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Nataly

Broke and deliriously happy!

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I was just sitting here thinking... A few years ago, I had a great job, lots of money, was a home-owner, had a fantastic boyfriend (whom I thought I would marry and have babies with), a family and friends that love me (and his family loved me as well), was living in one of the coolest cities in the world, et cetera, et cetera. You know, all the things you think will make you happy. But I was miserable.

Today, I am broke, jobless and squatting at a friend's. I'm in a long-distance relationship that seems unlikely to bear fruit, I'm far from my friends and family, and all my stuff is in storage (what little I have left). And I've just accepted a 5 month volunteer role in Africa, even though it means I have to sell my bike to raise money!! Been surviving on "ketchup soup" and rice for the past several months...

And I've never been so totally, utterly happy :)I'm footloose and fancy-free and LIFE IS GOOOOOD :)
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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Good luck, Nataly.

Years ago I heard a jumper say something that made no sense at the time. Now I completely understand.

He stood with his hands on his hips and looked around with satisfaction at the great party going on after a busy day of jumping. Then he said,

"You know, it just doesn't get any better than this. But, if it could, you can't get there from here. You'll have to go somewhere else and start all over again."

Good luck getting that new place and starting over! ;)
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I'm back in the USA!!

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The more you have, the more you have to worry about.

Why are poor people in third world countries some of the happiest people you meet?

Where in Africa are you headed, and what's the objective?


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As jy dom is moet jy bloei!

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I'm in a long-distance relationship that seems unlikely to bear fruit...



And the eyes of many BF'ers just lit up.B|
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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Where in Africa are you headed, and what's the objective?



Ghana. The objective is to set up an accounting system for a local NGO that conforms to Ghanaian tax laws and suits the users' needs. To train users on said system, and to produce a user's guide. A 5 month volunteer mission with a Canadian NGO. Should be pretty challenging.

Perhaps not as obviously satisfying as actually "feeding the poor" but at least I can feel good about putting my expertise to good use... Besides, it's not just people who need help - it's hard to get real progress without the right infrastructures in place...
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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I was just sitting here thinking... A few years ago, I had a great job, lots of money, was a home-owner, had a fantastic boyfriend (whom I thought I would marry and have babies with), a family and friends that love me (and his family loved me as well), was living in one of the coolest cities in the world, et cetera, et cetera. You know, all the things you think will make you happy. But I was miserable.

Today, I am broke, jobless and squatting at a friend's. I'm in a long-distance relationship that seems unlikely to bear fruit, I'm far from my friends and family, and all my stuff is in storage (what little I have left). And I've just accepted a 5 month volunteer role in Africa, even though it means I have to sell my bike to raise money!! Been surviving on "ketchup soup" and rice for the past several months...

And I've never been so totally, utterly happy :)I'm footloose and fancy-free and LIFE IS GOOOOOD :)



Good for you Nataly, your post made me think of this video...
http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html :)
When an author is too meticulous about his style, you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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I love listening to Steve Jobs speak - his passion is so infectious B|
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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Perhaps not as obviously satisfying as actually "feeding the poor" but at least I can feel good about putting my expertise to good use... Besides, it's not just people who need help - it's hard to get real progress without the right infrastructures in place...



Feeding people who can't feed themselves only delays the underlying problem, supporting an unsustainable population. The same goes for healthcare aid. Many examples exist where the absence of aid leads to positive outcomes.

The real need is education - to kick-start the process of peoples to take control of their own economic destiny. But then those with education just end up leaving for greener grass. If the local economy could support a competitive salary, that wouldn't be the case. Which boils down to one major issue: corruption & the enforcement of law. If rule of law is present, things are stable enough for business to invest and start creating economic activity - and paying people (doctors, accountants, lawyers) what they're worth, creating more opportunity for this to spread.

Point is, as an African, I'd rather you be doing what you're doing than anything else. Good luck with such an ambitious project!


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As jy dom is moet jy bloei!

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The real need is education - to kick-start the process of peoples to take control of their own economic destiny.

[...]

Which boils down to one major issue: corruption & the enforcement of law. If rule of law is present, things are stable enough for business to invest and start creating economic activity - and paying people (doctors, accountants, lawyers) what they're worth, creating more opportunity for this to spread.



Give a man a fish, and he has one meal... Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for life...

For any project, the ideal situation is to have a good feedback/follow-up/review... In this case, the timing is fixed, which is why it's so important to work closely with the locals at every step of the process in order to hand over all ideas/knowledge in a sustainable maner. It's easy to create spreadsheets that I understand - it's a lot harder to create processes that everyone can use and that will continue to work once I'm no longer on location.

I don't think the culture will be the biggest challenge, because it will be obvious that I come from a different background (the rest of the team on the project are all locals)... When differences are clear, people tend to expect misunderstandings and paradoxically work harder to iron them out and/or avoid them....

I think it's always hard to really understand what the needs/constraints are... There is a natural tendency to want to discard old methodologies in favour of newer technologies, but people often don't exploit the good things about tried and true wisdom.

Anyway, I've done lots of this sort of thing before, but never outside of big (western) companies. So I'm super excited about it even though I'm also shitting my pants a little!! :o:D:D
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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I love listening to Steve Jobs speak - his passion is so infectious B|



If that inspired you, you HAVE to watch this one(hopefully, most of you internets type have seen it already) :Randy Paush The Last Lecture



Thanks for the link Remi, I'd not seen it previously, very moving. Amazing attitude he has(d):)
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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When I was a kid my father used to tell me that I couldn't own things, that they would own me.

I'm in major downsizing mode now, and loving every second of it.



Man, that is SO true!! B| Good for you - downsize till you drop!! :D:D:P
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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I hear you there!

I spent the last few years worrying about grad school/working for promotion, etc etc.

All I felt was stress and bummed out and bored.

Then of course after a breakup which turned out to be a good thing, I realized I needed to start doing things for myself that make me happy, not just for a bigger paycheck, the nagging asian Family blah blah.

We're still young and have enough time to stress about that crap, but in the mean time it's great to have found a passion/hobby that makes me smile all week because I know no matter how crap the rest of the daily grind is I have the DZ and the awesome people there to look forwards too. It seems like the other peeps at the DZ have found this out for themselves too.

In the end it wouldn't matter how much money I was making unless I was doing something outside of work that really makes me happy. And I think I've found it by jumping out of planes. B|B|
The feather butts bounce off ya like raindrops hitting a battle-star when they come in too fast...kinda funny to watch. - airtwardo

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In the end it wouldn't matter how much money I was making unless I was doing something outside of work that really makes me happy. And I think I've found it by jumping out of planes. B|B|



Or, if you're *really* lucky, you can end up finding a job that you really love, so you don't even have to look for your happy-place elsewhere :)
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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If there was some kind of sky-diving business consultant, that would be it. :P



You can be a skydiving consultant. You can consult for people who want to do tandems or learn how to skydive........


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As jy dom is moet jy bloei!

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Teach a man to fish and then he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

FIFY

N@, you're young, you're healthy and intelligent and have a lot to offer the world. Go out and enjoy this adventure. As kind and loving as you are, you'll do enormously good things for many, many people. I think this will enrich your life enormously. B|

Enjoy your time of not being laden with excess possessions. They're a trap anyway. :)
You damn well better stay in touch and let us all know how and what you're doing. You wouldn't want to break Ryoder's heart, now would you?;)

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