25 January 2012

'Maybe change isn't so bad after all!'

I am not the fastest person to accept or adapt to change. It's not really that I'm opposed to it or like I'm an anti-new-ideas kinda person. (I love new ideas!) It just takes me longer than some to fully accept and learn the why about the change - the good thing is that when I commit I really commit. I guess you could say I'm an all-in or all-out kinda girl.

So, when it came time to re-pack and fly from a country I love (Cali, it's almost like a country right?) to another country I love (Cambodia). I had to prepare myself for change. In fact, before I left for home to be with my family for Christmas, I thought,
'Whats going to change this time (internal gasp for air)?!'
Because... Chab Dai likes change. And we need to. It's one of our strengths as a coalition. Our flexibility as grassroots practitioners allows us to collect and map trends, but also to respond proactively and adjust quickly to spoken and identified gaps.

But for a staff member who has a teacher's assistant background, and pre-Cambodia was on the 9-5 work track, plus breaks and recess (oh ya, and summer break of course!), adapting to change can be
tough! I've patiently been coached by Helen and the overall nature of living in Cambodia these last two & a half years at Chab Dai, and have learned that change is both inevitable and expected.

And not only is change expected, but its necessary.
It kicks people out of ruts and bad habits.
It adds innovation to projects with changed project managers' perspectives.
It forces people to do spring-cleaning and re-prioritizing.
And better yet, for me it is exactly at one of these such transition spots that I am reminded to trust God with the changes, press into the uncomfortableness of it, and sit back to see what amazing things God is planning and creating and has already 
                                                                   dreamt will happen.

So, was there a big change when I got back to Cambodia this year?

Oh ya! My homecoming surprise was a boxed up desk and a new office address! And of course I first internally *freaked* --- but after a long cappuccino pep-talk and reminder to myself of all the things I just wrote about- change is positive, what a great time to trust God, wait and see the good things to come- I walked out of my comfort zone and through our bright red new gates, and my first internal dialogue was...

'It's orange! I love orange!' (big smile)...
'Maybe change isn't so bad after all (internal sigh of relief)!'

And it's true. Our office is lovely. It spacialy integrates our programs- we have a giant Coalition Program room and a packed Prevention Program room- which means not only are we all about collaborating with members & partners, but we are also intentional about integrating our projects.

And the best 'trust God's innovation and wait for what is to come' part of this change? The third day in the office I learned that the office had previously been a recruitment center that recruited/boarded/ trained Cambodian women going to Malaysia as domestic workers, but was shut down (for good reasons, like this & this). Talk about redemption!

From being a place of trafficking to a place committed to ending trafficking,
this change is the greatest of all!

Find our new office on Google Maps, or a map & more photos on Chab Dai's Facebook page.