No less than five minutes ago I sent off the email below to an amazing man who has been in touch with me the last few months via my do-gooder website Aura’s House to try and collaborate on helping hundreds, possibly thousands of girls in Uganda receive better access to education. Without getting too long-winded or weepy, I felt like it captured the zeitgeist of the past week or so we’ve been back in Rome trying to get full steam back into school and work as a family.

For sure I am feeling just the tiniest bit overextended at the moment, and yet my desire to still try and do everything has not waned. I always try to be the Eye of the Storm. However it recently occurred to me that in order to be the Eye, you are always surrounded by the Storm.

Dear Amazing and Selfless NGO Director in Uganda whom I admire greatly (Name changed for privacy),

Many thanks for your message and for the update. I apologize that I have not been in touch sooner. I am working full time at The American University of Rome and also run our Film and Digital Media Program. I have two boys under the age of five and my husband and I are living as foreigners in Italy with no family to help us as well as very limited options for transportation. We’ve just returned to work this past week and have been met with a number of obstacles at home and in our offices which has made life quite difficult at the moment. I run Aura’s House mostly by myself because like me, my partners all have full time jobs and so we volunteer even at the expense of other things we probably should be doing.

I just wanted to explain because I very much want to help you, it’s just that my resources are incredibly limited at this time. I do hope to expand the scope and impact of Aura’s House in the next two years. I would still like to help with this project. It is just unclear what you would like me to help with.

I don’t have any special connections with UNICEF or the Dutch NGO, but I could help contact them on your behalf and get a conversation going. Is this what you had in mind?

I’m also open to doing a small project in the future to help you get the materials you need for your project. We just have a big waiting list at the moment so it might be 6 months or more before it can launch.

Please tell me how I can help and I will do my best. But please don’t be angry with me if I am a bit slow. I wish you all the best and please keep up your amazing work!

I had a dream I was visiting Africa again last night and so maybe we will one day even meet in person and we can work directly.

Best wishes,

Maybe there’s such a thing as The Eye of the Calm? Here’s to a new semester and a new school year of intended idealist acts of daring do in the face of a yawning abyss of apathy. Forza! My umbrella is open.