My mother was English and one of the things that she taught me was that whenever you are feeling down, there is nothing that can't be improved by a hot cup of tea. I love tea. I drink English Breakfast tea or PG Tibbs tea and occasionally Irish Breakfast tea in the morning with sugar and milk. From time to time, I can be found drinking herbal tea such as licorice root, chamomile, mint, or even unsweetened non-milky "Constant Comment" or "Lemon Lift". But my true favorite is a big mug of English 'workers tea' - the caffeine lift, the burst of sweetness, the comforting warmth.
I had a nice cup of tea ths weekend as I reflected over the week that I had - its been difficult leaving Refugees International. For better or for worse - I have a 'reformer' personality. I want to make things better all the time. I try to curb this behavior but I guess I feel like if I'm not actively trying to make things better, I'm contributing to making them worse. And I'm a 'lame duck' now at the organization - on my way out. Because I have to get a work permit to work in the Netherlands, I've had to give an extrodinarily long notice. And its been an unpleasant feeling. I feel irrelevant at best.
However, upon drinking a good cup of tea, I feel better. Calmer - more accepting of the inevitable change that life brings us. The best way forward for me is to focus on my final projects for them and leave a clean office, organized files, and a kick ass report on gender-based violence in Darfur. I've made some amazing friends at RI and I think they'll be friends for life. I think I've left some concrete accomplishments. I feel good about my three and a half years there and about what I've done to improve the lives of refugees and displaced women around the world.
Change is uncomfortable. It causes me to question everything that I held as true. But with a good cup of tea, I face the future in Amsterdam with Medecins Sans Frontiers and the challenges of finding new friends, proving myself in a new venue.