Tag: rural

Wisdom

The first phase of the project has finally come to an end. We have officially conducted sixty parent questionnaires in sixty homes to assess the general development of sixty babies. As we take our first peeks at the data we’ve collected and as we clarify and refine the approach for the second stage of the project (much to the surprise, confusion, and sometimes frustration of Maria and I), I have had more than a couple moments of the “What am I doing here?” sentiment.

There is first the “What am I doing here? I’m not right for this job. You have the wrong impression of me. Everyone has been introducing me as a ‘specialist,’ but that doesn’t mean my textbook knowledge is more valuable than your empirical experience. How can I give you advice on parenting? I’m not even a mother yet. I don’t think that I know enough to teach you anything new or to answer all of your questions properly. In fact, maybe I don’t know what I’m doing at all.”

Then there’s the “What am I doing here? I’m now realizing how massive this project is. How can we interpret the data properly? There is so much more that I need to know. Why do the mothers here behave the way they do? How much of this is attributable to culture? How much of the culture do I have yet to understand? How can I possibly contribute to this project if I don’t understand the people I’m studying? I should have locked myself in my room, reading about Peru, when I had the chance to in Nova Scotia. I should have at least travelled to Latin America before. I should have…”

Of the six different areas of development we evaluated, the most staggering outcome of the infant assessments was a clear deficit in infants’ social-emotional development. This area of development refers to their ability to manage or regulate their emotional and social behaviour in a way that society considers appropriate and acceptable. And this is where it gets tricky – what is “appropriate” and “acceptable” in this context and who decides?

Some examples of questions I had a difficult time consolidating:

  1. One of the questions on the social-emotional questionnaire asks something along the lines of: “Can your baby calm him/herself within a certain period of time if you leave his/her side?” We found that a decent chunk of mothers responded no to this question, but we also noticed that many mothers didn’t seem to be worried that their baby could not “regulate his/her emotions” as we would say in child-development-speak. “No, of course my baby can’t be without me,” was a classic answer. At the same time, over 90% of the mothers were amas de casa (housewives) who spend almost 100% of their time with their babies. Is it so surprising that their babies are not accustomed to being alone?
  2. Another question asks if the baby ever puts a banana to his ear, pretending it’s a telephone, or puts some other object on top of his head, pretending it’s a hat. I clearly remember one mother’s answer – in a tone suggesting that she was a little offended – which, to me, explains a common attitude towards pretending/imagination here, “If my baby knows it’s a banana, why would he use it as a telephone?” This strikes my “chicken and egg” curiosity – is this attitude a result of the living situation or does the lack of pretend play (which links to creativity) speak to the way people live here?
  3. During some of the interviews, Maria and I would sometimes notice violence being encouraged. “Go hit the pig to scare it out of the house.” “Throw something at the dog so it’ll stop eating out of the garden.” This had implications for one of the social-emotional questions that asks if the infant or child is ever violent towards other children or animals. But being commanded to be violent towards animals in this way doesn’t necessarily imply an inherent violent nature, neither at this age nor in the future.

The question, then, is whether we can make solid conclusions about the infants’ social-emotional development if it may be considered acceptable and appropriate, at least in some of the towns we visited, for babies to be unable to regulate their emotions without their mothers, for babies to not engage in pretend play, and for babies to show occasional violence towards animals.

Part of me feels a little disillusioned – I knew I couldn’t come here and be a hero, but I’m now recognizing a small part of me that wanted to save the world. There is the temptation to say, “This is how it works where I come from. You’re doing it all wrong. You should do it this way,” and to be harshly honest, I have met my share of development specialists who harbour this attitude. For this reason alone, I’ve found that it’s so important for me to say “I don’t know” and to not be afraid of admitting it. I’m not sure what’s best for you. How can I tell you that the North American theories of parenting are best, let alone that they apply in this context? I can’t make the conclusion that you don’t love your child because you don’t spend a lot of time with him/her – your priorities are drastically different and I respect that needing to survive can be more important than finding time to play with your child.

So, I have come full circle back to the approach I knew I should have had from the beginning – ultimately, this is about sharing. It’s about taking advantage of what little time we do have here to exchange preoccupations, thoughts, and ideas. I learn from you as much as you learn from me. I dispel some of your unawareness of the importance of play, for example, and you teach me the importance of simplicity and working hard. Your knowledge is just as valuable as mine if not more valuable. I am honoured to absorb your wisdom.

Phase 1 Complete

This week, Maria and I are wrapping up phase one of our infant stimulation project in Peru – the individual home visits and infant assessments. We’ve visited five different towns in and around Huancayo, each with a very different feel and personality. Some random thoughts and experiences to summarize it all…

Taller de Paucar
Singing and acting like animals with mothers and children in Paucar.
  1. We gave a workshop in Paucar (one of the more rural towns) teaching moms how important it was to sing songs to and with their babies. I gave my first introductory lesson on the importance of singing to your children (speaking completely in Spanish – okay, it only lasted 2 minutes), then sang song after song, hitting the dry grass like martillos (hammers), pretending to be gusalinos (little worms), and acting out Dinky Dinky spider (no joke, that’s Itsy Bitsy’s name here!) Even with my sore throat, I belted out tune after screechy tune, not fully believing that there I was, leading this group of moms and their babies, singing in Spanish.
  2. It was an adventure in every town, locating the mothers as most of the houses are S/N (sin numero = without number). Sara and I had a particularly interesting morning walking back and forth across chacras (farms) because different people we ran into told us that the other street was Avenida Andre Avelino Caceres. As there usually aren’t any street signs in more rural areas of town, street names are often painted on the sides of houses – and even then, we never found the street we were looking for. So we piled into the colectivo (like a taxi, but they let anyone on), thankful that we weren’t one of the five packed into the trunk, and headed on to the next home.
  3. The moms in Chupaca had a bit more money and almost every family, good hosts as they were, either fed us or at least served us coke. I have never had so much gaseosa (pop) in my life and I don’t even particularly like soda. On top of all this, I already have a bladder problem and try to make sure not to drink too much when we’re going out to the towns all day. Little good that did.
  4. Animals are a general theme of the houses we visited. There always seem to be dogs, hens, pigs, and cows running around, participating in the assessment sessions. Often, one can find guinea pig pens with guinea pigs of all kinds of colours, shapes, and sizes. And can someone tell me if the gallinas (hens) lay eggs wherever they want to since they’re running around all the time? =)
  5. The oldest babies we see are 30 months old (2 years, 6 months), and moms are still breastfeeding at this age.
  6. I was surprised to see some babies with natural stark blonde hair – super adorable. Sara later mentioned that the hair colour could possibly be from malnutrition. Didn’t even think of that.
  7. In Molinos, the furthest town, almost two hours away from Huancayo, we got caught in a mini storm. We could hear the thunder as if it boomed right beside our ears. The rain came suddenly and in spurts, sometimes sprinkling then other times intense with huge droplets almost like hail. Sara and I conducted an interview standing under a tiny awning with the mother, trying not to get our papers soaked. With another family, we huddled with them under a tarp in the middle of their farm, sitting on wood chips, getting bitten by fleas and tiny spiders, watching the father carve Jesus’ face out of sections of tree trunk.
  8. For those of you that are wondering, I am almost always wearing a toque now to hide my silly haircut. =) It works out well for the weather – protects my face from the UV rays, but doubles as a head warmer when it randomly gets cold out. And no, I’m not the only one here who wears a toque under the blazing hot sun!

Grandmommy & Baby

There is a difference between hearing crazy stories about rural Peruvians – choosing your life partner based on a stone throw to their forehead, leaving babies in mud pens to be accidentally eaten by wild dogs – and hearing less-than-crazy but much more real stories from rural Peruvians themselves. Today was day three of infant assessments – we’re spending the next week and a half visiting individual families in their homes in five different locations in and around Huancayo.

Abuelita y Bebé
This baby has suffered so much in her short lifetime, but we're thankful that she has a loving grandmother.
I was surprised to meet a mother hitting almost 50 years in age with an 8-month old baby. As we worked through the questionnaire, her love for her infant was evident. It was hard not to fall in love with the beautiful baby girl, her curious eyes and full head of curls peeking out of the manta (the cloth Peruvians use to carry their babies on their back). She was attentive to her baby, was thoroughly knowledgeable of her baby’s capabilities but also subtle deficits, and was eager to honestly disclose what she knew about her baby so that we could also best share our knowledge on how she could promote the infant’s physical, mental, and socio-emotional health.

As the assessment came to a close, she expressed concern for her baby’s delay in gross motor development – the baby wasn’t able to hold herself up in a sitting position and her legs were too weak to support herself standing even when holding on to a railing or someone else’s hands. From there, her story unfolded. She is actually the grandmother and not the mother of baby, she confessed. She has three children – the youngest daughter was spoiled and wild, accidentally found herself pregnant, then tried to abort the baby on multiple occasions during the pregnancy, taking “special herbs” from the rainforest. The baby was born anyway, but who knows how these abortion attempts may have affected her prenatal development. The grandmother was unhappy with her daughter’s decisions, but didn’t intervene until her daughter accidentally dropped the baby from her manta one day – the baby fell to the ground and rolled a certain distance away, traumatized.

It was the last straw. The grandmother took the baby and the baby’s older sister into her own care, forcing her daughter to work. The daughter now sends money home monthly and when she visits, the baby cries as if her own real mother is a stranger. And such is the life of many of these families it seems.

I was just a part of the biggest and craziest fiesta that I have ever been to in my life! Families and friends come together from all over Peru at this time of the year to Sicaya (a town just outside of Huancayo) to celebrate the pachamama (mother earth). There were hundreds of people, shoulder-to-shoulder packed, mostly dressed in traditional Peruvian garb, pouring beer for each other, and dancing away. Each family proudly wears scarves around their neck etched with their family name and have their own band with 12-15 saxophonists, clarinet players, a harpist, and drummers.

Fiestas Patrias en Sicaya
These scarves distinguish different families, so you can find your family members within the chaos.
The tradition is to make your best offering to the pachamama first, whether it’s throwing coca leaves or pouring your beer on the ground before passing the cup around to everyone and anyone else. Afterwards, the family holds hands and dances in a circle or parades through the streets of Sicaya, but they’re never an exclusive bunch – Jaap, Dorien, Ruth, and I were recruited to join the dancing and the festivities over and over again as we walked through the plaza! And the party’s not over yet! It’s still going on right now and we may even hit up Sicaya again Monday evening for the castellones (fireworks). =)

Maria and I shared pachamanca for lunch – a traditional Peruvian dish and very fitting for the occasion. They throw layers and layers of food to be cooked in a hole in the ground. Our pachamanca had green beans, spiced pork, beef, and humita (a sweet corn tamale).

Later in the afternoon, we explored the farmlands in the outskirts of Sicaya. We chatted with a family in the midst of building their own home – they had found prime earth to mix with straw to make adobe bricks, the construction material of choice in this region. We then continued on into the currently abandoned farmlands and found ourselves truly aware of our presence in the Mantaro Valley surrounded by the Andes mountains every direction we turned. We trekked up and down dirt hills, leaped across little rivers, ran through rows and rows of tall dried grass, remembering pachamama.

Culture Shock

A good friend e-mailed and asked: ” What has been the biggest culture shock that you have experienced so far?” and I had to think about that one…

Plaza Constitución
The grand ark in the main plaza of Huancayo.
I have to admit that I first tried to address “culture shock” in terms of trauma and anxiety – and I’ve had my share of struggles! – but really, the biggest “shock” in moving here has been very positive. I would say I’ve been most pleasantly surprised by the wealth of culture and history here. Being in the Central Andes gives me access to the Inca civilization at its core (e.g., one of the main streets through the city was once part of the Inca trail), but I also love the diversity here from Peru’s rich history before and after the Incas and from the country’s geography – the Andes seem to be like a mixing pot as the sierra is flanked by the coast to the west of Peru and the Amazon rainforest to the east. Many of the people here in Huancayo, for example, consider themselves mestizo (of mixed descent). Not to mention all the people who look like gringos (foreigners) to me, but are actually Peruvians descended from the Spanish, and all the Chinese and Japanese looking-people who have also lived here for generations. In fact, Rik, the director of my NGO, is in the Amazon right now visiting a rural community whose members all have blonde hair because their ancestors came from Germany centuries ago!

I’m ashamed to say that if I had done more research on Peru and South America, this culture shock would probably have been much less potent. At the same time, because I’m jumping with a near-blank slate, I’ve noticed that my eyes are open a lot wider, my attitude is fresher, and I’ve been able to connect more with so many people who are excited to teach me about their country (the Huancainos are so friendly!)

The Plaza Constitución is only a couple blocks away from the apartment and I love sitting there, in the centre of the city, seeing people come and go, imagining their stories. And I think of how lucky I am to be here and how my own story is unfolding.

My first taste of Peru is through the eyes of Andita – a well-known artist when she lived in France and Germany. She is the cousin of Maria’s mother who was kind enough to welcome Maria and me into her apartment for the two nights we needed to stay in Lima before taking the bus up to Huancayo. Her apartment is an open space filled with paintings, ceramics, prints, and furniture that she has designed, but also tidbits of la cultura peruana (Peruvian culture; gourds with histories finely etched on their surfaces, paintbrushes made out of hair like mine, an enormous tree trunk hollowed out in a certain way and used as a communication device by the aguarunas in ancient times). Every piece is handmade, unique and to Andita, it is why each is so beautiful.

Arte, Belleza, Cultura
Andita's apartment became the inspiration for my entire stay in Peru.
Andita is so full of personality; it is seen through her apartment and through the way she lives life. Maria and I spent the day wrapping several dollars worth of Nuevo Soles (the peruano currency) in paper, labelling them with names and the little villages to which they are being sent through the next man who will take the three-day venture to the rainforest. The money is for the ceramics they have sold here in Lima, really the only “city” in Peru, Andita tells us (because the next largest city is at least an eighth of the size of Lima and can’t even really even be called a “city.”) Andita has been helping the aguarunas of three small rainforest villages rediscover their talent and skill in ceramic design and show them how they can use this skill for their livelihood. The rest of her time…well, it’s difficult to say what she does the rest of the time because she does what her heart desires. She has been an interior decorator for a small upscale cafe in Miraflores, she sells her ceramic creations that she makes in Colombia, and custom designs furniture.

On our last day in Lima, Andita shared a bit of her life history, a story of taking all the random and spontaneous opportunities that life presents us. And as difficult as these coming six months might be for me immersed in a new environment, a completely foreign culture, I’m so glad that I walked through that open door of opportunity, got on the plane and am now sitting in the Peruvian sun.

Earlier in the week, we did an exercise on conflict. The class was divided into three groups – one was instructed to put all the chairs by the door, another was instructed to put all the chairs by the window at the opposite end of the room, and the last group was instructed to put all the chairs in a circle. Simple exercise, right? It was interesting to see how the group transformed – people were shoved out of their chairs or dragged across the room, some teamed up, and others were sneaky and waited to catch people off guard. The chairs had become more important than the people. Four observations from the group dynamic and the discussion afterwards:

Taller Sobre Conflicto
People got a lot rougher than we all expected.

  1. The group that found itself with the most chairs (the “door” group) were the least likely to come to a compromise. In fact they didn’t even consider any kind of negotiation. Even when the “window” group brought all their chairs over to try to strike up some kind of deal, the “door” group refused to entertain any type of interaction. In their eyes, they had the most resources and therefore were the “winners.”
  2. Gilo from South Sudan – one of the tallest and biggest guys of the group – noticed that many in his group were relying on him to hold down the most chairs or at least the chair he was sitting on, but he was also dragged off in the end and his chair was eventually stolen. From that experience, he pointed out how dialogue would have brought about more positive change than size and power.
  3. Hellen from Uganda held back because the scene immediately reminded her of incidents back home when the government distributes soap or sugar. The scenario was always the same – a mad scramble, each person for himself or herself, children getting trampled. Olga, the facilitator, also mentioned that when they conducted the same exercise years back, the two Diploma participants who were there from Iraq left the room as soon as the chaos started. They later explained that they see the same chaos back home every day and they have learned to protect themselves by removing themselves from the situation.

I reflected on how I acted during the exercise. At first, I tried to conspire with another team member and steal some chairs, but I mostly held back as chair legs were being dangerously flung into the air. Krista came up with the idea to let all the groups succeed – by helping each other achieve each group’s goal in turn, first bringing the chairs to the door, then the window, then put them in a circle. I helped yell to get everyone to listen to Krista, but after she proposed the idea to the most people that would listen, I was surprised that nobody took action. They pretty much just went back to what they were doing!

How would you have responded to the exercise? =)

A few nights ago, I lay in bed dripping with sweat in the sweltering heat of my enclosed bedroom – my thermostat said it was 31 degrees. I tossed and turned and tossed and turned and could not sleep. This is very rare for me. I’m usually an excellent sleeper – my body knows to sleep through what it needs to, but I can also be perky as soon as it’s time for me to wake up. I had to wake up at 2am last night and air my room out for an hour. Ironically, that afternoon, there was torrential rain.

Haciendo Palmadas, Cantando y Bailando
The ladies from Tanzania knew how to start the party.
Thomas (affectionately known as “Dr. Peace”) led an insightful half-day workshop on racism the other morning. It’s funny because I was constantly telling others about Vancouver’s multiculturalism when I was in Japan, but the simple fact that Canada is a country of immigrants doesn’t mean that we’re any less segregated or any more tolerant than the next person. Brittany (one of the other interns) commented that she was surprised at some of the blatant discriminatory comments she would hear from some of her friends in Vancouver when she was on the West Coast for an internship. Her friend made a face at her for buying something from the Richmond night market and it’s true that sometimes Caucasians are viewed differently if they spend too much time participating in Vancouver’s Asian culture or with Asians. Our typical language is filled with labels – “chugs,” “FOBs,” “brown,” and it’s common for us to chill with people from our own ethnic circles (my sister vouched for that, especially based on the cultural environment in high school).

It’s also important, though, that I point out what I learned about the difference between racism and discrimination. As Dr. Peace put it, racism is discrimination + power. It’s discriminating against another ethnic group for the purpose of exerting one’s power or superiority over that group. I think both are present in Vancouver.

Maria and I had the chance to meet with Julie, one of Tara’s past interns, a couple days ago who left us with several pointers.

  1. Expect vicious dogs roaming the streets of Huancayo. If I’m alone, the best way to deal with them is to make like I’m going to pick up a large rock and hope that I don’t actually have to throw it.
  2. I’ll have to deal with the machismo culture – still not sure what to expect in terms of this.
  3. Some of the Peruvians in the more rural communities think that foreigners steal children and use their fat to grease railroad tracks. (!!!) Establishing that trust-based relationship will be really important.

The other day, Sophia from Tanzania nonchalantly commented that I seemed to be gaining weight (I have been eating a lot of pastries lately – I’ve gotta take advantage of this buffet!) What’s so great is that fat really is beautiful where she comes from. If only I was going to Africa. =)

I’m going to church today for the first time in years. The ladies from various countries in Africa promised that we would be clapping, singing, and dancing like they did during the Welcome Social night and I’m always up for that!

I finally have a key to my room (as of yesterday) and I’m starting to feel like I’m really here, in a new province, away from home. I’ve been exploring the town and meeting the locals on my runs, walks with friends, at the gym, and around campus. The 50 Coady Diploma participants from all over the world are trickling in and I’ve already met:

  • the pastor from India, Father Paulson
  • the Argentinian with the Russian accent who has worked in Macau for the last 10 years
  • the Sudanese who swims naked in rivers (because that’s what they do in South Sudan), and
  • the dude from Malawi who was all decked out in a tourist-y shirt and baseball cap with “Malawi” splashed across the front (“Hi, I’m Alex from Malawi,” he says as I shake his hand)

When else would I ever get the chance to chat with, eat lunch with, and take three weeks of workshops and classes with fifty international/community development specialists from all over the world? They’re here for six months for Coady’s development leadership diploma program, but we as interns still get to sponge up as much as we can from them before we head out to our NGOs. When else would I ever get to do this? I am continually challenged to engage in serious, intellectual, political, philosophical conversations on topics that I’ve never even thought about most of the time – other interns are always recommending books to read (notably, Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis) or watching and discussing movies on developing countries in the common room just across from my bedroom. I feel like I can’t keep up! =P

Today is my first day off and I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of both internship-related errands and in this blog. I have so many things I want to post about that I could write a novel on the past week, but I should probably be time-efficient and just get them out in a list of random rambling notes. I figure it’s most important to just get them down so I don’t forget. Then I can come back to reflect upon these ramblings later and talk about them more in depth when I get back home next year and get the chance to meet with you guys in person! =)

Ramblings…

  • I had no idea that when people travel, they have a higher risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviour.
  • We met the president of StFX who shared some insights and advice on his travels during a lunch with Coady staff. Later, we hear through the gossip mill about what he can be like outside of his presidential role. Only in a small town…! And speaking of small towns – my fantasy of living in a place like Antigonish has been tainted a little as I inadvertently hear more gossip and begin to see how complicated relationships can be here. Imagine having a limited crop of potential suitors, knowing who everyone has slept with, and having everyone know about your nasty break-ups!
  • I am so lucky that I have the ability to run. Two of the interns are beautiful and lean ladies, but can’t run anymore because of physical injuries. One was injured just before the triathlon she had signed up for after having been training for many months!
  • Advice from a former intern: as a female, if you feel unsafe (e.g. at night in a dangerous part of Africa), approach a sex worker. What a powerful bond there is that connects women from all walks of life.
  • Kim’s (the internship program coordinator) philosophy is to squeeze learning opportunities out of every situation. For example, the fact that we don’t have our visas yet? Patience and trust in the system.
  • Turn judgment into curiosity. For example, if my NGO has a very roundabout system that seems inefficient, turn the frustrated “Why the heck would they do it this way?” attitude into a pondering “I wonder why they do it this way?” outlook. Look into their iceberg and see the “invisible”/below the surface reasons for their thoughts, actions, and behaviours. Now that I think about it, I guess this goes for any interaction, not just cross-culturally.
  • From the sounds of it, development work seems to consist of a lot of planning and reporting, especially when it comes to funding. On a completely separate note, there are also a million acronyms used in this field. Do you know what NGO, CBO, ASRHR, OVC, and PLWA stand for?
  • We received our work plans, which were developed last year (because that’s when the funding applications were due). It will be a true test of flexibility and my confidence/trust in my own abilities when we get to our host countries because things will most likely not follow these plans, if at all. I guess that’s what life is like.
  • Coady’s philosophy is centred around Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), capacity building (thanks for explaining this to me, Crystal!), with the view that these communities already work. Our role is to assist these communities in identifying their assets instead of their needs or “what’s missing” (a very paternalistic attitude).
  • It will be difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the experience we will have and/or the difference we’re going to make. Change is ongoing, can be internal, and will hopefully continue beyond the time period of out internships, particularly because sustainability is a fundamental theme of all of these projects.
  • The more I learn, the more questions I have instead of answers. Development work seems to be an ongoing discussion, as is research, as is morals and ethics, as is determining what it means to live a good life.
  • I feel that I’m really good at making eye contact with people, but I start looking away when I’m speaking to people as I try to formulate my words.
  • If you find yourself riding in the back of the truck, choose the spot closest to the driver.
  • I love how in many parts of the world, fat is beautiful.
  • Has anyone ever heard of “sex bracelets”? I think a certain number or colour of bracelets signifies how much sex you’ve had!
  • I’ve been writing down all the things I want to blog about so that I don’t forget, but there are already three to four notes that I’ve made that seem completely foreign to me now. Bah!

People that I want to remember

  • Cassie’s boyfriend came to visit and we met his friends Mory from the Ivory Coast (in West Africa) and Thesfaye from Ethiopia. It’s weird to think that French is the national language of the Ivory Coast.
  • Joseph from Tanzania.

Joseph’s living at our dorm right now and was in Halifax to present at a conference on the radio station that he and his colleagues have started up in the rural Kagawe region. People in Kagawe are in so much poverty that many still don’t have toilets, need to carry water from so far away, and need to grow their own crops despite not being educated as farmers. It is through radio that he’s been able to reach out to the rural communities, broadcasting on issues such as agro-forestry, health, and sanitation. I had a chat with him this morning about how this first trip to Canada has been an eye-opening experience for him. He thought he was making a difference when he planted 500,000 trees in his home country, until he saw all the trees that we have here in Canada. It just goes to show that we often think we know, we understand, we’ve tried our hardest, we’ve made a difference, until we open our eyes a little wider and take in the rest of the world.

I asked Joseph if he ever felt like giving up. Wouldn’t he? After seeing how much more he needs to do, how many more trees he has to plant, how much more work he has to do to educate the people of his country – wouldn’t it be so easy to get lost in the sheer magnitude of the task? He told me three things:

  1. Use only what you need. He had visited CBC in Ottawa, was given a tour, saw the rows and rows of cubicles and equipment, but instead of feeling overwhelmed with all that he still needed to do with his tiny radio station in Tanzania, he thought about how he had everything he needed. There were some pieces of equipment that he would like to have, but he was striving for one cubicle’s worth of equipment, not to become like the entire CBC station.
  2. Patience. It took him 15 years to get his radio station up and running and it started with a little collection of resources that turned into a library that turned into a newsletter that turned into information boards that turned into a radio station.
  3. Be a catalyst. We could drown in thinking about all the little things that could still be done/changed, but if we take the broader perspective and view ourselves instead as a catalyst for change, it almost feels as if we can make a substantial difference in the world.

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