Each new year, millions of people make commitments to themselves and to others. I’ve never been one to goal set exclusively because it’s a new year, but here I am, in Rwanda, dealing with much change and adjustment. There is no better time and place to set these goals into motion.
This year started off a tad rocky, as I had schistosomiasis (a treatable disease caused by infection with freshwater parasitic worms in certain tropical and subtropical countries aka Rwanda). In addition, I was sick the entire time I spent in Germany.
But this year I have committed myself to fight complacency. So much of life here, resiliency, the ability to thrive, is dependent on the obligation we have to not be complacent, to live an active life, not a passive one. It is easy to accept the comfortable, the role of the foreigner, that we (the Rwandans and the Americans) are operating on parallel planes rather than intersecting ones. But this mindset has proven to bring up feelings of apathy both about my abilities and the way I measure impact in this role.
I recently finished Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” I often think about where I will be in a year and a half and how it’s a large amount of time, but also very short. Change and behavior change doesn’t happen in two years, not even in lifetimes. Michelle’s use of the word swerve is something that resonated with me, especially in thinking why peace corps, why Rwanda, why now? But after a Harvard law education and time at a big law firm, Michelle had to accept a truth that made her swerve, away from the comfortable, the normal, the conventional.
Peace Corps is definitely not the traditional route but in life there are no guarantees. I took a chance on a different path.
In 2019, my professional and personal goals include the following
- working with my counterpart to start a care group of mothers
- write and fulfill a grant for a latrine building project
- work with the local primary and secondary schools on health promotion programming
- use running as a means of gender equality education and the promotion of healthy habits
- improve my language capacity
- study for and take the GRE
- apply to grad school
Any questions on future projects? Feel free to message me via this site or on WhatsApp.