Some humanitarians like me have other jobs too. For such a time as this; between projects, for delayed projects, and to supplement our meager wages as we save (ahem) the world.
My Africa life has never been about money. For that matter, neither has my Canadian life. My Father often remarks about fishing,
“You will never get rich fishing. But you will always be your own boss and this is worth making $25,000 a year less.”
I think my father is correct. I am an independent person too.
“He liked fishing and seemed to take pride in being able to like such a stupid occupation.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
I really have little patience for people with a how-to book in their hand exhorting us how we should jump. Of course they think they have it figured out, while we know they are, in reality, using us as a pawn in their latest experiment (They have no clue of this reality, so are sincerely delusional). As long as we are working for these kinds of people we are the ones left exhausted and looking back over our shoulder and seeing how much much time and precious life we wasted flitting from one thing to the next. Tweak, flit, tweak, flit, and tweaking the old thing some more. This is really what it amounts to, nothing new, really, only revision. The words tweaking and twerking must be metaphors in some fashion, i am convinced. 80% of the “Meetings” I have been part of are “tweaking conversations”, about as fruitful as having someone jump on the table to twerk a bit. The real value of meetings from my perspective is rarely the subject matter, it’s the good people and relational encounters we get to develop with the people around the table, after the table. So if we are not interested in one another, why bother?
“And chase hard and good and with no mistakes and do not overrun them.” ― Ernest Hemingway, Islands in the Stream
I am very open to new things, risks, out-of-the-box thinking, and revision. Unfortunately “new things” are at least ten years behind the curve ball. Endeavoring to mimic a success elsewhere, usually from another country and culture, when society, the market, the culture, and life here, has long since moved on. There really is not a deep level of musing going on.
Yawn! I grew bored with it all years ago.
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” (Henry David Thoreau)
So, yes, I enjoy working for myself now, as poor as it makes me. At least if I waste my time, and life, I have no one else to blame but myself. I will not be a pawn, a cog, to move forward some meaningless machine, with meaningless mechanical activity that fakes, “We are doing something amazing”. Also, I refuse to recruit people into becoming a cog for my things too. I dislike telling others what to do.
So this is why I like Africa, and fishing.
While repairing eel nets these last few weeks, my first mate (son Benjamin) and I listen to so many podcasts from all over the world. We enjoy history, news, humanitarian issues, comedy, debates on war, pacifism, and theology (The Reformed Pubcast – Guys who discuss Beer, Brewing and Reformed Theology – And I am no reformed guy I tell you.) I could go on……
We began with a little over one hundred eel nets to repair after the last eel season. The nets and attached leaders are about 100 feet long. Look at the size of the little mesh in the photo. If there is a hole, rip or tear,and there are always many, we have to stitch them up. Tedious! Glad for the podcasts, debates and conversations.
Again, what some humanitarians do in the off season between projects, and delayed projects. But it is a nice change of pace.
With a dopey, hippy tone, say with me, “These podcasts are expanding my world, and my mind, man!”
So off I go… stitchy, stitchy.