When my supervisor announced that he would take some time off work for a holiday with his family, I felt a chill down my spine. This was even made worse by the fact that this holiday was not going to take place within the borders of the United States, but way off in East Asia, which meant there was no way l could communicate with him in the case of a crisis. Let me hasten to say that our department, Finance and Administration, has two people in it – my supervisor and I. And of course no one else in the organization pretty much understands finance issues.
Having been at my host organization for the past ten months, it has been a process of great learning and understanding how systems work – of which l am eternally grateful. However, I did not expect to have to put all this in practice while still within the USA. Before he left he clearly expressed that he did not want the organization to feel his absence and hence handed over the reins to me. I broke into a sweat, not because I could not do the work, but because I had never worked without supervision.
Well, I got into the hot seat and the wheels had to keep moving with no hitches. The organization director came to my office and said, “Are you ready to be in charge of the world? All things will come to you and we will listen to you as you run the show and you are in charge.” And true to her word I was in charge and had to tackle issues on an hourly basis. Crises even arose and I was called to fix them. I became involved in high level meetings where my opinions were sought and what I said mattered and carried weight. The nervous streak wore off sooner than I expected as I was equal to the task and did my best at every job, of course being meticulous in all my dealings as required of anyone working in Finance and money issues.
I remembered the words of Benjamin Franklin, ‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” I must say my fellowship has been a combination of these three aspects, and being in charge was a tip on iceberg that bolstered and boosted my confidence in my abilities and belief in myself. With enhanced skills and being able to apply them practically, I am certain that my time here has been of immense benefit and I certainly do not have to go back to Zimbabwe to prove this fact – I have done so right here and now.
A round of applause at the last staff meeting warmed my heart as everything was said to be in order and my stepping up to the task being appreciated and commended by everyone around me. I felt proud, still do, and will do for a long time to come. Of course I am glad my supervisor is back from a well-deserved rest, and has left a large chunk of responsibilities in my hands as he ties up loose ends that need his attention.
It is probably our light not our darkness that frightens us, as we ask ourselves “Who am I not to be brilliant.” So I guess I can say keep your head up high and never be afraid to tackle what seems impossible, because it is only impossible until it is done.
Keep shining!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *