This week we welcomed Paul and Beth Brind to Mwanza. It’s an exciting time as it completes a transition we have been working towards for a couple of years now.
Welcoming them has reminded me of the time when Jo and I first moved here in 2006. The excitement, the slight trepidation, having so many questions and no answers, and getting used to the sights, sounds and smells (and lack of power) in Mwanza.
And now things have gone full circle. 5 and a half years ago it was us asking the questions and the Wilsons providing the reassurance and answers. Now it’s us who are able to help them – and it feels good.
It’s great to welcome people and realise how much we have learned in our time here.
To realise how much we’ve changed through the experience – I am certainly a very different man than the one that got of the plane in January 5 years ago.
Funnily enough, 2006 saw the start of 12 hour power rationing in Tanzania that lasted the best part of 10 months. This week we’ve seen the same, with different parts of the city switched off either from 8am-6pm or 6pm-12am every day. The problem is brought about by a big shortfall in rain at one of the hydro electric dams in southern Tanzania (and the national power supplier’s inability to get to grips with things over the past 5 years).
I hope it doesnt last as long this time. (I’m sorry – we talk about power a lot here…)
I never would have believed when I first arrived in 2003 for our first visit that I’d be here 8 years later, leading the organisation, creating opportunities for many others, whether they be long termers like the Brinds, or our short term DVP volunteers, to make their contribution.
The beauty of course is that in the process, I get to make my contribution, and by doing so, find my fulfilment.
Day by day, I’m finding that Emerson was right: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself”.
A good week.