Monthly Archives: February 2013

Playing the Waiting Game

Patience is a virtue. Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. Let’s just say that I’m not exactly the most patient person in the world–just ask some of the closest people to me. And I’m not necessarily proud of it. But in addition to the fact that I have to wait until April 1 to hear back from most of my colleges, Laptops for Egypt is in its own kind of waiting game right now. And the fact is that because I’m not raising money anymore (and now I’m doing totally different things–new post coming!) is teaching me a lesson in patience. After reading this, hopefully you’ll understand why they always say that patience is a virtue (it’s pretty darn hard to be patient while you’re waiting!).

Instead of complaining about how little you have and how much you have to wait, shift the focus to what you have already done or what you have around you. This is probably the most difficult point out of the three that I will blog about today. It’s so easy to sit around and complain about the fact that you have to wait another 39 days until you hear back from college (not like anyone’s counting, right?!?) or that you have to wait 120 days for the computers to be manufactured after the order is made in Shanghai. It’s SO EASY. But complaining, as much as it seems to be extremely helpful in the moment, actually does you no good. Think about it. Okay, so you’ve established that you have a lot of time to wait for something. Complaining about it all the time is really doing you ZERO good. In fact, it’s probably only getting you more and more irritated and it ends up turning into this huge vicious cycle. And then you’re constantly mad and you start complaining again. So instead of thinking about what you don’t have or what you’re waiting for, focus on the things that you’ve already done. Instead of thinking constantly about how much more waiting I have to do for the computers, I can use my time more wisely in doing the things I need to be doing for this project, and reflecting on what I did (and all the time and energy and hard work I have already put into it). You’ll start to feel better and realize that all you did had a purpose, even though you’re playing the waiting game right now. Or, instead of realizing that you’re playing the waiting game when it comes to college, realize that the work and stress of applying is now out of your hands and out of your control. What’s done is done. You couldn’t have done anything more on those essays. You couldn’t have done anymore extracurricular activities. It’s time to realize that our work is done (or at least has shifted into a new kind of work) and that the remainder of what we await is not in our own control. Honestly, that should feel a little more uplifting as you realize that you’re not expected to have done anymore. 

Hopefully, this took the burden off your shoulders just a little bit when you assess your particular situation in your own life. 

–Sarah Naguib

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Thanks Again!!!

This post is dedicated to every single person who has been a part of Laptops for Egypt in some way, shape, or form. I know I have had previous posts about this, but this one is the most official one 🙂

First and foremost, to my technology teacher, Ms. Christine Murakami: Thank you for pushing me to pursue my attraction to OLPC despite the fact that I would not be travelling with my classmates on that trip to St. John. Thank you for not only listening to me when I told you that I had this crazy idea but also for being there right alongside me in every part of the process. You celebrated with me, researched with me, encouraged me, and so much more than I could ever possibly imagine. I could do nothing for this project without you. 

To Jennifer Cate of Hands Along the Nile: Thank you so much for listening to me and agreeing to support this project even though I had no idea what I was doing. Thank you for not brushing me off as “just a teenager.” Your connections, your help, your guidance is a constant reminder to me that I could never have done this project without HANDS’ help. Laptops for Egypt would not be anywhere without the help of HANDS.

To my teachers: You have heard me speak about this project on countless occasions. You have watched me invest myself emotionally (almost too much, sometimes) into this project in addition to keeping up with my school work. Your support has been something that I could not have done without. It means so much to me to know that all of you are helpful in even the smallest of ways (just even checking on me in passing is extremely meaningful). Thank you.

To my friends: Thank you for putting up with me when I would be nervous or stressed out or excited beyond words. Thank you for being there and being the encouraging people on whom I have come to rely so heavily. You all are the greatest friends I could have ever asked for!!

To my parents: Mom and Dad, where do I even begin? You both had no idea that when I came home that one December afternoon speaking about laptops and Egypt and money and Zabaleen that my dream would one day become a reality. You had no idea what you were getting yourselves into! Thanks for being there for everything–when l would call you out of pure excitement, when I would worry as we waited for the fruits of my labor, or when I would need you to drive me all over town for my various doings. I can’t ever properly thank you for all your help. Ever.

To the generous supporters of Laptops for Egypt: Whether you contributed financially to this project or even just stumbled across this blog and made a comment, it means so much to me that you took time out of your day to read what this project was all about or to donate to this cause during a rough economy. You are all crucial to making this project a success and I am forever indebted to each and every one of you. 

–Sarah Naguib


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Reflections on My Trip to Zambia Part 2

Here is the much-awaited second part of my reflections on my trip to Zambia. In my first post, I talked about the hearts of the people in Zambia from the kids to the adults, and how the trip totally changed the way that I am looking at my Laptops for Egypt project. Today, I want to address a different aspect of my trip: the missionaries, teachers, and priests who live in Zambia.

The missionaries who are living in Zambia right now are totally regular people. In fact, I actually had met one of them before she devoted her life to working and teaching the kids in Zambia. They had lives in America with family, education, and everything. And then they gave up everything they had in America to take their families and move to Zambia to live and work and further the education and the opportunities of the Zambians. They live as Zambians now. Each one of them has a different story about what led them to Zambia in the first place, but all of them have one thing in common: they didn’t let their short term stays in Zambia become a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Instead, they decided that they would not be satisfied by simply returning to America (or wherever they were living previously) with the memories of Zambia stored in the back of their minds. They wanted to give back. They wanted to give themselves to a cause greater than themselves. And now, they no longer live for themselves, but for the people of Zambia. 

Not everyone is called to react in the same way as the missionaries, teachers, and priests I speak of, who after visiting Zambia decided that they wanted to serve the Zambians for the rest of their lives. Not everyone is meant to suddenly drop everything they have in their regular lives and move to Africa (or wherever). HOWEVER, everyone who has seen a need, everyone who has felt a tug to help others is obligated to follow that calling. Such service trips as the one I had the opportunity to go on is not meant to simply give us a taste of an immense need and then release us back to our hectic lives without changing something. No, I’m not saying that I’m planning on dropping out of high school and moving to Zambia, but I am saying that I cannot continue to live in the way that I did prior to going on the trip. Not everyone may be called to make huge changes to their lives like the missionaries, teachers, and priests (although I totally admire them for the risks that they took and the lives they are living). But everyone is called to spread the word about the need in Zambia and to make the inward changes in their own personal lives that have been inspired by the trip to Zambia. Big changes or little changes, they are both equally important. 

–Sarah Naguib

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