It took two and a half years for the Iyoli water project to get to where it is right now –  at this very moment.  That’s a long time to wait for something to happen.  My dad told me a few weeks ago that he thought I had come and gone already AND was working on another water well which made me realize how much I talk about this project.  And it wasn’t just him, a few people thought it had already happened.

I guess it was hope that helped me to stick this out, that glimmer of something you don’t quite understand at the bottom of your belly. That little voice that tells you “this can work” so I held on.

It took two and a half months of waiting to buy my ticket after the funding been secured from an anonymous donor through Innovation: Africa because their team had to to make sure the right companies were working together and do their due diligence in making agreements. Every morning I woke up wondering if this was the day that contracts would be signed and I would buy my ticket. I talked to Moshi, my colleague in Tanzania,  almost every day.

It took two and a half minutes to walk off the plane into the Turkish airport and breathe the unfamiliar smells of a new place and watch the people walking by, who were the same – but different. Airports are that safe transition where the world still feels normal because you hear things that you recognize, like mothers hurrying their children and yelling at them to stop whining but they are speaking another language.  It’s the tone that you understand and that everyone has the same goal – to get somewhere else.  You see the same (boring) global shops but then little peeks of change quietly appear, like coffee shops are now places that sell Turkish delight instead of a cappuccino double double and you know your world is shape shifting beneath your feet.

I am waiting and watching and dreaming and hoping as I sit here in Turkey on the last leg of my trip to Tanzania. Waiting to build a well in Iyoli village.

…and I know that when I get back home it’s going to feel like two and a half seconds of my time just flew by.  That exact same feeling as when your child turns 20 (which happened recently) and all that time you spent raising a human being is only just a beautiful memory that went by way too fast.  I know that it’s all going to feel like a blip in time, like it did last time.  So I’m going to jump in with both feet and embrace the challenges, the joy and the frustration of working on a big project with a team of people.

On the ground.  In Tanzania.

This is my story.

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