I’m exactly half way through my time in Sierra Leone.
There were a number of reasons I chose to re-immerse myself in humanitarian aid work. If I am to be brutally honest with myself (and you), I came to Sierra Leone because I needed to feel purposeful again. I was in a place without meaningful work, feeling rejection and a loss of confidence from an abrupt fall out of a business start up, and generally feeling direction-less and unsure of where to find purpose.
I turned to what I have known in the past, what I spent years preparing for, for the issues I still feel compelled by (in this case the health consequences of the ebola outbreak). I was nervous and excited about returning to the field. I came with an open mind – and the question of whether this could be the beginning of a new chapter of global health work. I really thought it could be.
The answers have been loud and clear. I am grateful for such clarity and for the affirmation that the life of land and family that I dream of is just as valuable as any other pursuit.
When I’m not straining my eyesight with spreadsheets and feeling the ills of sitting 9+ hours a day, I am dreaming of settling into a place, the daily work of chores of home and farm, and starting a family.
I am very grateful I have had the opportunity to take this job. I hope the extremely small accomplishments I leave behind will be beneficial to the efforts. But I just don’t have the all consuming passion for it-to live this life of constant travel, of hours and hours of computer work sitting at a desk, the conversations with colleagues knowing that even the friendships made will never have the time to flourish.
It reminds me of the quote by Lawrence LeShan:
Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come alive. Because what the world really needs is people who are alive.
I know what makes me come alive.
I look forward to returning home with a new appreciation for the small things, for relationships, for a place in community, for work that I love (even if it doesn’t require a degree), for family.
The countdown begins.