Pen Pal- Exchanging Thoughts

How long ago did you decide to follow your heart and pursue a passion, a dream that has been tugging on your shirt hem for many years but other 'things' have been preoccupying your time? I imagine the struggles I currently face- a new environment, language, lack of belonging- are similar to what you endured; or are possibly still enduring. Regardless, risking material comforts in order to fulfill deeply felt or longtime goals is insanely commendable. A role model you are indeed.  


Peace Corps training is quite intense. Activities are highly scheduled from 8 am - 5 pm, 6 days a week learning a handful of new skills and information on various topics. The greatest challenge is finding, rather, creating time to process it all. A noteworthy Zambian proverb: Endure today for the joy tomorrow. 


We are all fortunate and impoverished in various ways regardless of where we live or what lottery we won at birth... some may be wishing for a re-draw. For those living in poverty, enduring today means doing what needs to be done to survive- endure the sickness, endure the hunger, endure the struggle- because joy will come tomorrow. 


Right now, for me, enduring today means to continue observing, remain patient throughout this process, strive to do my best regardless of the circumstances because when the sun rises tomorrow I will be prepared to serve a community to the absolute best of my ability. After all, in each and every moment, I am the very best I can be.  


While enduring today may be a hopeful idea and not necessarily a pragmatic approach, I think we can still pull inspiration from it. Let the saying be a guide to realign perspective when misfortune knocks us off our axis.  


Does this proverb strike a chord with you? 


Extended Reflexion: Even though I sit at a tiny desk inside a tiny room writing these thoughts, an outsider tasked with integration through language and active participation, amongst a population that asked for this prescence, I find myself extremely protected. An extended support network of fellow trainees, in-country staff and medical officers, local nationals volunteering to serve as home and belonging, friends and family sending love, and those working in the background that make this all work and whom I may never know all are a source of strength. But sometimes all the support just is not tangible enough and I become lost in the meaning of it all. 


I understand how easy it is for me to say this, but an intimate understanding gleaned through active engagement pushes me to believe it even more: 


As sufferers living in anger, greed, and delusion, the tools to overcome exist. In this life, no matter our background, we can live peacefully. Through examining our self, the source of it all, we can learn to be patient, we can live happily, and as a community understanding this, we will live in harmony.