I’ve been away from my kids for two days now. And I won’t be home for another three days. It feels like forever. Because it’s been more than a year when I last traveled on my own. And it seems there will be a lot of travel in store for me for the rest of the year. I’m worried that it’s going to feel like forever each time.
A few days back I was excited as hell when I accepted a consulting contract for a foreign-funded project. This is my dream job, really. I have carefully shaped my career (motherhood notwithstanding) so I can get to this kind of work. But when I got off the plane the other day, visiting one institution after another, traveling from one province to another, without any concrete output except for some meaningful introductions and scheduling agreements, I began to wonder–is this really THE work I’ve been wanting to do?
I keep as a rule that work-related matters will not be posted in this blog. I created nanayisms so I can share my learnings on life and motherhood, and not on my professional undertakings. I follow the same rule offline, work-related concerns stay in the workplace and are not brought home.
But now that I’m bringing this up, I may be breaking one big rule.
I have been in development work for most of my years as a professional. My parents are development workers themselves and have greatly influenced my career choices. My educational background has perfectly complemented the work that I do. And I aspire to be in development work for as long as I can. I have considered it as a personal advocacy to find ways, however small, to help those people living in poverty.
I have been to the poorest places in this country. I may have met some of the poorest Filipinos. And my heart breaks each time I go on the road and see how depressing their conditions are, and realize there is little I can do. One of the most striking realizations that I have witnessed time and again is that in the middle of all these poverty, some people are content to be poor. Well, maybe they are not content, maybe they still hope for a better life, but they only hope and wait for better days to come without doing anything about it.
For the last two days I have been visiting institutions who claim to be helping the poor. And I claim to be helping them help the poor. In a few months we will have the numbers to prove that we have done our job. But I can’t be certain that the numbers will mean that we have made a difference.