Passion or Sense

7 August 09

I could live in Mbita.

As I stood in the soccer field outside of the Suba Centre, during our last day of workshops, this thought returned. It wasn’t the first time the thought had appeared.

It was the first time I let myself believe it.

The work Dan Otedo and Paul Oduor are doing with the Suba Teachers Guidance and Counseling Association and the Suba Youth Resource Centre respectively is something I would like to be a part of.

I don’t want to bring change. I’ve been quite cognizant of that since our trip began. The moment we begin to think of ourselves as bringing knowledge to the teachers we’re working with here is the moment we fall into the trap of seeing teachers as vessels transporting knowledge.

Perhaps even more than when working with students, it is incumbent upon us to be fellow learners at every moment.

What I want to do is help those who are bringing the change. Dan and Paul have vision that allows them to see what can be here. I want to help make that road smoother.

One night, Paul explained an ongoing argument with his mother over his dedication to the SYRC over finding paying work. “On the one hand,” he said, “I can understand why I should do something sensible as she wants. On the other hand, though, I feel a great passion about the Centre and do not want to leave it.”

Stuck between passion and what is sensible. How can a person not want to make smoother the journey of one who works for the betterment of the world?

When we were in Cape Town, Khanyiso, one of the leads on the EduNova team, said, “The good work has begun,” as we were parting one day.

I responded by telling him the work would always continue. I knew this to be true before leaving home. The scale of the work is greater, the urgency much more personal than five weeks ago.

I could live in Mbita.