At least we fed the hippos

“If you arrive in a community with arrogance, and you don’t listen to the local people … you are going to have your pride chewed off by the local hippos.”

– Ernesto Sirolli

As a follow up to last weeks post about how the goal of creating a largely autonomous clinic, this TED talk makes some truly excellent points.  The attitude of going in to a new community with the primary goal of training meets the criteria of the mantra, “Teach a man to fish  is better than give a man a fish.”  While an emphasis on training is good and necessary, this talk points out that it still doesn’t tap into some of the smartest people in a community, the entrepreneurs.  I hope that in the future, when the two clinics begins to work on creating the clinic abroad that we can do more than just hold community meetings.  I hope we can begin to understand the culture and economy. I hope we can become involved community members that not only have knowledge but have a vision.

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