I’ve been thinking about this communication for some time now, and while some of you are already aware of our decision, it is good to finally “go public” with the news. From the moment our friends, the Crocketts and Jukanoviches, announced their intention to launch Karisimbi Partners and move to Rwanda, it became difficult NOT to think of what such a move could mean for our family.
From my first trip to Africa several years ago, my heart was captured by the need and difference between our lives and those of that part of the world. And, like many others, I found that once I was aware, it was no longer an option to ‘do nothing’. Furthermore, the restlessness and discomfort with the safe and comfortable life we’ve had in a Seattle suburb has continued to weigh on our hearts. After much thought and prayer, Kristen and I made the exciting (and also scary) decision to join these two families.
Joining Karisimbi Partners was a major decision for my family and I. It involves leaving an established career at a Fortune 100 company with a clear path to ongoing “conventional” success. I have worked for over 14 years with Microsoft, including leadership roles working across the U.S., Europe and Africa. Yet while this is a major decision, it was not actually a difficult one…not when you have that pulling from deep within to do something bold…something focused outside yourself…something that requires faith just to attempt. I love Africa.I love the idea of doing all I can everyday to work towards a mission I fully believe in. I love the idea that we can make a difference – however large or small. I love the people I will be in partnership with and the chance to live in community together. And I love this scenario where a control freak like me steps out into the unknown.
The dictionary describes “Risk Taking” as the willingness to incur injury, damage or loss. Risk is dangerous chance. Hazard. Jeopardy.It is to go out of one’s depth. Reading that definition sounds a bit daunting, but all great accomplishment is also invariably associated with taking risk. To quote Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all…life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.” For me, I take comfort in responding to this meaningful opportunity to move out of the comfort zone I’ve lived in for many years now. If anything, I believe there is greater danger in risking nothing, than in attempting to live a life less ordinary. As my new partner, Carter, has blogged in earlier posts, what Karisimbi Partners is working to accomplish is pioneering. The outcome is anything but certain. We are striving to push the boundaries and forge into the unknown. For me, I feel our venture in Rwanda is an opportunity to fulfill our purpose…. to step out, to take a calculated risk using our skills, experience, and passion so that we can serve and develop promising Rwandan businesses. With a reward like that, who wouldn’t accept some risk?
“Two roads diverged in a wood….”