Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.
Today I’m the only intern at the Chalice office because the my fellow interns Ashley and Harumi have things to do before we leave for Peru in 6 days. My 1-hour bus ride to the office was pretty relaxing; the bus driver was friendly and talkative with everyone and we passed by some beautiful coastal areas.
I’ve been at a temporary desk in the International Finance office with my two Latina co-workers, Yaz from Colombia and Gabriela from Mexico. As with all the offices in this Chalice ‘headquarters’, this one is decorated with artwork from various countries: a beautifully framed quote (“Do Good Anyway”), photos, a handcrafted wooden wall clock, a doll sporting a bright pink dress, a wooden carving of an elderly man…
After a week of training, I only have five weeks at the office, which were interrupted by a 3-day ACIC conference. I’ve been busy and have learned a lot about Chalice and feel lucky working here because the people are caring, friendly, helpful, passionate about what they do, and full of love. We just celebrated the birthday of one of our co-workers with ice cream sundaes over the lunch hour.
I am feeling a bit stressed about all I have to do before finishing up at the office and pretty tired. My Latina co-workers are keeping me muy alegre with their occasional questions about English grammar (although their English is excellent). We have a good chuckle every once in a while, but we are also getting our work done.
A lot of the work I’m doing involves making instructional videos. Apparently, those computer classes I had from age 5 (in school) have served me well. I can think of some amazing IT teachers in Bermuda and Canada who taught us awesome computer skills by the time we reached Grade 8. In Grade 9 and 10 we were lucky to a few have access to fancy, new Mac computers to edit short videos and experiment with music-making software such as GarageBand. I always enjoyed IT and Media Arts classes, and learned to use InDesign and Photo Shop over three years as part of the yearbook committee. I mostly learned from experimenting and from my peers, and occasionally asked for help from a teacher. Here at Chalice, I just made a 10-minute instructional video (for use in the 50 Chalice Sponsor Sites, in 15 countries on 4 continents) about how to install and use Box.com (a file sharing website). Today I’ll be making the Spanish version for the Latin American sites to use.
This morning my boss MaryAnne received an email from Regional Office for Latin America with the translations for three user manuals for a new software. For part of the morning I worked with Mercy from the IT department to do the Spanish audio recording for the first of the three English-language instructional videos she made. These videos will show the Sponsor Sites how to install and use the software to allow them to fill in information about any new sponsor children. Up until now, time has been wasted in having the sponsor sites email the info, which then has to be re-typed.
I’ve also been editing and putting English subtitles to video footage from Guatemala. I’ve heard all sorts of inspiring stories which demonstrate how hardworking and dedicated the local staff there are. Young adults, many of whom were helped through sponsorship and now work as accountants or computer programmers at the Sponsor Sites, say that the combination of local programming at the Sponsor Site and support they receive from Canadian donors allows them to ‘seguir adelante’ (move forward, get ahead in life). They give thanks for the moral, spiritual and emotional growth they are experiencing, as well as the opportunity to be an example to their families and children in their community, and grow professionally. A 22-year-old named Francisco says all this support would not be possible if he and others worked for large companies.
Growing up, I watched footage filmed by big sponsor NGOs such as World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse and wondered if anyone was really helped using donation money. I was convinced that the Christmas shoe-boxes I carefully packed and sent through Samaritan’s Purse ended up in the hands of children, but could not be sure about monetary donations.
Dave, one of the volunteers who went to Guatemala, told me that a Guatemalan told him that they were well aware that they are not the only poor people in the world, that they know the world was filled with poverty. The man thanked Chalice for choosing to help his community. The gratitude of people with so little compared to the average Canadian (at least in terms of material possessions and access to public services, but not necessarily in terms of overall happiness) and their desire to continue helping their communities and others is humbling.
A quote by Mother Theresa adorning the wall simply says: “Do Good Anyway”. I found the poem it comes from: “Anyway”. I’m told that it was reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, and attributed to her. However an article in the NY Times reported (March 8, 2002) that the poem was written by Dr. Kent M. Keith.
* * * * * * * * * * *
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.