees all of the projects with help from his country coordinators (about 31) and an office staff of eight. Simon knows everyone and that is why I call him the President of Africa!
As I said before Simon is very passionate about the work that is happening through STAESA. I don't believe an organization like this can be successful without a dedicated staff and a leader who sees the bigger picture and that's what he does. I hope someday to be able to love my career like Simon does. His spirit just makes me want to continue to help after I am back in the States and we talked a lot about that too, so not only has this experience been so positive for me while I've been here but I will continue to "change the world" after I return, one building block at a time just like Mr. President.