I recently returned from an incredible journey to Tanzania, in East Africa. I went to Tanzania with a group of twelve adventurous men and women, led and organized by Richard Leider who is the founder of a company called the Inventure Group. The trip was inspired to lead us on our own personal journey of discovering purpose in our lives as we explored the beauty and wonder of this region of Africa.
Three weeks went by quickly as we toured northern Tanzania with the Dorobo Safari Company. We discovered the wonder of viewing incredible animals, including elephants, zebra, lions, hyenas and giraffe in their natural settings. We experienced the cultures of the Maasai pastoralists and the Dorobo and Hadza, hunter-gatherers. We were touched by these people as they generously opened their lives to our group. We shared campfires, dancing and singing. There was so much joy and happiness in a people who live much simpler lives than our own. And we shared a bond of discovery with our fellow travelers.
I learned about an important fund managed by our group called the Dorobo Fund. The Dorobo Fund supports many grassroots projects that promote community conservation and leadership education of youth (especially women) in Tanzania. I was in awe of the efforts that our new friends on this journey have taken and of the accomplishments thus far in protecting the environment and the indigenous people of Tanzania.
The personal journey was different for each of us. In Richard’s book “The Power of Purpose”, he tells us, “We all want to find our purpose—that thing that makes us feel like our life matters.” I like to think that for me that purpose is what has led me to be a veterinarian. Although there were struggles along the way, including veterinary school, student loans, and later managing a business, I can truly say that I love getting up every morning and doing the life work that I do. We have defined the purpose in our practice as:”Providing compassionate, exceptional care for your pets.” To me this means helping our patients stay healthy, sharing compassion during times that are difficult and offering the best care we can when they are sick. It is impossible to bond with every client and every patient. But I think it is a worthy goal…to share that bond and recognize the power of compassion.
In Africa, I saw the compassion that people have for others, the generous sharing of cultures, opening of hearts and discovery of what is truly important in our lives. This was a journey of rediscovery of why I love being a veterinarian.