Once a long time ago (aka just over a year), I was spending my last day on a hilltop looking over Orbomba, Tanzania. My group and I had one final mission- to write letters to ourselves.
While this is typically a personal thing, I truly felt something stirring deep within me and I have decided to share it with you. Some personal pieces have been omitted, but I hope this piece moves you to do some action planning.
…I deeply hope that you will not ever forget what you experienced on this trip. Don’t forget how lucky you are, how much you have, or how little work you have to do to obtain necessary resources. Don’t forget your friends here in Tanzania, the mamas, the kids, Mollel, Leki, Jackson, Jacob, Charles, Nixon, any of them. They are the reason for your spur of excitement to change the world around you. They are what started this plan of action to change lives. Don’t forget the filthy water source, Jackson’s three hour walk to get to school, Nixon’s dislike of cutting his nails, the flies surrounding the children, the amount of time it takes to build a school, the effort required to haul thirty liters of water for miles, the talent it takes to cook one meal, the hours of time spent herding goats, the air of poverty hanging around the slums of Arusha, the low budgets of the people here, the days one might go without food, the disgusting feeling one gets after eating cup after cup of porridge. Don’t forget the charisma of the people, the spirits that they all keep and maintain even though the times get rough, their joy seen in their faces, the determination of the mamas when they hike mile after mile with water slung across their back. Don’t take anything that you have for granted. Don’t complain, don’t ask for excess or luxury when you don’t need it. Don’t waste what you have because someone somewhere was wishing that they had it. Don’t let the struggles you have witnessed go to waste. Do something with it, change those around you, make the world a better place. You did not go halfway across the world, on the other side of the planet, to experience something insightful and just let it all go to nothing. You did not pay five thousand dollars to let this experience go by and not do something about it. So get off your lazy ass and go do something. Stand up for those with no voice, help provide the resources needed to get a family through a day or week. Don’t let the things you have learned rot away into oblivion. You learned a lot here, you changed a lot here, [so] go make [some more] change, a difference. Go live and help others, if not, you’re throwing away all you saw, all you learned, all your experienced. Go do something.
Until next time,
6/22/16 Version of Me