Eyes on the finish line

This coming week marks the conclusion of a number of pretty significant events in my recent history.

First up there is the small matter of 26.2 miles or more appropriately whatever that translates to in kilometers along the byways and boulevards of la belle Paris, all to be completed in my siziba, the tribal dress of the Lozi of Western Zambia. This is one particular ball where I will be very dissappointed indeed to see more than one person sporting the same dress!

I am delighted to say that through the generosity of many of the readers of this blog as well as friends, colleagues and family, over 7,000 euro is already on it’s way to the very neediest of N’gombe compound, Lusaka. If you have contributed, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you are still sitting on the fence, the paypal link is about 3cm to your right. Go on! I promise it will be the most worthwhile thing you do with your mouse today!

Assuming that I am still able to walk, on Monday I move with my Zambian colleagues to the INSEAD business school in the suburbs of Paris for the final component of my year’s placement under the PEPAL programme (www.pepal.org).

Avid readers of the blog may remember that we gathered here a year ago to launch the 8 or so partnerships between private sector volunteers such as myself and HIV organisations from across the globe: Cambodia to Kenya, Ukraine to India, not forgetting little old Zambia of course.

I am fascinated to see how the projects have progressed, which ones have found common ground upon which to build useful partnerships that exchange ideas, values and skills and which have found the chasm between private and not for profit, between developed and developing just too much to bridge.

Back as I am to a full time job in a developed country far away from my project partners, the respect I have for those many partnerships who didn’t have luxury of spending the full year together but had to try and work together remotely has only deepened. Only four weeks back, I find it harder and harder to connect with the realities of life back in Zambia, both professional and personal. Try as I might, it is hard to escape the simple fact that the very orbits of our worlds take us in vastly different directions.

It will be wonderful to spend time with my Zambian colleagues, to reflect on the year past with them and the other partners. As I unpacked my things last week I came across the beautiful book of rememberances that the team in Zambia had prepared as a leaving gift and I concluded that it is now the proudest pocession of my career. I really hope that this final week together can help us all chart a course that ensures there are more than just fond memories in our future.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Eyes on the finish line”
  1. Mutale says:

    Hey man,
    I wish you the best as you take to the tracks I know and fully confident that you will make a splendid performance.
    And on behalf of the Ngombe group I wish to thank you for the effort, the thought and your generosity with time and energy – it is people such as yourself who bless others wherever they go.
    I wish for you success in your life.

  2. Sanjani says:

    Berkeley well done, great timing!! Very very proud of you and look forward to the video. Wish I could have been there cheering you from the sides.

    Catch up properly soon.

    P.S. Your writing is getting better and better, you’re amazing!

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