A Sense of Community (BAL)

Jambo friends! Back from the other side of the globe to reenter myself into the goodness and juiciness that is the tribe. And it couldn’t feel more like home.

For those that don’t know, I was in Tanzania for work (@EGPAF), where we visited our supported local clinics and hospitals to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, among many other feats. I know we don’t really talk about ‘what we do’ at NP, so there’s a little nugget for the backburner re: my life.

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Anyways, on the very last day of site visits, we met with a mother’s support group that meets once a month: all HIV-positive moms and many having HIV-negative children. (I promise this has a point, keep reading) They were sharing their stories with us about how much their community of women have literally kept them and their businesses alive. Many are widows having to raise money for their children and their livelihood. But regardless of the circumstance, story after story after story came up about how this community, their community, has allowed them to remain open and honest, to remain accountable, and to remain hopeful in the future. This support group was their chosen family and kept them grounded.

While they were expressing these stories, I kept going back in my mind to the community we have established here – to the odd ducks that assembled one morning to the crazy mayhem of wonderfulness that is our Wednesday and Friday mornings + every other hangout day of the week. And while I would never deem my life comparable to a woman, family, or child dealing with the daily struggle of HIV, it was incredible to see the bonds that have been formed and community that has been established around the globe that mean more to these women than anything else in their lives.

And when we show up on an early *insert weather description here* morning, we don’t only know about it, we FEEL it, the community, and push ourselves to go deeper, run faster, and hug harder. Because it is not an entity that exists outside of ourselves — it is an entity that we exist WITHIN. We are a part of this community, whether it’s your first/second/millionth/last time; whether you leave geographically or stay in Baltimore forever.

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Allison + Ben: two crazy tribemembers that have endured so much with us over this past 1+ years. We will miss you as you travel on to new schools, jobs, loves, and tribes. But remember, you are still a part of this community and this community is still a part of you. Rock the crab always and know that we are extremely proud of you on and off Rash Field.

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Announcements:
– Positivity award is on its annual promotional book tour and will return next week.
– Continue to rock that USA gear for Friday’s Red/White/Blue #hillsforbreakfast workout

Thanks for the community friends.

All the love,
Syd

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