“Nothing good in life comes easy. All the best things are hard. If they weren't – everyone who have them and no one would want them.”
My father repeated this statement to me throughout my childhood. It became a mantra. I built my entire life around the pursuit of this message. Sometimes, with limited success.
Now, in this time of great uncertainty and many unknows - it’s become a sort of meditation. It has helped me to recognize the importance of the work we are doing and the power of staying the course – in spite of the challenges or complexity.
We have daily Zoom meetings with our team on the ground in Perú. The meetings range from updates and reports on projects and programs to informal mental health support. Over the past weeks the tone of the meetings has shifted. Everyone is tired. The strain of the past 100+ days is weighing heavy. And, it is becoming more and more evident - the hardest part of our work is getting harder. We know this. We expect this. It does not, however, make it any less challenging.
One thing does help to ease the burden and strain - working in collaboration. It's knowing our work is connected to partnerships and a network of collaborative organizations. It's knowing we are building upon one another's efforts. This is a great comfort to our team. There are times on our Zoom meetings when we feel the strain – and then remember the folks who are in the trenches of this work with us. We remember, we’re not alone.
We help to teach a Global Health course for American College of Education (Indianapolis, IN), that brings together nursing students from the U.S. and Perú in a virtual learning space. Last night we brought together a group of nursing students from a university in the city of Arequipa. They're bright, passionate people who participate in the course to expand their knowledge and connect with colleagues from different countries. All the students are currently working in hospitals or clinics. They’re on the front lines of delivering care in one of the worst COVID hotspots in Latin America. They're courageous young people who are doing amazing things. Hard things.
Last night while on the Hollywood Squares of our Zoom meeting, I realized what a profound privilege it is to be in partnership with these amazing people. Here they are – literally caring for people dying from the complications of the virus, and they seek the connection.
Yes, nothing good in life is easy . . . however, it is so much more fulfilling to be doing this incredibly hard work with a team of dedicated, passionate people.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.