“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

~Mark Twain

Saturday, January 5, 2013

On to Part II

And I’m back. After one month in the states and 30 hours in transit I have returned to Guinea. It was sad to say goodbye to friends and family, but nonetheless I was excited to get back. When I landed I did not think, “You escaped! Why the heck would you come back here”, but instead had a feeling of homecoming. Yes, we had to push start my taxi from the airport and yes, I was called fote immediately after landing, but it was more familiar than frustrating.

The last month was whirlwind (note the spelling, mom) of activity. I was in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. I saw family and friends from grade school, high school, and college. I got my nails done 3 times, saw a Broadway play and ate more turkey sandwiches and sushi than you can count.  And of course I cuddled with my dog, Louie, at every possible moment. I saw Silver Linings Playbook (brilliant) and Les Miserables (mediocre). The crazy thing is that that list includes nothing that I can or would do in Guinea, but there was almost no culture shock. It was as if I picked up right where I left off.

The upcoming month will be equally busy in a completely different way. On the AGUIDEP front, I finally got a credit card for my organization so we will be launching BiblioTech this month. We also will be editing the film we shot right before I left. Next week, I am heading to a farm for 5 days to facilitate the Youth Entrepreneurship Training Program for interns who have been learning small animal husbandry and organic agriculture for the last 3 months and want to learn how to transform their new knowledge into a profit. The week after that I will be heading to our training center in Dubreka for two weeks to train our new volunteers on organizational assessment tools. I am excited to welcome 5 of these new volunteers into the Kindia region so I will no longer be so isolated.

Then boom, it’s February and I have less than a year left. So with that in mind I have made my New Year’s resolution to focus on sustainability. I want my projects to continue to succeed after I am gone, so this year there will be no taking the easy way out. I will teach instead of do and mentor instead of control.

For those of you who jut can’t get enough of my blog, I am contributing to OsezInnover.com. In English it means “Dare to Innovate” and features articles about Social Entrepreneurship from 6 volunteers and in the near future our Guinean counterparts in both English and French. So please read, comment, follow (there should be at least one new article a week) and if you have a lot to say about social entrepreneurship let me know and you can become a contributor. 

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