Small comments make all the difference

Each and every day, the little comments from friends and colleagues, both Ghanaian and Canadian, reinforce my inspiration, purpose and vision for myself and for my placement. Now that you’ve clicked to get to this post, I know that you’ve had the conviction that spending a small amount of time to read it is both possible and worthwhile. Instead of reading a post, I’m trying to convince you to comment on at least one of these two questions I’ve been having of myself. I’ll then reciprocate with posting my personal conclusions in 3 days (hint this is somewhat of a time limit).

What do you expect me to have accomplished so far during my placement?

What do you expect me to have accomplished by the end of my time in Ghana (December 13)?

You can consider any part of life, whether it is work, culture, family, chapter, etc. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never met me or if we see each other all the time, I want to hear from you.

So please, make a small comment. I really value the effort you make in connecting with me and my work. I also value your opinions, and believe that your small investment will contribute to my success. Thank you.

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About Janine Reid

What is Janine? -board game enthusiast -political observer -Vancouverite -questioner -listener -health provider
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5 Responses to Small comments make all the difference

  1. Don D says:

    For the first question:
    I’m expecting you to feel comfortable both at the office and in your community, already starting to build relationships with the people around you.
    I’m also hoping you’re comfortable going out into the field, observing staff and farmers’ work and asking tough questions to really drive your learning further.

    As to the second:
    I’m expecting you to have built upon the knowledge we’ve already gained in regards to technology adoption, and taken both previous initiatives as well as your own further in terms of development.
    I’m expecting you to have contributed to the DDA Fellowship program, both in Karaga and at the sessions themselves (planning, facilitation, etc.)
    I’m hoping you’ll be able to make a mean fufu or rice and stew.

    Yeah, I stole a lot of these from your terms of reference, but I thought I’d get the ball rolling for everyone else.

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Janine, the answers to your questions are essentially the same – regardless of the specific objectives of your placement.

    There are two reasons for you to be in Ghana – to change your own understanding of Africa, and to change Africa. Neither will be complete when you leave, obviously. But if you can look back every now and then, and say to yourself, “Aaahhh, NOW I see”, you will have understood Africa bit better.

    And, if, every now and then you can say to yourself, “There, that’s better”, you will have made a difference to Africa. A fair trade.

    Do enjoy your time in that most exciting continent!

  3. Jeremy says:

    For both questions, I expect nothing from you, I only hope.
    I hope that you have become accustomed to living in Ghana and have become comfortable with the culture and your work there.
    I hope that you have found purpose in your work, and that you continue to strive like I know you will.
    I hope that you achieve what you want to achieve, whatever that goal may be.
    I hope that you connect with people, and make friendships that will last you forever.
    I hope that you learn something, it doesn’t matter what, but education of any kind leads to a more enlightened and thoughtful mind.
    I hope that will feel justified in the fact that you are trying to make a difference in someone’s life, when there are so many who don’t care.
    I hope that you find happiness, because what is a world without laughter and play?
    I hope that expectations are not the standard, for expectations can lead to failure, whereas hope can never be disappointed.

  4. Grace says:

    For what I’m expecting you to have accomplished already: I expect you to be feeling more comfortable in your role and to be building relationships that will allow the rest of your time there to be successful.

    For the next four months: I expect you to communicate with us (specifically the SFU chapter) clearly and honestly about what you’re doing, what you’re learning, and how you’re feeling about your work in Ghana so that we can learn as much as possible from your placement.
    I also expect you to have put in 110% effort into the projects you’re working on, to have thought critically, invested in people AND to have taken care of yourself. 🙂

    Good for you in setting goals for yourself and asking for input. Looking forward to your next post.

  5. Danny Reid says:

    I think time is relative, and having expectations early in an unfamiliar environment can lead down paths that do not have the value that chosing another path might.Your presence and awareness and all the thought and consideration that goes into almost all that you do will net results, sometimes tangible and other times not . Patience is a precious tool in finding the most effective way to learn yourself and teach those around you that we are vewry much the same in many ways even though we seem so very different. Each of those around you need to know that they too can make a difference or change their world for better or worse and that they can consider their path and and what is possible Dad

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