12 January 2011

Here and Now

4.200 km, 13 day car-with-trailer round trip brought me from rural Zambia through rural Zimbabwe to South Africa and back. We went as a family to meet and greet, and get supplies to Murambinda Works (Murambinda Foster Trust) in Zimbabwe. Now back home remains a lingering amazement over the time-factor.

When traveling vast distances over ordinary, single lane roads one appreciates distances. Covering 300 kilometers a day is a significant achievement. And when covering large distances with a family, while tenting along to keep cost down, in challenging conditions - for instance 130 mm rainfall a day - one encounters many and various uncertainties. This did accumulate into a three days delay in returning, thus we came back later than planned. And here nobody minds or comments on it.

This experience combines with observations from Local Talent from rural areas that visited the West. They mentioned the time-factor as one of the most impressive impressions they witnessed. In the West people keep time, with time seemingly superseding relationships. This in contrast to rural Africa where relationships influences (keeping) time. They testify that after witnessing this phenomena in person, they are able to position the high pressure from people oversees. That pressure is not readily understood as it confusingly seem to interfere with relationship building.

It is good to travel, to be exposed. Again I experienced the particular challenges that people face in rural areas. And in coping it boils down to how one experiences time. In view of the many challenges, and fragile availability of resources, it appears fundamentally difficult - almost impossible? - to say something definitive about the future. One thus best pivots in the present time, in the Here-and-Now. And that is where we all live.