We asked five of Hilo’s team members to share their reflections about this unusual year, and which learnings do they take from it.
This year left me with so many learnings. I am in awe of the changes a society is able to make. What I appreciate the most of 2020 is that it left me with a renewed sense of myself, of what personal growth means, and of how I want to relate to others. As I focus on what is, right now, I look back with a feeling of gratefulness, peace of mind (because I am here), and a positive perspective (that is how 2021 feels for me). Right now I trust more than before. I trust that we walked steps that feel right, not easy, and that this year we continue walking in the right direction. One step at the time.
This year I learned how important it is to take a step back every once in a while and look at things with a new perspective. Life was moving at an unhealthy fast pace and I believe this was a chance to live consciously, to enjoy little moments and to start growing steadily. Leaving my full time job in the middle of the year, I took the time to pause and put new goals. This time also gave us the chance to develop a solid base for Hilo. The pandemic showed how connected our systems are and how fragile they can be. It demonstrated how important it is to create sustainable systems and what connection really means.
After 10 years in a permanent job and a lot of career thinking, I took the courage to break out of my previously built structures. The planned start was a 10-month trip in 2020. The first two months I traveled through South America and experienced many unforgettable and beautiful moments. Through Corona I had to pause. Driven by my longing to go back, I learned about Hilo. It was a little bit magical, because I contacted Hilo with quite a certainty and without knowing where I could contribute. Nevertheless, I was convinced, I wanted to participate. I was warmly welcomed and I am grateful for all the learning I was able to do, especially in this not so easy year. I believe our project has great potential to make the world a little bit better. It is not only about numbers but also about good feelings that will arise in all participants of Hilo. I think we are ready and I am looking forward to the big challenges for 2021.
One year ago I came back with my family from a longer parental leave. We travelled for 6 months through the US, Mexico and Colombia. On this trip I worked remotely with the other Hilo team members in Germany. Being back in Germany in 2020 I was expecting to meet many friends and family and to work more closely with the Hilo team in Leipzig. All of this was not the case because of the pandemic and it will continue like this for many months. Nevertheless in 2020 I was very close to my family and I could enjoy my daughter exploring her world and expressing herself using first words. And even though we continued to work remotely in Hilo throughout the whole year we achieved so much. It has been a very different year but I also found joy in it.
2020 started for me in Brazil, with my family, and they were planning to visit me in Germany at the end of the year. I came back to Germany in February, excited about everything that would happen, while the pandemic was still not that present. We had our first “Hilo Team Meeting” on the last weekend of February, planning our sales strategy for the coffee that had just arrived.
Two weeks later, everything had changed, and everything was uncertain.
For me, the main learning of 2020 is to focus more on the present. Focus on what I can do and on what I can influence with my actions, on being in touch with the people who are important to me. I hope that I can take this learning with me for the new challenges that will come.
Thank you for joining us on this journey in 2020, and we really hope that you will continue with us in 2021, with many more learnings to come!