What Matters

#7 What matters to Flora

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.
I met Flora last year, in a lodge by Lake Malawi. She had just arrived in the country and was about to start managing a lodge. She was glowing. You could feel the soft and beautiful yoga aura all around her calm smile. She’s a warm, beautiful soul. Her words on her blog and under her instagram pictures touched me. She felt both so accessible and at the same time she’s following the kind of path I am wishing to join. Yoga, open mind, love, traveling. I could not miss the opportunity to ask her my questions, for a moment of softness, hope and beauty.
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What Matters

#6 What matters to Stephen

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.

I met Stephen last year in very unique conditions. We were hiking a mountain with his group of friends in Malawi. 3 days and 2 nights in the nature, spending the day walking, admiring stunning views and sharing our out-of-breatheness. It is one of my best memory of Malawi. This very special moment with this group of beautiful human being. Stephen was here to volunteer and following my article about NGOs I decided to interview him and therefore decided to ask him my questions… Continue reading

What Matters

#5 What matters to Pauline

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.

Pauline is one of the first person I met when I moved town to study for my masters. I was standing in our school’s backyard wondering where I was supposed to go and this little woman popped in with a big smile, asked if I were lost, kissed me on both cheeks and introduced herself in a few seconds. This is how kind and genuine she is. She made me discover the fantastic Nirrimi, brought me back to running and made me realize how some people are deeply wonderful, artist and creative mind – she’s one, of course. Continue reading

Volunteering, NGOs and helping the world disillusion

In this article I am not judging nor saying I have the answers or the solution. I am only sharing questions and remarks that came to my mind as I discovered everything is deeply linked. It is my personal journey and I am not saying you shouldn’t come or try to help. I’m just raising awareness on the complexity of the situation. My awareness first. And trying to share facts of my own experience. 

NGOI have been in Malawi for a little more than a year now and if it taught me a lot it also brought a lot of questions to my head. Questions about luck in life, destiny, fairness and… saving the world. To be perfectly honest when I said to my friends and family I was coming to Malawi they assumed straight away that I was going to give a hand to some NGO, as Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. But no, I came here for very selfish purposes and I was about to volunteer for a company. Bad me, I wasn’t going to teach kids in poor schools or help build a well. I was going to work – for free – for a company making money. And I felt slightly guilty about it. Considering I was staying in the poorest country I’ve ever visited. Shouldn’t I be spending my time really helping those in need instead of a company ?

My guilt quickly disappeared and within a year my view on NGO’s, volunteer’s and international organization’s work has changed. A lot.

To volunteer or not to volunteer? 

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What Matters

#4 What matters to Adalaïs

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.

Adalaïs, a unique name for a very unique human being. Woman, entrepreneur, student, friend, and not necessarily in this order. She is one of those people from whom the sun is shining and the energy is spreading. She activates my brain, my smile and make the world brighter. Adalaïs is a friend and therefore a person I admire and I deeply love spending time with. Hours of discussion. About anything and everything. From girl’s chat to deep religion conversation.

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask her the questions that matters to me. The questions that open my mind, resonate in my heart. Her answers are a new light upon those questions. Continue reading

What Matters

#3 What matters to Rory

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.
Some people enter your life as if they were always here. And it just clicks. Everything feel so natural. Rory is one of these special persons for me. He walked in my life and brightened it with his positivity and always happy mood. His never ending smile as well as his focused mind, his playful ways and “everything is possible” mindset are fascinating and the best companions to my days.

I could not resist asking me my questions. Not to avoid small talk, but because I was genuinely interested in the answers. As his vision of life is so naturally positive I thought the world should also discover them!

Meet Rory, a traveller and a warm ray of sunshine for anyone who, like me, is sometimes filled with doubts and fears, wonders and on the path to a more serene life!

 Who are you?

 Rory Gillett, son of Geoffrey Gillett and heir to the seven rivers of Babylon.

I am an avid-explorer – in both mind and spirit – and wannabee entrepreneur.

 

What is happiness?

 Being content. If in the moment, you are smiling and no negative thoughts cloud your mind you are happy.

 

What are your biggest dreams?

 Philanthropy. I don’t look at philanthropy and think I will do this because I want to help people, the reasoning is more selfish than that, it is because making a difference to someone’s life no matter how small gives me a sense of fulfilment. It’s a win-win situation, both parties benefit, and I am sure it is the reason why anyone supports a charity or donates their time and money to a cause or an individual.

So, I dream to be in a position where my businesses run themselves and I can return to Malawi (and probably other countries I am yet to visit) and offer my time and knowledge to kick start social enterprises and make a real long-standing difference to as many lives as possible.

 

What is important?

 Time. Time is the most you can ever give someone or something. If you don’t give people or projects your time you won’t reap any reward. And vice versa if people don’t give you their time then they don’t really care for you and you shouldn’t spend your time on them. It’s something you can’t get back so spend it wisely.

 

What do you believe in?

 Self-fulfilment. Don’t spend your life trying to please others or working a job to make ends meet. Live for yourself, not for the man or your peers.

 

What are you afraid of?

 Fear doesn’t plague my mind. I don’t care too much for the future. I think if you are living in the here and now you don’t tend to worry so much. People tend to worry about the future, which leads to fear of failing in a certain aspect of life be it work or love. However, I don’t see the point in worrying about something that has not yet and may never happen.

 

 What would you change?

 Hmm, maybe I would have spent more time on the golf course as a junior – I was good at sports but I was very shy. I passed up opportunities to try different things such as motocross and play a round of golf with other junior golfers, who I didn’t know. So, if I could go back and speak to the 9/10/11/12/13/14 year old me I would tell him to just say yes – take every opportunity.

 

Are you happy?

 Yes! I have people around me who love me. If you have that you have no reason to be unhappy.

 

What would you like to add…?

 Don’t live a sheltered life. It’s a big beautiful planet we live on, go see it!

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What Matters

#2 What matters to mamé

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.

What mattersRoots are a part of what shape us and I have always been fascinated by history. History in general and my history in particular. My family history. This episode of what matters is dedicated to my grand mother . My mother’s mother. Things are not always simple or straight in families but it creates a part of who we are. By understanding and knowing better where we are coming from, we might end up understanding ourselves a tiny bit better. This interview is part of this process of discovering and understanding. Because family matters, because in order to grow you must know your roots, rely and take care of them,I chose to ask her the questions that matter.

Meet my grandmother, a woman, a human being, without who I wouldn’t be on this planet.

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