Noloholo, Day 11: Stress and Choices on how to be.
A beautiful morning and a beautiful day, my body a bundle of nerves. We get dropped off in the village to attend two women’s meetings – we can’t find one until the other one is supposed to start. Fortunately the other meeting goes well. We go to grab lunch, but then realize we have no ride back to Noloholo. We kill three hours visiting the Mamas in the village and then just sit in the sun, waiting. School lets out and the kids surround us, just to look. Kelly and I start to feel like funny zoo animals. She convinces the children to sing a song for me – their choice is the Tanzanian national anthem. By the time Paolo comes to pick us up we are just short of climbing up the walls of Mama Vicky’s little shop, where we settled to get away from the gawkers. We pile into the car; a bunch of the Noloholo guards materialize out of nowhere and hop in the back, and 9 of us head back to camp in the pickup. We spot gazelle on the way back, and dik-diks, but mostly we just enjoy the feeling of heading back.
As I lay awake in bed that night I thought about my lack of patience. This is the most dangerous part of being in a foreign country. It is, I believe, less about patience and more about the type of self-centered-ness that occurs for me when I am under stress. I focus on my own wants and needs, instead of allowing myself to be part of the world as it flows around and through me. I am still having trouble getting back into the swing of the work here; I feel worn down already and in need of some inspiration. This is not how I am meant to be. This is not me.
I know I have the skills to make this work well, but I need to step up to the leadership plate and pull myself and my teammates together so that I understand the roadmap and direction of the women’s entrepreneurship program. It’s time for me to pull myself out of my shell and get down to the real work.