Readying myself to be changed
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. ~ Rumi
The visa for Uganda is approved. The one for Kenya is in the works. And I’m just pulling together the last documents to send to the Malawian embassy in Washington, DC for that visa. I got the booster vaccine for cholera and dug out my water filter bottle.
Yes – in under one month I’ll be heading to the African continent for my fourth visit to SIA partners in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. Leaving May 25th, I’ll be visiting as many grassroots organizations and Small Business Fund groups as I can in six weeks.
Navigating transportation on the way from Nairobi to Meru, Kenya, 2017.
Perhaps in 2011, when I went on my first trip, I thought I wanted to change the world. But this trip, I am going with the full knowledge that I will be changing myself. Each trip bring greater growth, better understanding, more wisdom learned from our partners.
On a more superficial level, I know that I will grow into a stronger person over the course of the trip. I’m better at negotiating for taxis now – and Uber in Kenya means that negotiation is less necessary! And I also know more about how to bless a pig.
Learning how to ululate with women of the Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative in Malawi, 2017.
On a deeper level, I know I will be changed by witnessing the courage and dedication on the parts of our partners as they work to improve their communities.
New Travel Companions
Traveling with me this time are Barbara Deal and Kathleen King, both SIA Board Members and dear friends. Barbara will be with me in Uganda and Kenya, and then I’ll meet up with Kathleen in Malawi.
Our schedule is jam-packed with visiting current grant partners and hosting a Small Business Fund Conference. We’ll also be meeting some new potential partners. And we’ll hopefully get a few days of rest in there too!
The SIA SBF Coordinators are a strong part of our worldwide network! Pictured left to right, local SBF Coordinators with Tanya: Dana Belmonte, Hastings Phiri, Thomas Nkhonde, Naomi Ayot, Dorcas Okoti, Canaan Gondwe, Tanya Cothran, Braswell Nkhonjera, Mike Hegeman, Dennis Kiprop, Boyd Cothran. (Malawi, 2017)
It’s not just me who has changed in the last eight years since my first trip. Technology has also changed immeasurably! Now, even when I’m in some of the most remote areas, I can get a cell signal. So I’ll be posting throughout the trip on Instagram and Facebook. I hope you’ll follow along! Let me know if there are certain things you’d like to see and I’ll try to get photos/video of them!
Please keep this trip in your prayers! You can also donate here and I’ll send you a postcard when I’m in Kenya!
Visiting homes and farms in Kenya, 2017. We are served tea and invited to listen to stories of successes and challenges. (2017)