As some of you may have heard, we have tragically lost a member of our Peace Corps Uganda family, Danielle Gucciardo. Danielle was one of the most bubbly, wonderfully quirky, contagiously happy people I have ever met. Her heart and soul were completely in the good work she was doing here, and what happened over the weekend is heartbreaking and impossible to justify.
Our group is together for a previously planned workshop, and we have been supporting each other and honoring Danielle in different ways throughout the week. Monday we held a beautiful memorial service, which ended by releasing dozens of glowing, message-inscribed paper lanterns into the night sky.
Danielle was always saying to us: “I know you can be better. I need you to be better.” She would take you by the shoulders, look you in the eye, and tell you this all the time. She did this not in a demeaning way, and sometimes in jest, like when we were playing a silly game that she desperately wanted to win, but her authenticity always shone through. She believed in the goodness of people, and the potential of her friends.
Please read about Danielle’s amazing spirit in the press release below & keep her friends and family in your thoughts.
Life is precious. Do good. Be better.
The friends of our friends are our friends.
[African Proverb – Congo]