The East Africa Fund (EAF) for me is the greatest opportunity of my lifetime (so far). It is an opportunity that I don’t take lightly, and I am beyond grateful for the privilege I have been given to make it a reality. A privilege…? Yes, to embark on something new, something untold, something risky, is only accomplished with support from friends and family, particularly my husband, Luke. For this support I am beyond grateful and privileged. Thank you.
The EAF for me represents both a goal and a product. The goal is to create a continued connection and purpose in Tanzania. The product however, already accomplished, is the success of combining both skill and passion to create a vision of service.
So, what now…If you have read the website and been acquainted with the mission, vision, and timeline, you know that I am only on the first leg of this long journey. This leg I call “Nipo,” in swahili this means “I am here.” Literally I am here in Tanzania right now, to build the necessary partnerships with local organizations. I am here physically, and I am here mentally. I am 100% committed to this goal and I am allowing myself the physical and mental space to make it a priority. It has been a goal for a while, but only now have I found the support and time to make it a reality…thanks to the many of you who are reading this!
A jumping off point also helped…quitting a comfortable job and leaving my beautiful home and family in Denver, was no easy choice. But the decision was made clearer when I was given the opportunity to join a delegation of American women in Uganda for a Women’s Leadership Retreat (see images below). This retreat was coordinated by a Denver based not-for-profit – The Global Livingston Institute. With that opportunity, I decided to say “yes;” this was the time to take the leap. So, a week ago I joined that delegation in Uganda. A delegation of U.S. women came together with a delegation of East African women to listen together, think together, and act together. The fruits of those conversations and new relationships will be many. I am just now beginning to reflect on how powerful the experience was and I can’t thank the GLI team enough for the invitation to join their retreat. The lessons and relationships gained at this meeting will no-doubt last a lifetime.
One week after the retreat I find myself in Dar es Salaam – the hot, sticky, crowded, and beautiful port of Tanzania. The sounds, smells, and sights of Dar awaken my senses like no other. What a sweet homecoming it has been. Here I find the energy to embark on the EAF partnership building, “nipo.” I have already had great success connecting with local organizations and hope to continue over the next 1.5 months; stay tuned for upcoming blog posts to learn about these partnerships and to join the journey!
Cheers from TZ- Sam
If you read this and think…hmm how can I help…I am still fundraising for Sili’s car! – link here – https://www.gofundme.com/SilisDream