My time in Burkina Faso, with the indigenous people has taught me that our differences are what make us so similar and connected. We share the same views, same aspirations and the same sensations. But our external actions are what may confuse us to think us as apart, different and dissimilar.
What we all are and love holds no boundaries between where and who we would like to be. Circumstances and fate brought about by our choices and in their case, lack of (the proper) knowledge has forged a flexibly iron path of both parties. Leading each party to first melt this iron path and mould again one that brings them more progress and sustainable change. But in their case I am left with the question of “what can they use to melt this iron path?”” Who will/is willing to teach them correctly and boldly to go about it this way with these tools-in their setting?”” When will they finally let go and become better than what they are and image to be?”And, “how do they think they should arrive there as oppose to what we outsiders looking in think?”
These are questions I have limited answers to but still think it at least answers half of the questions in a deeper more humbling way; which is the passionate service of a volunteer. Someone willing to come low to their level, dine as they do and starve with them if need be. A volunteer who will understand that the differences he or she shares with the village are only similarities waiting to be explored and not isolated. A volunteer will take those forsaken moments into a learning period and push harder to the end of service because he or she knows when it gets that tough it means he or she is doing something life changing and not necessarily wrong. A person who will carry them, especially when they want to fall willingly out of fear for change. And finally a person, a volunteer who will remember that his or her presence will forever make a significant change in a least one life- and that is all that matters: changing one a time-however long it will take.
I have come to believe that this volunteer, this Peace Corps volunteer is one who can embark on such a journey but only with true rekindling passion and a purpose in their heart.
It is when you are on the ground like I am, doing the work from the grass roots that you realize that you need to push prayer a little to the side and replace that space with tangible work. Actions at this point become essential just as prayer and one absolutely cannot go without the other. After all the bible talks about helping each other and not just pray about their problems and ours. We have been given the mind and wisdom to solve the problems so why still cry about it in prayer hoping for a miracle-you are he miracle so put yourself to work!
There comes a time when we wake up from our fantasies, our prolonged daydreaming. Where we fall harder into our reality and unfortunate facts of our lives. Where the truth is not coloured in black and white or grey but is just one colour: solid with no shades.
Such moments remind me of how far i have to go to correct the unfortunate ideas I was born into and constantly reminded of -with or without my permission. And since i cant change the situation, i must change my attitude toward it. Adapting every single minute, reformulating every hour and recreating each second. What do I owe myself in this world that sees my skin first and every other thing second and almost insignificant is the question I ask. No place is home so i keep moving from country to continent, and in each place there is never enough acceptance.
Aside from the air we breath freely and fight over how and who gives it, what else is there to always hope and pray we have?for without it we cannot express our deepest feelings to one another, or say the things no one else can say better than us. And even with this gift of breath we repeatedly fail to regard the slightest priceless moments. Will we wait till our breath has been or nearly been taken away before we realise this or will we live now like its our alter most last? And say the things than need saying? Stand up for those who just cannot and act upon the things that causes progressive change? There is nothing like “later” or “tomorrow” only what if…and that can either be a rewarding what if or it’s opposite.
I have come to understand the reasons for things and people being the way they are, acting the way they do; for events happening the way they do and the reactions that inherit them. I do not entirely, if at all, agree with some of it but I understand it enough to leave it alone and not spoil it’s course with my meddling.
You see life has its way of reminding us of our beliefs and the reasons we chose such beliefs. It is our choice then to keep the old strict and rigid beliefs handed down from the ones who preceded us or to acknowledge its change and amendments with the fast and growing world we exist in.
It does not mean I have conformed or forgotten my identity it only means I have altered, changed, enhanced,evolved and co-existed if you will; and that to me reflects my growth and rebirths- an endless, complicated and essential cycle to experience in ones life.