Finding our joyful place

Freezer full of food, check. Things to do list (both work and play ideas) for Craig and the girls, check. Grocery list for tomorrow, check. Oh yah, the packing list, the last minute things to do and lesson plans for Uganda study mission participants…almost check! Preparation for an overseas trip can be overwhelming, especially if one over-thinks things. I have been gently advised that I do so by more than one wise friend over the years.

Keeping perspective is everything…I’m leaving my family that is blessed with love, good sense, good health and security for two weeks. I can’t imagine the thoughts that go through the minds of the women credit union managers from developing countries that travel to Canada to be part of the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Mentorship Program for a month. They leave children of all ages in the hands of family and friends without the myriad of personal technologies that we have become dependent upon to stay in touch. Our unwillingness to leave iPads, iPhones and computers behind perhaps suggests that we’re not near as secure as we think.

I often thought the relationship (or lack thereof) between security, control and choice would make an interesting philosophy thesis but we’ll chew on that one over a beverage someday if you are interested in entering my geek league, if only for a bit. A couple of relationships that I think are worth exploring however, particularly during my Ugandan journey, are Does having control make people happier? , and, What is at the core of human happiness?

If I haven’t yet lost you to a blog that won’t make your head hurt, let me explain…

While doing background reading for Uganda, I paid particular attention to the pieces that paint the reality for woman in the country nicknamed “The Pearl of Africa”.

  • The average number of children born to a woman in Uganda is 6
  • A Ugandan woman’s life expectancy is 54.5 years
  • 80% of women are involved in agriculture and 42% of Ugandan women are unpaid family workers
  • Women account for 57 percent of all adults living with HIV/AIDS with practically all women being affected either directly or indirectly by the disease.

These realities paint a bleak picture for Ugandan women.

Driving home from Harris the other day, in a rare move I changed my radio dial from CBC to a Saskatoon rock station for a music fix. Of all musicians, Pink made a comment that stuck with me upon which I plan to frame my learning of Uganda and its people….

When in the depths of despair, it’s important to move to our joyful place.

I want to learn when, where and what that place is for rural Ugandan women
and whether I can help them find and be in that place.

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5 thoughts on “Finding our joyful place

    • I’d love to get a better understand of what you do. Following your blog will be a great introduction. Looking forward to your next post!

  1. Bon voyage, Karen! I’m with you in spirit. May the force be with you…

    And in all seriousness, I’m truly looking forward to experiencing this vicariously through you. You’re doing something important to the world – connecting! Very happy to call you my friend :).

  2. My dear Karen,

    Yes first of all I am totally in your geek league! HAHAHA! As I have stated many times to many different facets of friends that I have, CONTROL is not actually in existance in my world. We can control how we react to the force put upon us and effect change as a result, but we can not truly control what happens in the world.

    Second, happiness. Here I can speak volumes from personal journeys the last 19 years of my life. Happiness starts in the most simplest of places to look…yourself. To self reflect within and create yourself in the image that you see yourself is the most rewarding thing to be accomplished. I have never ever measured my life by what I have for this would be materialistic, I have never looked down on those who have it as that would be narcissitic, I have looked at what as a child would look at..What are my wants? What are my needs? Simple questions, but hard answers. I love my life and everyone I have in my life now.

    If you delete the negatives in the your life both mentally and physically, everything else just falls into place. Life is only what you make it and that alone is the only element of control you have over your own happiness. 🙂

    Safe travels and all the us McBee’s travel with you 🙂

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