I read this sweet quote this morning: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know”.
What a perfect opportunity to tell the world about the purpose of my blog!, thought I. I think it’s time that I just come out and say it: I do not know very much at all. Sometimes I think I do (forgive my pride), but for the most part I am acutely aware of my complete ignorance when it comes to, well, most things. So what is this blog all about?
This blog is not intended as a platform for me to “educate” the world. Although I do hope you will learn some things from it! I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I am sure there is so much for me to learn from every person who stumbles upon this site. May this be, rather, an online living room (I would say coffee shop, but I don’t like coffee, nor do I like spending money), where we can gather to share stories, lessons, and ideas. I want to heat from you! It gets dreadfully tiring talking to oneself, via Internet or otherwise.
This blog is not intended to be taken as absolute truth. What is truth, anyways? When it comes to my experiences, I promise to share things honestly. But when it comes to lessons about international development (or more specifically Value Chains, or Market Facilitation, or the financing of Microenterprises, etc), my voice ought not to be heard as that of an expert. My way of seeing things may not reflect the facts perfectly. I am still learning, but I hope you’ll journey with me as I do!
This blog is not intended to reflect the ideas of Engineers Without Borders. I am my own person, OK?! Haha, but seriously, I want to represent the wonderful organization that is EWB well, and in doing so I don’t want to risk saying anything that might upset anyone or cause someone to make false judgements about what EWB is up to. I will be working alongside EWBers, and others, but this blog is a personal reflection space. I will be speaking as an EWBer, yes, but also as an Engineering student, as a SouthAfrican/Finnish/Canadian, as a privileged white rich person, as a Christian, and as a young woman. Beware of these lenses.
Alright, so disclaimers aside, what is this actually about? Although I have been thinking about starting a blog “just cause” for some time now, what sparked this is my upcoming trip to Africa. I will be travelling to northern Ghana from May-August of this year to work as a Junior Fellow (google that, yo) with Engineers Without Borders (google that, too, if you’re not familiar with it). As my blog title suggests, this is not just about me, but it is to be a conversation starter, and a platform to hear the voices of some of my to-be-best-friends. Some of the brilliant people I have not yet met who may not have the time or resources to write a blog, or who otherwise would have no connection to you, the reader, most likely an upper-class (according to global standards) Canadian.
Thanks for reading, and welcome to the living room! Please enjoy a cup of tea.