“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
Everyone has a story. The last time I posted a blog was in 2014 and I was living in Cambodia. Now I’m on a new adventure and thought some of you might be interested in how the life of a 50-something can morph – the life of a getting-older dog learning lots of new tricks!
Where have I been?
My Global Health Fellowship with Pfizer in Phnom Penh “wrecked me”* me for corporate America. I tried going from positively affect a country’s birth spacing and health issues as a GHF to trying to convince a doctor that Viagra was a better choice than the other ED meds. Talk about a letdown!!
I tried to get into the swing of things by trying to introduce a US Health Fellowship within Pfizer. I mean, so many Pfizer reps and employees wanted to help and give of themselves but couldn’t leave family for months on end. So why not give the USA a boost and put Pfizer employees to work in their own back yards? Got as far as submitting a budget, but it fell through.
In 2015 I went on another volunteer trip to Ghana with Adanu (been on two prior to Cambodia, they helped cement my love for Nonprofit ideals and values), and at the end of the trip I was offered a job to help run their Friends of Adanu organization in the US – from my home! I jumped at the chance (after I mopped up my tears of gratitude), and that’s where I was for 2 ½ years.
The job finished up, and earlier this year I started job hunting – from my new state of residence, Rhode Island. I had become interested in the idea of lending money to folks who were financially excluded from banking because they were poor.
Donors, I truly love every one of you, but really, is it sustainable? What if…people learn to save and manage their own money so they could make their own plans to benefit their own lives? What about empowering versus charity? Adanu was on the absolute right path, and I wanted to push it further.
In early April, a friend in Rotary (yep, I’m a Rotarian now!) mentioned Kiva during a phone call. Being completely naïve, I looked up their website. Six weeks later I had gotten the coveted Kiva Fellowship and was booking a flight to Ghana!
Everyone has a story. Mine begins here in Accra Ghana as a Kiva Fellow for the next six months. This blog will NOT be Kiva focused, but rather my trials, tribulations and the forever “What if…I can!” mantra while going in a new direction post-50 years old. Join me, comment, coach, throw ideas at me…and please be patient with me, I am still a newby and learning! (Coaching welcomed!)
First cooked meal – with advisor at hand!
*Shout out to Kimberly Cotto!