Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Tanzania.

Matipwilli, Tanzania: Reflection

Posted in Tanzania on November 9, 2010

After returning back to our reality, I have taken the last two days to reflect on the last two weeks experiences. Not only was this the best experience of my life, it was a phenomenal learning experience as well. The giving to the village was not only about physically giving a home we built with our hands but the experience of living in their foot steps and sharing experiences together as one. I am torn understanding who learned more from one another until remembering what Mother Teresa once said “The poor give us much more than we give them. They're such strong people, living day to day with no food and they never curse, never complain. We don't have to give them pity or sympathy. We have so much to learn from them.”

I must first thank our amazing Developing World Connections Team Leader – Rick Kurzac who lead our team from preparing for the trip and the trip itself. Rick made the trip seam flawless to all by his countess hours behind the scenes planning and the countless hours during the trip even before our day began and the hours after our day ended. I am sure it was not an easy task managing us all and keeping us all happy. Thank you for allowing us to share in your vision and valuing our contributions. Thank you for your daily goal setting and guidance to the team. You are a true leader!

Thank you to my teammates for participating on the journey we just embarked on. The majority of us met for the first time half way around the world as strangers to one another. With a common vision, we became a team. Caring and supporting one another through the journey. Inspiring one another. (Who would of thought I would be teaching the children cartwheels and dancing with the locals at the final ceremony.) Even though our time in Tanzania had ended, as we said our bond of friendship has just begun. A true friendship does not consist of a huge number of friends you keep but it is valued by its worth and capability to hold you and stand by you in all phases of life. I feel honored to have met you all.

Thank you to Kisampa, Dr. Rob, Jeanann & Richard, Sarah and James, Raymond, Ashley and the entire Kisampa team. What an incredible sanctuary you have built. Words cannot describe the experience to live under the stars with the wild life so close and no running water, electricity and walls. Your hospitality was first class. At times I am sure it was trying to please us all (especially Kenny and Mark! LOL) and deal with us on our “on” nights and the new animal noises that could be heard from afar (hmmm…sounds from Doug and Ralph’s banda)! Adjusting your schedules so we could have an early start on the jobsite and ensuring we had lunch packed. Jeanann & Richard you should be congratulated on the fine individual you raised in Dr. Rob. He is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing your vision with us and allowing us to contribute in building a sustainable future in the village of Matipwilli.

To the village of Matipwilli, thank you for welcoming us into your village with open arms. Thank you for allowing us to build the much needed doctor’s home for your village. Thank you for allowing us to learn from your tradesmen. The passion they have for their craft was evident. Thank you for allowing us to learn about your culture and language. Thank you for allowing us to love your children during our stay. They have touched our hearts more than we could ever imagine. To see them waiting for us each morning as we approached the jobsite and watch them waving profusely as we left each day will be a memory we will never forget. Thank you for the beautiful ceremony thanking us for our contribution and for asking us to come back again to your village.

Thank you to my family, friends, Alexandria Moulding and my colleagues who supported me on this journey. Thank you for your well wishes and the inspiring e-mails during my trip. No matter how sore the muscles were, your messages encouraged me to work harder.

Giving back is an area too many of us do not excel in. It is the understanding that experience teaches us to pay life back along the way with small acts of kindness. It is a reciprocal arrangement with the world, give a little and get a little. It keeps the blur of the world in focus. Giving back keeps your mind in tune with others, our perception of ourselves and how others view us.

Business, like life, is a reciprocal arrangement. You have to give something back in order to makes things move ahead. A constant attitude of "taking" leaves emptiness with all parties, whereas "giving" translates into concern and effort for all involved. It provides a mutual success that is reciprocal. Be vigilant watching for ways to give back in those chosen areas of your life. The rewards will be many because inevitably, you get back what you put in.
Our intent was to leave a small foot print in the village of Matipwilli but with the feeling that I have in my heart from this experience I feel that we left a larger foot print than intended. I know that I am a better person today because of this experience. Thank you!!!

DWC Participant
Tanzania 2010

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