May 17, 2015
At our MSC (Mid-service conference) we had a session, a roundtable more like, of experience sharing and motivation. We were asked about successes and challenges of the past year and about hopes and worries for the year to come. And, although, almost everyone had some kind of success, there were at least two challenges to go along with it. And each hope for the future was paired with the worry that hope would never come true. Looking around our circle of bare-footed Environment volunteers, some in chairs and some on the floor, it seemed a gloomy place. But our wonderful and wise PCVL (Peace Corps volunteer leader, a third year who works with the program staff), Sally, read us the quote used as the title by Abraham Lincoln. She told us that according to her calculations we still have four months of sharpening to do before we start chopping down the tree. So we started talking. Coffee ceremonies, days spend in the office just sitting there greeting people and reading on our Kindle, meetings with promises only to be followed up by another meeting with the same promises, doro wat, Ethiopian music videos, tea and coffee breaks, shoulder dancing, markets, sorting lentils, injera and break, oh, and more coffee. We had sharpened and sharpened and would continue to sharpen. When the time was right, hopefully, out this sharpening would come work. However, if work never picks up, there’s something to be said for all the sharpening. All the relationships, all the memories made, all the boundaries pushed, all the living that’s been done. So, here’s to sharpening and to hoping.