Why do I do what I do?

Today has been yet another day away from my wife and family.  It's been a reasonable enough day here in Entebbe, had a good lunch at 4 Points, watched some quite good rugby on TV, well, in between the power interruptions, anyway.  Tomorrow will be another day alone in our guesthouse here. I'll probably do some report writing, some e-mailing and some budget reconciliations inbetween watching SA and India play ODI cricket.  That is, if we have electricity…

But Marina and I do ask each other the question: “Why do we do this?” each time that we are separated like this.  Fair enough, it will be great when she comes here early in March, it will be good when she works/trains in the hospital here, and it will be great fun when we take a touristic trip to other parts of Uganda.

But the real answer to the question is not so simple.  Of course I get paid to do my work.  I think I do my work well, and I do get paid well.  But the major reason for doing this work, just HAS to be the fact that it's a good and useful thing to do.  And while I have frequently argued that we do make a difference with our projects, however small, I sometimes still hope that I can find a way to make more of a difference.  I see situations, institutions, whatever, that really require changing, and I wish I could enable or even influence such change faster and to a greater extent.

Am I too much of an idealist?  Never thought I was.  And I also want to do good for myself and my family, of course.

Well, I'll just keep looking while I do my current projects as well as I can, and while I try to influence the people that I work with, as much as possible.