This evening, people will watch Red Nose Day. Once a year, images of those unlucky or unfortunate will flood our televisions, with some comedic relief in between. Millions of pounds will be raised, and will dramatically improve those living in poverty or suffering injustice in the UK and in Africa.
Yet, I cannot manage to sit down and watch it.
That sounds horrible, but bear with me.
In 2013, I spent a month in Ndola, Zambia. In 2014, I built homes in Debre Berhan, Ethiopia, and sanitation blocks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2015. So when these videos and images come on Red Nose Day, I think about all the friends I made out there, the personal experiences I had and how much I want to go back. I grew up a lot on these trips, mentally and philosophically. My outlook on life has never been, and will never be, the same.
I appreciate every single moment I had out there. Last summer, I felt aimless without another development project to work on, and this summer will be the same I’m sure.
And so for now, I don’t watch Red Nose Day. Because I have photos in my bedroom and I think of my friends so far away every day. Especially, I think of Eyeruse who I lucky met on both trips to Ethiopia, and who remembered me and called me her friend. I don’t need a video intended to make me cry and then laugh watching Love Actually Take II. I decided to live my everyday appreciating what I’ve got, determined to return to a development project somewhere in the world. But in the meantime, I’ve just got to wait and not waste my time crying when I could be doing something productive to change it.
But for those who can watch it, I hope they do. I hope they are affected and choose to act. So there will be change in the world.