The Oda Project

Essential healthcare and education - giving Nepali communities in extreme poverty a fighting chance

The Squeaky Bicycle

As I sit here drinking my big gulp, and counting down the days until my departure I can’t quite articulate the feeling inside of me.  I feel like it is part stress, part excitement, part sadness, and another part fear.  I’m beyond excited to see the kids at Kopila, along with Nena, Maggie, Kelly, Tope, Amrika and the other Volunteers and Staff in Nepal.  On the other hand, the reality of my decision and the overwhelming magnitude of everything came crashing down on me early last week.  I don’t think there is anything you can do to fully prepare for reality of life without internet or friends, and I think that fear of the unknown is what eats at me most.  I’ve done my best to ready myself, enjoying my time with friends and family organizing the necessary parts and piece’s for my trip back but at the same time I can’t help but feel a bit anxious about this move.  I think about my friends that I’ll leave behind, both in the States and when I depart Surkhet for my new Nepali adventure… an unsettling feeling that I can’t quite kick. Well, as we all know when it rains it pours, and right about the time I started worrying about the imminent departure…I was taken by the financial reality of everything.  For that, I really have no one to blame but my own expectations.  Going into this summer, I expected to steam roll through the organizational process and jump right into fundraising.  Unfortunately, as with most things that was not the case and things were much harder than I initially anticipated.  I spent the summer working through fits and stops, trying to devise a game plan to get Odakids off to the right start. Rather than expediently jumping the gun on fundraising, I spent my days talking with different individuals, increasing my knowledge, working on business plans, budgets, and all sort of other legal documents.  As a result of this diligence, and on the eve of my departure I was smacked with the reality of everything…my 5 phase plan doesn’t go anywhere without support of friends, family, and inspired strangers.

To that end, and to come back to where I started, I’m not sure what it is that creates that pit in my stomach, that starts when I wake up and doesn’t end until I go to bed.  Is it fear?  Unease?  Stress? Money?  Ultimately I think it’s all of the above.  Having talked to friends and family, some encouraging some discouraging I’ve come to the realization that that the unease is inevitable, but can concentrated and used as a fire in my belly that keeps me motivated and on track.  At such an early stage in the game I can’t have every eventuality covered and I can’t expect to fundraise like a finely tuned machine…Rather, I am a squeaky bicycle doing my best to get moving in the right direction.    I know full well, that this is just the beginning of my challenges and my struggles, but as I scroll through the pictures of the kids and their smiles, I remember the sense of fulfillment I took away from my experience, and ultimately I remember why I’m doing this.  Nobody ever said this was going to be easy, but as with everything the most satisfying things in life take time, dedication, and effort.  They take falling down and getting back up…so to that end, despite the angst and the fear, the hope and the dream will keep this bike squeaking along.ImageImage