Ordinary Hero

My sister is a hero. I mention it to people I work with, to friends in the neighborhood. Without exception, people agree. My sister is a hero. I don’t think she sees it quite in those terms. That doesn’t change my point of view.

My sister is off to live in Guyana. She will be in South America for several months and likely a year or more. I guess that end of things depends on government grants and changing administrations and good old bureaucratic wrangling.

She’s off to fight in the war against HIV/AIDS. A war I am pretty sure we can all support. My sister is not a nurse; she is not a doctor. You don’t need to be to fight in this war.

She works for “a private, nonprofit educational and scientific organization working to close the gap between what is known about public health problems and what is done to solve them.” They work all over the globe, in places like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Haiti, Rwanda, Uganda, and yes, Guyana. They work with governments and the private sector to improve health care and basic conditions.

She will be going down to help administer programs, help the non-governmental agencies work more efficiently, get better at what they do. She’ll be there to oversee; to train; to develop. Budgeting and project management skills are not shots or drugs or clinics, but they sure help those things to come to be. It’s an invisible part of the battle that is every bit as important.

She’s leaving the lifestyle she enjoys here at home, leaving a comfort zone. That’s how things get done. Not enough of us (myself included) leave our comfort zone to help out. If for nothing else, for this reason alone, she is a hero in my eyes. She’s leaving theater, ballet, and a city of hundreds of great restaurants. She’s leaving friends and family. She’s leaving Fenway Park. Yes, she’s leaving Boston just as the Red Sox start training to defend their World Series title. That’s an action taking immeasurable selflessness in and of it’s self. She is a HUGE Red Sox fan.

In all honestly though, I could not be more proud of her, proud to call her my sister, proud to tell her story.

0 thoughts on “Ordinary Hero

  1. PG, I agree that your sister is a hero. Please pass this on to her.

    M – If you wanted to leave winter behind, there are a lot of places closer to home! I admire your courage. You are really dedicated. I know this because I can’t believe you’re leaving your Red Sox behind. Maybe you’ll come home a cricket fan! Seriously–to you I say,”Traveling Mercies” (which means: love the journey, God is with you, come home safe & sound). – Brenda


  2. Great post. Best wishes to your sis.

    I think when we have people close to us who are “leaving their comfort zone” and doing amazing things like this…. it’s our job to support them in any way we can…. which it seems like y’all are doing.


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