"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Friday, July 23, 2004 When I first went to Ghana, I got an email from former ECM student Noah Evans (who is now the Rev. Noah Evans!). Here's what he said:
"I usually try to adopt a zen attitude to travel in third world countries, just ride with it - whatever IT is...And whenever something really strange happens (I use this in the Church also), say to yourself: YA' CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP."
That was definitely the most helpful advice I got for my trip ... and one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten period. It became my two-step mantra/strategy for the journey. And in trying to live it out, I realized that it's just a great way to live your life wherever you are.
So with that in mind, knowing that I didn't learn everything I need to know in Ghana or kindergarten or any other one place ... here are some things I have found are true from my journey (some of which I knew before and some I didn't ... you can try to figure out which is which).
1. When children want to talk with you or hold your hand or even shout "obroni" at you, the very least you can do is respond with a smile, a wave and a kind word.
2. That pretty much goes for adults, too.
3. A great way to kick off your day is going up to someone in your life and saying "How can I be of service to you today?"
4. Don't eat anything with mayonaise in it when you're in a region where the power goes off a lot.
5. There's no day so bad that FanChoco can't make it better. And if you're in America and can't get one, well, just enjoy that you can drink the tap water and take a hot shower!
6. If you help just one person, it gives your whole day some meaning.
7. "At least you've got your health" isn't a throwaway line. Having your health is HUGE.
8. In the developing world, anyone from the U.S. is a computer expert.
9. A good phrase to remember when you start to feel sorry for yourself for whatever reason is "People are dying ... quit your whining!"
10. That whole zen-like thing really works ... and it does wonders for not just your attitude but your blood pressure.
11. The cosmos is a really big place and there's a lot of weirdness in it. You gotta find humor in the truth that's stranger than fiction. So when things get weird, it really does pay to just shake your head, laugh and say
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Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."