Tag Archives: Africa

What a difference a year makes!

What a difference a year makes.

A year ago…..

I didn’t know if:
Barb would survive cancer
She would remain in her wheelchair
Our dream of working overseas would become reality
We could continue to pay for college
Military engagements would continue to keep parents worried

I didn’t know:
Glenn Alexander
bensonwedd
Malawi
Peter
Priscilla
Kyle
Jeremy

This year I know:
Barb is cancer free and RUNNING RACES: take that wheelchair!
The warm heart of Africa, Malawi
The joy of returned income to pay for school
A daughter NOT deployed AND transferred to a Post much closer to home
Many, many new people who are positively effecting my life daily

What will I know next year that I do not know today? When I reflect next year, whose lives will I have effected and will they be better because of the interaction? What and where will I be doing? Coke is running an ad campaign in Africa that really caught my attention. Their tag line is, “while the rest of the world is worrying about the future a billion Africans are enjoying a Coke”. I would like that to be my theme this coming year. I want to live in the moment, enjoying the people around me, valuing them for who and what they are.

What doors will be opened to us and what doors will be closed, and will we be smart enough to know which is which? One of my favorite cartoons is the picture of the kid trying to get into the gifted school, pushing on the door that is clearly marked pull. I really hope I do not spend too much time next year pushing instead of pulling!

Blessings on each and everyone of you!

Peace, Love, Faith and Hope!

Jon

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Great Adventure #1

Great Adventure Part 1

Tomorrow I leave for Lilongwe, Malawi and then to Salima, Malawi where my traveling partner, the executive director of One5 Foundation, Glenn Alexander and I will begin our fact finding and organizational mission to build a two OR suite for the Malawi Birthing Center. We travel from Kansas City, to Detroit, Amsterdam, Nairobi and then arrive in Malawi.

It is late in the evening and my list of to do items is still growing, rather than shrinking!

This has been such a busy week already. The first part of the week I attended the annual conference of the American Society of Hospital Engineers in San Antonio, completed the last training class for Community Emergency Response Team with the Olathe Fire Department which included a live disaster drill, had a state inspection of a new facility today, participated in DSMA Live this evening and leave for Africa tomorrow!

What a rush! Yes, and we are still doing laundry.

I have real mixed emotions about this trip. I am so excited and privileged to be a part of this great endeavor, but I am also a bit apprehensive, about traveling so far. What if the air conditioning goes out at the house, what if Barb’s car breaks down, what if Eryn or Judy needs something? The truth is I married a women who can handle anything, I just like taking care of her. They will all be fine. This becomes another opportunity to place worry where it deserves to be, out! Worry for me is directly related to the amount of control I think I have. Our disaster scenario last night was chaos! I purposely, did not assume a leadership position. I wanted to, badly. I wanted to exercise control, but I knew I would learn more and be in a better position to lead when faced with a ‘real’ disaster if I stepped back. It is a lesson and discipline that I am trying to practice more often.

So, as I finish my lists, and compile all my data, I am making a choice to relax and listen. To make sure that my agenda is not being pushed to the exclusion of others, unless of course I’m right. LOL

Stay tuned here. I hope to be able to post when I get an Internet connection and plan on posting pictures and stories about this great adventure!

Grace and Peace

Jon