Rainy days, sweet freedom

I am a volunteer. A man, free. I choose to give of myself, its a price I pay willingly in exchange for complete freedom of my soul. I can never forget it, it permeates every ounce of my being.

Freedom isn’t free, its a choice, and each choice has a cost. But sacrifices make what you earn so sweet.

It’s raining again. This afternoon the storms rolled, dark foreboding castles, streaming across the sky, as I stand, legs strongly placed on the steps of my clinic, shoulders set and arms crossed, I breathe in fresh air. I feel the moisture of life, listen to the deafening roar of a storm battering against the sheet-metal roof.

The drops fall with such force that I can feel the spray and splash against my face. Cellphone service cut, backup power exhausted, the familiar hum of our immunization refrigerator missing, and my nerves frayed by fear of the loss of necessary refrigeration. Silence in a roaring tempest of sound, both within and without. Me, I’m standing a free man living a dream.

No, freedom isn’t free, freedom is a choice. We choose the freedom we seek. We exchange some things for others. We weigh our costs, and then we pick. It’s true I’m not making money, part of the cost of my freedom. When I’m finished with my two years here I might have made 8000 dollars, less tax. 4000 dollars a year, so little, yet it means so much.

I forsook a career of money and comfort in the US. I left my home, family, car, computer, technology, and traded it for freedom.

Freedom of spirit, of soul, of moments. While I stand on the veranda, my heart falls back to a moment of peace and meditation found here in Zambia, at a waterfall just a little north of my site.

A perfect spot where I found peace and freedom here in Zambia

I spoke with my brother just last week. A hard moment. Our family communicates always. Alex and I saw each other almost daily. Now we talk once a week. But you know what? We’re living our dreams. We didn’t wait for someone else to make it happen…we chose. We stepped up. We made it happen. When you take charge of your own future, is there any other greater freedom?

My brother and I during his visit - living our dreams and full of joy.

On rainy days like today, we’re led forward into deeper thoughts. Here I am, standing, staring out at raw earth, at history that may be transient… cultures that are disappearing, traditions and ways of life that are changing, and being irrevocable altered. This world might not exist in 20 years. That’s part of my work – to preserve, protect, remember, and destroy. All at the same time. On rainy days like today I’m filled with the sweet nectar, the ambrosia of the gods, freedom.

Struggles, hard times, spectacular moments. A funeral for an innocent 7 year old girl…in the same week the birth of a beautiful child. Working with mothers to encourage proper active feeding of infants, and contributing to the health and welfare of an entire community.

Active Feeding, and teaching about proper child nutrition at a workshop

The juxtaposition of life. Some ask, what would a free man do? It’s simple, a free man chooses his future and makes his dreams real.

Isn’t it time you took a moment to find your future and make it reality?

I know I’ve found myself, and my father’s words reinforce how apparent it is when you’ve truly discovered your calling in life.

Father's note, written in chalk across my blackboard on my hut



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