I used to live in the Tanzanian bush. Lord, it was trying. For anyone who followed my tumblr page, y'all already know my woes. I enjoyed the work I was doing but living in an isolated town/village where the internet only works sometimes and there are more goats around your house than people, well that was something else.
Still, that year was so important to my personal and professional development. I was able to stretch myself in ways I never expected, and learned that I was actually a very low maintenance individual. I also got to do work that meant something to me. Of course it was not revolutionary, paradigm shifting work everyday, but the women I interacted with really made my coworkers and I feel as though we were doing something.
That year brought me closer to who I am as an African and an international development professional. It allowed me to see the parts of humanitarian and NGO work that I appreciated, and the parts that I want to personally change.
I wrote this to say that I encourage everyone to find their own experience that stretches them to their mental, physical, emotional limits. It may not be spending a year in the African highlands, but it can be something that makes you want to change realities, shift mindsets, do some damn good.