Take a bucket shower. Better yet, take a bucket shower in a small tub with no drain. Feel how much water is needed to cleanse your body as the weight of the bucket in your hand diminishes. Note how filthy you are capable of becoming without ever noticing, and wonder how the dirty water feels so refreshing on your feet, swollen from walking miles on uneven grounds. In this moment, this bucket of water is my most cherished treasure.
I fell in love with development work a year ago. I love the people I meet, the stories I hear, and the innovation that springs from passion. But what captivates me most is how small it makes my life feel. Often, I spend entire days drowning myself in thoughts, finding them too urgent to be brushed off. But when working in the context of the developmental world, an environment so steeped in the enormous and overwhelming issue of proverty, I start seeing beauty in life’s smallest things. In many Sub-Saharan African countries, everything, and I mean everything, disappears after the prompt equatorial sunset. In this moment, the only thing that fills my mind is the proximity that I feel with my neighbors as I coexist in complete darkness with them. What an incredible thing that is. I’m not suggesting that this beauty can only be found in the context of development. Sometimes, the conveniences in my environment easily overshadow these beautiful moments that keeps me connected to life.