I wholeheartedly identify with the little goldfish above. It was time for adventure, for embracing something bigger. So what did I do?
I moved to Kenya naturally, to continue and expand on my training and development work. This is the third in series of posts, with four more things I’ve been learning since I touched down.
See the other 2 posts for more things I’ve been learning: ‘There’s a 6 foot long green snake living in my banana tree’ and ‘I’ve unlocked a universal truth: shoes take up as much space as you allow them (or 4 more learnings about life in Kenya)’.
9. Aim high
Just like the goldfish above it makes sense to aim high, sometimes ludicrously high. As we walked the dogs in a nearby forest yesterday, a harsh squawking filled the air. The dogs were off like a shot, barking up some nearby trees at the monkeys.
I wanted to say ‘Really?! Do you really think you’re going to catch those nimble monkeys?,’ but then I thought, ‘who am I to tell a critter to aim lower.’
Be unreasonable. Aim really high.
My aim is to come full circle to three early passions of mine:
- fashion design: originally I wanted to be a fashion designer (I was even accepted to fashion design school)
- international development: I worked in international development and global education early on in my career
- literacy: years ago I took some in-depth training to be a literacy volunteer and have been fascinated with literacy ever since
Putting all 3 together, my BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal) is to work with local women to design, produce and sell re-useable shopping bags and turn the profits into literacy work.
10. Waiting 45 minutes for a hot shower
When I got sick last week, the reality of living in a developing country sank in, as with teeth chattering uncontrollably I realized it would be a 45 minute wait for hot water. Grateful for running water period, living here is an adjustment. The scale between the privileged and the poor is immense.
While grocery shopping the other day the electricity went out (a common occurrence). Bathed in the dull, low light of a generator I stood there still, hanging onto my grocery cart, until the lights came on again.
As I walk my kid to school (good bye free public education, hello expensive, privileged private school) every morning we pass a small forested area where I watch a mom with two small children, tending her cooking fire. She lives in the bush. I wonder about approaching her.
11. Freaky commonalities
On school registration day we were ‘translating’ my kid’s prior courses to what’s available here. The appropriate math class was proving problematic so the math teacher was called over. It took mere minutes to discover that he not only taught with but is very good friends with my kid’s last year math teacher. Did I mention we are 14,360 km away from that teacher?
It made me think of walking down the street in Calcutta one day years ago and running into someone I knew.
Freaky commonalities happen as the world goes mobile.
12. Deep dive into delight
Finally, I am here to take a deep dive into delight. Into watching monkeys and eating mangoes. Into international issues and impromptu gatherings. Into custard apples and community. Into a slower pace.
Won’t you join me in diving into a whole other kind of learning?
(Thanks to Stacey Sirelson for the goldfish picture.)
Sam Crespi says
Aiming high is something I can forget! Thank you for the reminder. You are a wonderful inspiration to me, Lee Anne,
Lee-Anne Ragan says
Hi Sam- thanks! What are you aiming high for lately? Would love to hear.
Michelle Royle says
That photo of the Gold Fish Diving is FABULOUS!
This is a beautiful post you have written and shared Lee-Anne. I honour your diving…the embracing you are so completely and thoroughly engaged with. There might be days or weeks when it may be more like you boarded a rocket-ship than a deep dive! Go forth my friend, I look forward to you bringing back the riches of your offerings.
Lee-Anne Ragan says
Yes I love that photo too- I think it’s truly a metaphor. How much did the fish know about the bigger bowl before leaping? How much was logic, how much was faith? Is the biggest part (the most energy spent) on the leap? Does a huge leap then bring ease?
Yes it does feel like a rocket-ship- I’ll grant you that- sometimes.
You, my fellow deep diver, have much to share as well. I hope you’ll share some more of your thoughts via the comments. Everyone would benefit!