Whew. What a busy two days. So much going on my head is spinning. First, I’m so excited that our kickstarter has been fully funded! Thanks to everyone who helped us get there! Our team has put in money to ensure that the entire kickstarter doesn’t flop, so please, if you haven’t donated and were thinking of it, please do! Even though we’re over our goal, we are still in debt as we attempt to float this project.
It’s been a busy couple of days. I worked with Good Shepherd’s Fold in Uganda as we try desperately to get them Internet as they’re out “in the bush”. This has been a several year-long project and right when we thought we were there, it turns out we have the wrong gear. We have 3g gear based on US frequencies and we need gear for Uganda’s 2100 3g. Crud. Back to the drawing board.
I worked on two iPhones for Renee over at Serving His Children, a Macbook Pro and iPod from the folks at Mto Moyoni, and a few other odds and ends. I took some time to track down one of the teachers I worked with at St. John’s Wakitaka, where we installed one of our first computer classrooms. I’m trying to find out what’s going on with that classroom and in preparation for the documentary(!) trying to trace some of the early students, some of whom might be in University by now.
I spent some time working with our staff at the Computer Training Center as they’re also following up with some of our students for the documentary. This is interesting work and it’s really encouraged me. I never really sought out stories. So in the back of my mind I’ve been wondering if the work here in Uganda is actually accomplishing anything tangible. Yes, we help organizations, and support a lot of people by helping behind the scenes, but I was beginning to wonder if we were making a difference in anyone’s life directly through our training. Instead of searching for stories (which seems self-aggrandizing and makes me uncomfortable) I would convince myself that training is a “long-term investment” in someone’s future and that “I may never see the results of what we do”. And while that’s true to a certain extent, the fact is there are lots of stories to be told and I’ve just missed them. And that sucks, especially when I consider all the people that have supported us through the years. They (so much more than us) deserve to know what’s happened here ..
So I’m SUPER excited about the documentary now because it’s forced me to take a hard look at what we’re doing here and VERY critically judge whether or not it’s been worth the effort. I’m excited to say that it has.
I’ll be releasing some stories on the site in the next few days as soon s I get approval from Jeremy. I don’t want to spoil anything he’ll do with the documentary.
I also had a great interview with CSO magazine for an article entitled Security for Good “about security pros (CSOs, physical and IT security types) who use their skills for charitable causes. We’re wondering how someone would get involved with that, and why.”
It was an opportunity to tell my story from the beginning. Again. And I have to say it was therapeutic. I had to slog through good times and bad, talk about things that failed and things that worked, but I followed the thread through it all and realized that I have purpose. (It’s something I’ve doubted for quite a while now). I realized that me and my family are here (exactly here, in this spot, through this path) for a purpose. I realized that the long, winding path since even before the first trip in ’07 had meaning. I’m doubly encouraged by the stories we’re hearing from our students and by the interview and for the first time in a long time I’m really, really excited about what we’re here to do. I’ve fully “got my head in the game” again.
That’s been a long time in coming. I literally feel air returning to my lungs (physically, mentally and spiritually) and really all it took was kinda getting over my own fears and failures and changing my focus from me to others. I’ve said once or twice that, “If you want to find real happiness, get out of your own way and do something for someone else” and I’m glad to take my own advice. And it’s pretty darn cool that the Volunteer Network has the potential to do that for hundreds of others. Cool, cool stuff.
And for those of you that have read my long serious post (wow, I can go on and on and on..) here’s something amusing. We went to lunch today and the armed guard outside the restaurant stopped us. He made us roll down the window, glared at Jen and said, “I think you don’t have a gun.”
What can you possibly say to that? =)