While only being in Kayafungo living and working with the group of women who have named themselves the Kayafungo Mungano Women’s group (mungano meaning united together in Swahili), I have come to realize that while development work at first seems like an adventure, it turns into something completely different. It is a something that will make you taste nature and the pure raw Earth. It will make you grapple with mankind’s endless kindness and foreboding cruelty. You will become aware of your surface ambitions, but will more importantly hone in on your acute fears, wishes and ideals.

Development work will challenge your morals, and ultimately your character in ways personal to your experience. You will learn no amount of school, training or advice will prepare you for your on the ground, real life, real people experience. The places and people you encounter will no longer be a face in a picture, a location on a map, a story you read somewhere, an advertisement or commercial for a charity; each will become a part of your soul and very being. You will ever be changed. You will never see the world again in black and white.

Instead the world will be constantly changing shades of gray with sporadic color bursts erupting when you least expect them.