From the Start Your Week with Steve Newsletter —
“They say that if you’re married to someone long enough, you eventually start to look like them. They say that about dog owners and their dogs, too, so I question colloquial wisdom.
“Although Carolyn and I don’t look alike, sometimes we find ourselves reading the same things — lately, it’s been about innovative people overcoming impossible odds in Africa.
“The person inspiring me is Zephaniah Phiri Maseko of Zimbabwe, who supported his family of eight on seven acres of dry, frequently draught-stricken land. Through observation, analysis, and a lot of hard work, Maseko has ‘harvested’ the rainfall available to him yearly and transformed his parcel into an oasis of abundance. You can read more of his story in Brad Lancaster’s Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond.
“Carolyn’s superhero is William Kamkwamba, the only son of a Malawi sustenance farmer and one of a family of eight. Kamkwamba achieved international recognition as The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, building a working windmill from junkyard scraps, despite draught, lack of schooling, national starvation, and a cholera epidemic.
“Both Maseko and Kamkwamba were considered modern-day Noahs. Mocked and taunted by neighbors, they persevered despite being called crazy. Once they succeeded, however, they were called geniuses.
“Are you a modern-day Noah? Do you find yourself being talked about in a not necessarily positive way, because of your crazy ideas? It’s hard when you haven’t reached the success part, the part when you’re called a genius. But you keep at it, because you believe what you’re doing.
“Yes, You Can.”
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