well, for sure i’ve been absent from my blogging for a long while now. it isn’t that i haven’t been busy or going about business as usual, but for me, writing comes upon inspiration. or not, as the case has been. the past months i have been searching my heart, researching and reading books and preparing myself for ‘next’ – and to be honest i wasn’t entirely certain what ‘next’ was going to be, EXCEPT that it would involve projects of sustainable development.
for the past 8-9 months, i have been volunteering for an organization that does village development – things you might expect: water, nutrition, education, health and entrepreneurial opportunity – which is standard for most every village you would visit in africa (or probably any developing country). my work for them has involved reaching out to other villages and projects to share ideas, to cross connect people and to be a resource in various parts of tanzania. to research resources available. to gain a deeper understanding of activities such as micro-financing and agriculture. to be sure, i have been illuminated, inspired, moved, expanded. some mindsets have been adjusted. some new ideas have been flourishing.
by october 1, i have been in this country for 2 years continuously and have been involved with various NGOs – women’s groups, education, orphanages, environmental. if I had gazillions of dollars at my disposal I would take care of as many of those important needs as I can. albeit i have become more aware that ‘charity and relief’ measures are not the answer and in fact can cause issues without proper evaluation. no matter what, sustainable projects as well as relief requires many resources, including money. and sustainable projects require much more time, not a few weeks or even months. we have to start measuring by years.
i have come to the altar of recognition of my own limitations. i have come to understand, reluctantly, that i cannot fix all the problems, i cannot have all the solutions, nor can i dole out money to all of the people who need it. i realize even more now that this journey is a walk side by side with tanzanians who understand and know the problems because they live them, and have lived them for years and generations. it is a journey in which TOGETHER we discuss priorities and discuss possible solutions. it is a partnership and collaboration.
i have been forced to focus and prioritize. literally, daily i have requests for my money, for my time, for my attention and i am often overwhelmed (i hate to say no, i want to help everyone, i don’t want to feel taken advantage of or be lied to, etc). and finally based upon several things, i have decided to focus my future here to learning more in depth and supporting sustainable development work in villages, so that individuals – children, parents, grandparents – have the opportunity to share their voice and TOGETHER we all make changes that can progress a community as opposed to one-time donations of sorts.
stay tuned for future updates on ….what’s next…..
WAO! that is kiswahili for they. it is also used in similar ways that we say WOW! and it stands for We. Are. One.
in the meantime, while you are waiting for ….what’s next….enjoy some photos taken over the past several months…..