Well it's finally summer and it's hard to believe that we are just a two short weeks away from our trip to Tanzania. What started back in October as a pipe dream is finally becoming a reality.
At this time last summer I was lounging on Briggs Beach in Little Compton casually soaking in the rays with a good book. Currently, I find myself too busy finalizing equipment, packing, and shot lists to even unpack the duffle bag I brought home from school in LA (I promise I will soon mom.) I am beyond excited and very nervous. But as I have learned from my days in the theater, the nerves are good. Nerves are energy, and I will use every ounce of my energy to create, shoot, inspire, love, and ultimately let go. As I think back to October I am in awe to find myself surrounded by the most talented and creative crew, the most supportive team of friends and family, and an unbelievable group of donors. They are the ones who have made this dream possible and they are the ones who have put me back on my feet after every hurdle. I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude.
As we get closer, I keep thinking about what has kept me moving forward and pushing harder for all this time. Like many who have come before me, I’ve struggled to separate this project with my daily life because I am an “all in” type of gal. When things are going great, I feel awesome but when we hit a bump, I go down too. Perhaps that will get easier with time, but for right now what always gets me through is the three women that started it all: Crispina, Margaret, and Astridah. These incredible women and their stories of strength, dedication, and change connect me to what is really important: love. If there is one thing I have gathered in all my preparation so far it is that these women love the work they do and the people whom they serve unconditionally. It is the type of love that Anne Wells, Founder of Unite and longtime mentor of mine describes beautifully in her article Africa: My Love Story, “I believe that when we stand our tiny feet on the enormity of Mother Africa and selflessly serve and care for those who suffering, in places we do not have to look, care or venture — we are able to access that space deep within where there is no you and there is no me. There is only us. And from that space, miracles are born. It doesn’t always happen, of course, but when it does a tiny bit more of our precious planet is healed.”
I hope to heal in this film. I hope to inspire, uplift, change and awaken our common humanity. Ah… yes I remember why I choose the name The Pamoja Project: pamoja is the Swahili word for together, and we truly are together in this. So two weeks out, as the final tiny details get hammered out, I go back to this purpose, this welcome drum in my heart that pushes me forward: Crispina, Margaret, and Astridah. Unconditional love and unbelievable change.