A reflection before my trip to Africa

10 Jul

It was a year ago, when I suddenly had the idea of going to Africa to do voluntary work. Frankly speaking, I have never been actively participated in voluntary work. I may have done  just once or twice voluntary work  a year. My excuse is — I am busy. I can’t afford the time. Plus I am not a mighty selfless person (and far from kind, I guess, as I may indulge in vain gossip and entertain on bad feelings. Yes, I act like a kid) .

So what motivates me in planning such a trip?

Helping others? Well, actually it makes me uncomfortable to think in this way. Who do I think I am? It just doesn’t sound right. Perhaps I just hope I could be of some use when I get there.

To evangelise ? The ‘God’ in my belief doesn’t quite match with the one they told me in school. I don’t feel comfortable either when people say I should go to Africa to see what ‘God has planned for me’. Why should God plan anything for us if He/She has given us the greatest gift – Freedom of will? God will never do such a thing (It’s more like a parent/teacher/control freak). And that He/She shall not punish anyone for anything they have planned for themselves. That’s what I believe. Anyways, it will be off topic if I get this started.

Perhaps I want to feel the oneness of human beings. It’s a thrist in my soul to search for that. Through working with people of other races, I may be able to answer the questions, “What does it mean to be human?” and “Who am I?”  These are the questions I have frequently asked myself but quite unable to answer. The answers may change from time to time. Yet I know I will never be able to answer them if I don’t give myself chances to work things out.

So this is where I’m going with three other colleagues (best friends of mine). Kunduchi, Tanzania. I know little about it even after reading the East Africa book. The only thing I know is that it’s a small village 24 km north of the capital, Dar es Salaam. What would it be like to work with others in a remote area for a month? I will fill you in later. In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for us.


3 Responses to “A reflection before my trip to Africa”

  1. Karen 2010 年 07 月 10 日 at 5:51 AM #

    Hope that you can come back soon …

    • missjanetlaw 2010 年 07 月 10 日 at 2:22 PM #

      Yes, Karen. I’ll be back on 19/8. ^_^

  2. paulsze 2010 年 07 月 10 日 at 12:47 PM #

    I ask the two questions all the time, too (although unlike you, I don’t have enough altruistic spirit to go to a farway country to do volunteering work). I think the human psyche is a strange combination: sometimes we want to be alone, and indeed some writers have emphasised that as the pessismistic ultimate fate of all of us, ultimately we are all alone; but at the same time, we sometimes feel the urge, and even a strong need, to feel connected with each other (hence Facebook). Go for it, Janet, I envy you. This is not just getting connected with people you already know, for a bit of laugh, or for a good meal. This is connecting with humanity on a deep deep level. Who am I? Who are they? Who are we? What am I doing in this world?

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