We live our lives by this Moroccan saying, culled from our trusty Darija textbook.
Nqta b nqta kayHml l-wad. Drop by drop the river rises.
It’s another version of swiya b swiya. Little by little. Day by day. Always.
I scribble it in my journal as a reminder to myself often.
I need the reminder often.
Life here is measured by small drops. It needs to be. That’s how grassroots programming works. That’s how international development at its best works.
My English classes aren’t going to change the world. But they instill a little tiny bit of knowledge into a few people every day. And hopefully, a little tiny drop of inspiration and self-confidence and love of learning. Robert’s science club isn’t going to change the world. But they encourage kids who might never have thought of STEM as within the realm of their possibility before.
What’s more, all kinds of rivers rise slowly.
The river of joy is one of them. One thing we’ve learned in Morocco is to truly appreciate the little things. Because our joy often comes from the smallest of events.
A student saying hello to us on the street will make us feel brilliantly successful. Finding broccoli (a rarity) in the supermarket will make us beam for hours. A compliment on our Moroccan Arabic from a shopowner will make us pleased as punch.
So this post is not only an acknowledgement that drops, one at a time, create change—it’s also a celebration of the fact that drops, one by one, can create happiness.
Here are some of the little drops of joy we’ve had in our lives this past six months:
We’re filling our river with these drops for now, waiting for the day our river rises. We’ll keep you updated when it happens, of course. 😉