Zen and the aidworker


When I started blogging back in January 2007, I discovered a number of blogs from fellow humanitarian. One of them was "Frida", who - at that time - worked for the UN in Afghanistan.
Over the years, I followed her road to (self-)discovery, until she ended up in her new life, and on her new site, under her own name "Marianne Elliott".

Marianne actively shares her experiences as a person, in the humanitarian world, enticing others to do well. For the world, and for themselves. Recently, she interviewed me about my experiences as a person, in this roller-coaster of a life as an aidworker. The interview, you can read here.

Yesterday, we did an interactive Q&A session via Twitter, together with some like-minded people. You can read through the trackback here.

Both the interview and the Twitter session made me think how often we ignore many things in life that should be important to us, getting too sucked up into the whirlpool of work. Particularly in the type of work we, aidworkers, do. Often in all of it, we forget life is more than work, and while our time on this planet is limited, we'd better make good use of it.

The timing of it all came just right. In two weeks time, I will wrap up my mission here in Santo Domingo, and since a few weeks I've been thinking what to next. I thought the time was right for yet another sabbatical. Another breath of life, before embarking in the next adventure.

Sabbaticals are not new to me. I took the first one back in 1993, where I decided to go to the Antarctic. I took another break in 1997, to go to the Antarctic again. And yet another one in 2006, for 13 months, to sail across the Atlantic, and start writing down some of my past adventures, both for work, and in my free time.

So, as of mid June, I am off again, for 6 months. No clear clue yet as to what I will do. Spend more time with the family, that is for sure. Shuttling between Rome and Belgium, as I want to continue being connected to work. I also want to have more time to experiment with social media and see how far I can push the Web 2.0 tools for the humanitarian cause. We will see what we come up with, and where we will end. Destiny has always been good to me, so I not worried. We will see... Life is too short to be boring. And a bit of a breather will be good.

Picture of Marianne in Afghanistan, courtesy of Marianne Elliott


Marianne 28 May, 2010 02:22  

Good for you Peter! We all need to know our priorities and our own cycles. We know when it is time to take some 'time-out'.

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