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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Os tacanhos

"Bev - gostei de conhecer o teu dinamismo, o teu interesse pelas ideias inovadoras, eficazes e (deixa-me usar um termo envelhecido…) humanistas, a tua simpatia e simplicidade. "Espero que os tacanhos deste país não consigam destruir o teu trabalho. Um abraço" (Bev - I enjoyed knowing your dynamism, your interest for innovative, efficient and (let me use a well-used term) humanistic ideas, your charm and simplicity. I hope that the narrow-minded people of this country don't manage to destroy your work.)

I received this email todayfrom a colleague who is dropping out of a project we are both involved in. He's a pragmatic man, in his late '50s and respected for his conscientiousness. It's by no means the first time I've been given such a signal. Once again it gets me reflecting on questions like: What is it that drives me? How different is it to be an outsider that parachutes into a country but who will/can return to "their own country" - and an outsider (by nationality or otherwise) who's life is invested in a system (by choice or otherwise). I am (again) reminded of the precariousness of my position. There are narrowminded people in all parts of the world. In some countries the narrowminded have more power over other people's lives than others. In all situations outsiders, whose lives are invested in the system, are more vulnerable to the mesquinho (stingy, penurious) acts of people in positions of power. Am I foolish - or do I really have something to say?

I can't help but also wonder why, despite my downs, I remain so positive and excited about the future!!