Hello Gor­geous People,

I want to share with you about my recent trips to Gam­bella (West part of Ethiopia almost close to South Sudan). For those of you who are won­der­ing if this was one of my small travel fix, happy to tell you NO!! It was WORK:-) this time though truth be told, I was dying to go that part of Ethiopia for a very long time.

My first visit went like this. I am so excited to go to Gam­bella fol­lowed by OMG… this is so depress­ing, lots of poverty, HIV/AIDS, refugee camps, ten­sion in the com­munity. I felt con­fused and miser­able for days, feel­ing guilty and help­less­ness as I have never known it before. Extreme heartache and emo­tion­ally shattered!

So next time around, I asked myself what am I cap­able of doing? If I keep doing what I am doing or feel­ing, I real­ized I wasn’t serving any­one else or myself. I needed a drastic men­tal shift!

Here is some­thing I shared with friends in my email from there. Includ­ing pic­tures too. Enjoy!!

Few of you who have chat­ted with me after my first trip in at the end of May know little bit about the chal­lenges I faced on my first trip. This time am happy to report I’m amaz­ingly doing well. Of course noth­ing has changed, still there is so much poverty more than I could ever be able to explain, still the HIV/AIDs is higher in this region and I see more kids on the street but I also came to my senses, turn to my own inner wis­dom for guid­ance.  Instead of choos­ing to see the worst and tor­ture myself with guilt I have opened up to the won­der­ful cul­ture, beau­ti­ful green land and ami­able people that sur­roun­ded me.

Aside my work I vis­ited a local orphan­age, mar­ket and I even had a test of local food (Okra and Maize Genfo). I am always grate­ful for won­der­ful souls that show up in my life when I need them and my blessed life full of adven­ture and possibilities.”



Taking Responsibility

He that is good for mak­ing excuses is sel­dom good for any­thing else.
— Ben­jamin Franklin

When we are stuck in life and noth­ing seem to move for­ward, we des­per­ately look for answer every­where. Hop­ing our prayer is answered in some form.
That form can be a sign, a phrase from a book, people we meet on the street, mes­sage though our dream, I do believe divine inter­ven­tion comes in every form and size.

Few months ago, I received an email that shocked my sys­tem. It wasn’t a bad news but it was a kind of wakeup call I needed. Why? because I was kind of get­ting com­fort­able where I was in life.

I was in that com­fort zone of not want­ing to see other pos­sib­il­it­ies. The email came from Nahu – one of the won­der­ful women I came to admire, respect and lucky to work with in tak­ing AWiB to the next level.

It read

As a great Amer­ican Com­ment­ator, Erma Bom­beck, once said “when I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of tal­ent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.

I want all of us to reflect on that say­ing and to really intern­al­ize the mean­ing of it all. We are con­cerned more about oth­ers than ourselves. Have I used my God given tal­ent? Should be our con­cern instead.  I have heard most of you shriek­ing when I said each of us needs to sell 48 tick­ets to move all 500 of them and yes since we don’t have a mean­ing­ful spon­sor, we need to do it by ourselves. But if we say we couldn’t because of zil­lions reas­ons that life is throw­ing at us, believe me we are not going to move even one. What we utter is what we act upon and get, and that is the uni­ver­sal truth.”

See I was one of those people who shrank giv­ing mil­lion reas­ons why I won’t be able to sell those tick­ets. But this email turned things around, not only that I sold more than 50 tick­ets but it also made me think where else in my life I am shrink­ing? Not doing enough or simply giv­ing excuses not to do more?

Thank you Nahu, for great wakeup call! We all need someone in our life who can hold us account­able on daily basis.

Now I invite you all to check, where in your life today are you shrink­ing? What is the story or excuse you tell to yourself?


I Promise Myself…

To be so strong that noth­ing can dis­turb my peace of mind.
To talk health, hap­pi­ness, and prosper­ity to every per­son I meet.
To make all my friends feel that there is some­thing worth­while in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optim­ism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthu­si­astic about the suc­cess of oth­ers as I am about my own.
To for­get the mis­takes of the past and press on to the greater achieve­ments of the future.
To wear a cheer­ful expres­sion at all times and give a smile to every liv­ing creature I meet.
To give so much time to improv­ing myself that I have no time to cri­ti­cize oth­ers.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to per­mit the pres­ence of trouble.
To think well of myself and to pro­claim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.

By Chris­tian D. Lar­son {I Prom­ise Myself}