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Grace Kim Robbings began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in a very rural village in Namibia. Grace had followed in her mother’s footsteps, herself a PCV in the 1960s in South Korea, where she met Grace’s father—hence the “Kim” in Grace Kim Robbings. Grace’s three siblings tease her incessantly that she has turned into their mother, for this and many other reasons.
Grace’s stint in Namibia was a pivotal time in her life. The economic theories of growth and development she studied at Boston University seemed somehow more real and yet also inadequate in the African bush. She realized that economic development sometimes doesn’t equate to better quality of life, just as lack of economic development doesn’t mean a lower quality of life. At first the thought showering outdoors from a bucket seemed a burden, but she soon learned to love cleansing mind and body under the amazing African sky. Her time in Namibia restored her faith in humanity, as she was welcomed into a community incomparable to anything she had experienced before. She began to explore the idea of happiness and recognized that while economic growth can be an effective means to achieving happiness, it is not a guarantee. She fears worse, that economic growth as a policy goal has been mistaken as an end instead of a means.
Grace adores her family: a loving husband, Adam, an amazing son, Reuben, and an adorable dog, Branston. She’s certain that in her son’s 2+ years on this planet, her camera has yet to take a photo without him in it, which is why he’s also pictured above. Grace and Adam recently founded their family owned and operated brewery called Reuben’s Brews located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.