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What have we done . . . I don’t want to sound alarmist or seen as in an attack mode especially when I am speaking gender specific. BUT . . . where are the guys. I understand that in many individual situations pressures of one kind or another affect the outcome of any dynamic, whatever the purpose. BUT . . . where are the guys.
I am trying to get my mind around the simple fact that, with a few notable exceptions, the ratio of male to female travelers who accompany GADL to the rural village of Rionchogu Kenya is almost 4 to 1 females to males. I am trying to put this into some understandable context that allows us guys to retain some sort of positive image concerning risk, compassion and interest for others outside our immediate comfort zone, but it is increasingly difficult. It just can’t be that men are more apt to be the central identity of their life and therefore see ‘just helping’ or ‘taking a risk’ that may not have any self promoting efficacy a waste of time.
I know there are probably at least as many men as women who are public figures involved in some benevolent activity, but then there well may be many more men who have the resource or time to go outside their comfort zone yet chose not to. Maybe I will ask a sociologist or an anthropologist but . . . where are the men. I promise, I promise I promise, I am not a feminist or writing under an assumed gender. I really don’t have a conscious agenda I am tracking. I just have spent a few years taking this journey and find there seems to be a missing link in our male gender DNA or maybe an added link that allows us to see differently . . . yes differently; that helps me think better of us. We are just different.
During our visits to the village in Kenya we stop at a Christian guest house for a night stay over. We meet many very interesting couples there and many have children, all ages. We also meet a number of solo travelers involved in some sort of mission. I am trying to think if any of these solo persons have ever been guys. Guys traveling out on their own, just doing their thing to help others, involved in the risky, maybe, business of being in a foreign country, alone, impassioned to make a difference somehow.
Guys, I am getting some negative vibes here.
I can remember a number of times during travel in airports, on the plane or in some public place or transportation, and you do have a lot of that, where I have met fellow travelers and as conversation develops you identify individuals who are traveling alone to a foreign place on a purpose to help people. I cannot remember one situation where that solo person has been a guy. Now maybe I find it easier to talk to women or maybe other guys are not very public about personal passions, but then maybe guys are not too often included in this grouping, then I come back to the May trip.
We probably started out with over 20 young people, guys and girls who were interested in this journey. Even in the beginning though the ratio was maybe 2 to 1 or 3 to 2 female to male.
Here then is the item by which my attention has been drawn to this subject: In May we will depart to Kenya with a group of very motivated and focused young people. They understand there is risk and yet their attitudes and priorities have stayed the course. They have and will, I believe and have confidence, complete the requirements and the preparations and embark on what I think is in reality a journey of a life time. The group will consist of 9 people, me, Pastor Jon from ULC in Austin TX and 7 young women of great passion. See it? Does it stand out to you? SEVEN (7) young women; I have met quite a few people involved in International activity to help others and I would say by far the greatest percentage are women.
So to a few people; Eaar, Chris, Terry, Brent, Don and now Pastor Jon and Brandon ( an April traveler), I say, you are standouts among men.
If I take out Eaar who is my traveling regular, Chris who is our Kenyan super media man and Terry who helped start this whole thing it leaves 4 guys who have decided to make the journey.
To Chanel, Anastasia (twice), Julie (twice this April), Kristen, Suzanne (twice), Wanjugu, Joyce, Anne and the seven new faces in May I say praise God for women of strength, passion, courage and vision. In this group are 15 women who have decided to make the journey. Well done, your strength and sense of adventure and concern for others leads the way. And . . . as women you are members of an almost 4 to 1 gender majority of very special people of courage and compassion for the village of Rionchogu, Kenya.
Thank you for all you do