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Day 16: Back to the “Real World”

Yesterday was my final day in Tanzania. We all felt sad as we said goodbye to our new friends. Mbise thanked us for being Ambassadors for his country, saying he could have easily spent more time with us. The six WGN members who went on this adventure agreed that we made an amazing travel team because flexibility was the name of the game on this adventure. Melissa and Melynda are on a different flight through Dubai home, the remainder headed back through Amsterdam.

I connected on to Vienna to immediately (21 hours later...) shower, put on my heels and work clothes and go to a meeting. When I checked in to the hotel, there was a single yellow rose waiting for me, fresh fruit and a fluffy down comforter on the bed, the flat screen TV on, the key to the mini-bar available. I was back to the "real world." I picked up the first newspaper in three weeks. I hadn't missed much; the banks were still failing, unemployment still high, Tiger Woods might not make the cut at the Open, riots were still taking place in China and then the saddest story of all. Natalia Estemirova in Chechnya, a woman who had devoted her life to make others’ lives count and worthwhile, killed for lifelong efforts to make a difference.

So what is the "real world"? Only a few of us will ever have the down comforter or the key to the mini-bar. I'm reminded of the 40 packages of flower seeds that I brought our Global Business Partners, who gingerly asked if these were seeds to eat, while we said “No” and explained to them that every woman should have something of beauty around them such as a flower and they smiled ready to go plant them even with a lack of water. I think of the young girl at the Hakima School who showed us all her dream board after they realized it was OK to cut the pictures out. She had cut a picture of a beautiful bedroom out with a "nice bed and clean sheets" and she also had fresh fruit and vegetables on her dream board. Perhaps the 90 percent of the world that live like her are really the real world and it is you and I who live in the dream world, a place unimaginable to the rest.

I'm signing off now on this “Blackberry journey” through Africa. Perhaps my PC will get fixed now, sure it was God's way of taking my eyes off the electronic and myopic world I sometimes live in to a more expansive one. My dream is to create an international grid of women who are willing to create new realities for others. I hope that I have opened a few doors and that you will contact me and come with me on the next journey, help me create the next sister city partnership. Please tell everyone you know about WGN and our Global Business Partner program, how you and they can make a sincere difference in the lives of another.

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