Taking a Risk by Being the “Yes Man”

What’s a chigger?  It’s ok if you don’t know.  I didn’t know.  Heck, I still don’t even know.  Chigger.  Jigger.  Who knows.

I do know that last year, when Michelle called me from Kenya to interivew about an intern position with ELI, she rattled off a few programs I could potentially help with and asked if I’d be interested:

1. Talking to public schools about sanitation and malaria?
My verbal response: “Sure!”
My internal response:  I know how to wash my hands but know nothing about malaria.

2. Ear cleaning clinic for orphans?
My verbal response:  “Of course!”
My internal response:  I’m definitely not an audiologist nor do I love ear wax.

3. Chigger outreach for slums?
My verbal response:  “Count me in!”
My internal response:  I freak out if I see a Daddy-Long-Leg.  Picking bugs out of feet?  My worst nightmare.

I got off the phone and started hyperventilating.  I gave myself a stern lecture.  Seriously, Colleen, why do you always do this?  You know, be the YES man.  Agree to everything without pausing one simple second to think it through.

In most situations I would call this a people pleasing character defect and would strongly discourage it.


Sanitation and malaria?  We utilized Google and a few creative talk tracks for the kids.  Loved it.

Malaria talk at Kenyan school

Ear cleaning?  I learned how to use an Otoscope and squirt water in the kid’s ears.  They thought it was hilarious.

Ear cleaning day at Children's Home

Chigger clinic?  Hmmm.  I will probably have to dedicate an entire blog to this.  One of the most eye-opening, shocking, and disturbing learning experiences I have ever had in my life.  But I didn’t die.

Chigger clinic-the look on my face sums it up

Oh and saying yes to Kenya and ELI no matter what they were asking me to help with?  Best yes, I ever said.

Some risks are worth taking.

Always Hopeful,



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  1. Amy dalton says

    What is a chigger?!? Now you have me curious!!

    • Humbled Warrior says

      I consulted Webster to answer your question: “chig·ger noun ˈchi-gər, ˈji-“[alteration of jigger] : a six-legged usually red or orange mite larva (family Trombiculidae) that feeds on skin cells and causes intensely itchy reddish welts.” More chigger posts to come 🙂

  2. Courtney L says

    Please do write a chigger post- I’m so curious!

  3. Some risks are worth taking and the result is sometimes beyond our imagination. Your blog posts are awesome.

  4. fantastic.
    love it.

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