Throughout this trip, I kept coming back to this proverb. There were many times I found myself thinking there was no way my small acts would make a difference in any of the people we interacted with. Daudi did tell us all that we would not solve the problem in one week, but our contribution no matter how small still has an impact. I guess this is where my paradigm shift started, feeling small of a top of a hill I just climbed with most of my classmates. I was beginning to shed the old misconceptions of myself and in light of it, the path I had been on was changing direction again.
Climbing up Suye hill near the hotel sounded like a fun adventure to undertake, but as soon as I started to climb up the steep slippery hillside, I started having doubts. Here as I climbed higher and higher with sweat dripping off my face and feeling so out of shape, came the shift. For the past two years at Northwest, I have been fighting a battle no one has to know about (until now). I had lost my true purpose in why I was a biologist and my passion for biology. A mosquito of life’s circumstances had sucked the blood of this passion out of me. Here in Tanzania, it was showing.
As I climbed up in the dense thick brush, slipping, cursing, almost in tears and trying to hold it together, my perspectives started to change. Why am I complaining about this when people below have it harder? The mosquito was back again. When I finally got to the top of the hill and saw Mount Meru, that’s when it hit me.
Mountains beyond mountains in the distance, and a whole vast valley below winking in the setting sun. Feeling small on top of a hill. In this very moment, a long ago purpose came back to me. Paul Farmer’s own words came back, “the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with this world.” Eight years ago I went into biological sciences because I believed everyone should be able to live a healthy life no matter where they lived in the world. Just as Paul Farmer believe his mission in life, and same as the people of Convoy of Hope in Tanzania. Hole In Our Gospel points to this as well, no matter how small the work is, it still has an impact on someone and their life.
Feeling small on a hill in Africa, but small enough to make an impact in anther’s life. A renewed sense of purpose.