By Rana DiOrio, Founder & CEO of Little Pickle Press
This month at Little Pickle Press we will be exploring the subject of fear. I am just two days away from leaving on a trip to Ethiopia, so it seemed fitting to talk about my fears and anxieties as I prepare for our adventure.
In case you hadn’t heard, I’m going to Ethiopia as an expense-paid guest of the ONE Campaign (www.one.org). I will be reporting back to you how lives have been improved or saved by American-supported programs. ONE is a non-partisan organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease by pressing political leaders to support smart programs that save lives. ONE doesn’t ask for your money, just your voice.
ONE is a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Backed by more than 3 million members, we work with government leaders to support proven, cost-effective solutions to save lives and help build sustainable futures.
About the ONE Moms Trip:
The team will travel to Addis, Tigray, and other communities to visit health clinics and meet with women, farmers, and school kids. We will connect with organizations and projects that have benefited from foreign assistance and share these stories, viewed through the lens of women and families, with our large online communities. We’ve designed the trip to intersect with International Day of the Girl and will be working alongside organizations on the ground to shadow and profile girls and women in Ethiopia. Through our visits and storytelling, we hope to engage American women, moms, and families on issues that are important to all of us. Our lifestyles may be different, but our hopes for our children and the future are alike. To engage the online communities in advance of and during the trip, we will conduct interviews, post stories and photographs, include interactive maps, and more by using every social media platform available to us – SoundCloud, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, ONE Moms blog, Tumblr and our individual blogs and communities.
We will see how programs co-funded by Americans, in close partnership with the Ethiopian government and local community leadership, are helping them with the skills and resources they need to succeed. We will spend time with women who are strong leaders in their professions, their communities and their country. Through the daily postings of our bloggers, millions of other American moms can share the experience and learn what they can do to help these Ethiopian moms give brighter futures to their children, their cities, their villages, and their country.
Exciting, right? My challenge at this point is to be completely present with this odyssey and to let go of the many details of life that could potentially interfere with the whole experience. This is where the anxieties come in. First, the domestic ones:
- Will my three little pickles be OK without me for 10 days?
- Will my son be aware that I will be missing his 4th birthday?
- Will my company be OK without me for 10 days?
- Will my company’s capital raise lose momentum while I am away?
Then, the travel-related ones:
- Did I pack correctly? The ONE Moms packing list was very comprehensive, but theory and practice are two entirely different things.
- As someone who ordinarily takes zero drugs, will the anti-malarial drugs cause me unpleasant side effects?
- Will I be able to fly standby on an earlier flight to DC so that I may spend a few hours with friends before heading out with our ONE Moms gang?
- Will I be able to sleep on the flight? True confession: Despite being an adept globetrotter, I am not usually able to sleep on planes.
The yogini in me—the person who wrote What Does It Mean To Be Present?—will make every attempt to clear my mind of all of this noise so that I may be present and experience fully the wonder of my journey with the remarkable community of ONE Moms. I will be listening, so please ask me your questions, and I will answer them.