Monday, September 12, 2011
2 Years Down
Rather nonchalantly I recently told a colleague that I guess I've passed my 2 year anniversary of being in Ghana; I arrived late August 2009. Not exactly sure which day I arrived, but I nevertheless thought it an appropriate time to step back, give thanks, and share my plans for the coming year.
I am excited to inform you that I will continue to work with EWB in Ghana for a 3rd year, until Aug 2012.. I will continue to work with passionate people to create change in MoFAs Agricultural Colleges to develop entrepreneurial, farmer first graduates, and committed social entrepreneurs. In addition, I will continue working as Team Ghana's Human Resources Director to build and retain effective, motivated change agents in Ghana, and finally I'll be working in Accra to support National level changes in the Agricultural sector… all of this, so that at the end of it all I can see in our trail throngs of people who are better off now, than they were before, as a result of EWB's interventions.
You might be asking, "but why?"
Well, I'm excited to be staying because:
• EWB is an incredible organization built by and on outstanding people. People who are brilliantly intelligent, and ridiculously passionate. Hard work ethic is an understatement, and its matched with a striving towards humility, and an ultimate commitment to our bottom line- the rural poor. These people support me, and push me to be smarter and more thoughtful- its a privilege working with and for them.
• In this organization, we are given a lot freedom and input into the directions of our work. My work has been carved around my passion/skill/interest while balancing the strategic needs of the team and the broader changes we are striving for. I appreciate that my employers recognize my passions and interests and consider this as we co-create my work plans each quarter.
• I know enough Ghanaians that love EWB and our work that I believe we are on to something great. We are self critical, and we want to achieve more. Our ambitions for systemic, transformative change are great; we're not there yet but believe we are going about it the right way. We admit failures, celebrate small successes, we co-create with Africans, and continue to ask ourselves tough questions. I think we are on the right track, and hearing that from Ghanaians is reassuring.
• I keep growing in the person I'm becoming. I'm learning to love more. To be intentional. To connect and support. To empathize. Beyond the professional growth I have had- the greatest part is looking back and knowing I'm a richer human being, and that I have been truly alive. Its truly been an amazing experience for me as a person.
• I love Ghana. Many of you know this. I feel right here. The people are incredible. I have made countless friends and family in the last 2 years. They have taught me about sacrifice, giving, community, life, co-dependence, joy, purpose, perseverance... so much more. Thank you Ghana!
• Apart from missing sushi, my cottage, starbucks chai lattes, and the abundant opportunity in Canada, The hardest part is obviously being away from family in Canada. Special shout outs to my mom and Holly for their endless love and support, and to Tiki Bear (my dog). Tiki is just as happy to see me if I've been away for a day or a year. She doesn’t resent me or judge me, but just bubbles with excitement, joy and love when I see her. She is forever happy and living in the moment. She inspires me and brings me lots of smiles. I really do miss her.. and all the other amazing people I love in Canada.
This job and experience has to be very powerful to keep me from Canada. I am so grateful for the support, understanding and encouragement of my family.
There are many more reasons why I'm staying- but these are the main ones I'd like to share with you today. Thanks to all of you who have followed me and supported me along the first 2 years in Ghana.
Here's to an even more transformational 3rd year!