Sunday, 11 September 2011

Starting my own blog.

I have been back in Canada now for a couple weeks. I arrived about a day before I had to start work.

The last month in Rwanda was incredibly busy. I had just finished re-designing the school’s two year carpentry program and then was asked to work on establishing one year programs in welding, plumbing, and electricity. At the moment I am attempting to catch up on the last few months of Canadian life and commitments that I have ignored while in Africa.

Re-establishing my life here has kept me busy enough. Catching up on my lesson planning, course organization, and school commitments for the next year has kept me busier. The first few days’ jet lag further slowed me down and the cold or flu that I picked up at one of the airport layovers or during one of our flights on the 34 hour trip back really provided me with a good excuse to procrastinate.

Now things are slowly getting back to normal (busy but manageable) and I am finally getting around to establishing a blog. Ideally I would have done this during the summer if: (a) I had enough free time, (b) I had reliable internet access and speed, and (c) if I didn’t get distracted by some other pressing project, or (d) all of the above…

I have been somewhat taken aback and humbled by the interest generated by my work in Rwanda. I originally became involved with CFJ School because they needed help and I had something to offer. I didn’t go to change the world or impose my knowledge on others. My philosophy has always been to plant seeds; some of which will grow and some of which will die. Some seeds will mature on their own, most however will be dependant upon the care and nourishing of others.

Keep in mind as you read these entries that these thoughts and observations are mine alone. I speak only for myself. We are at best a grassroots venture. My travels to Africa are entirely self-funded. The tools and supplies I bring over are bought from my own resources. We have no charitable status and get no tax receipts for our donations.

We have a very comfortable life in North America. We take for granted our opportunities of education, freedom, and security. Of these, most in the world cannot but dream. Though fortuitous accident of birth I was born here and I help because I can.

I too, gain as much as I give. I truly believe that not many people laying on their deathbed think: “I wish I made another dollar during my lifetime”. I believe it rather more likely that one will reflect upon the time they spent with their family and loved ones. I think that one will reflect upon their good deeds and how these added purpose to one’s life. I think that one will reflect with pride the beauty and utility created with ones’ own hands.

To have the opportunity to go to Africa with my family, to teach, to help others, and to build a few things, comes at a very cheap cost – a few dollars that ultimately will never be missed.

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