Archetypes: Antoinette Temporiti

 

Meet Antoinette Temporiti, social activist, psychotherapist, Sister of the Most Precious Blood and founder of Microfinancing Partners In Africa. Her work with African families in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania—providing loans so they can start a business and work their way out of poverty—was inspired by an international sabbatical she took in 2004, after spending 30 years as a private counselor. After nine years dedicated to the cause and countless trips to Africa, Temporiti still gets an overwhelming sense of joy in knowing the work she does enables others to provide for their families. “They say, ‘You’ve given us back our dignity,’ but really they are the ones who’ve done it all,” she says.

What is your current frame of mind?
Grateful and feeling the abundance of love.

When and where are you happiest?
In Africa.

What is your favorite smell?
The pinion in the desert.

What is one word that describes you?
Risk-taker

What did you eat for breakfast today?
An orange, toast and an egg.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“This is possible.”

What is your most marked characteristic?
Joy.

What is your greatest weakness?
I think everything’s possible.

What trait do you most admire in others?
Generosity.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My family, friends and community.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My dislike for paperwork.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Helping people find their own goodness.

Which living person do you most admire?
The women in Africa and their resilience.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Nelson Mandela.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would it would be?
I think I’d like to come back as myself and try again.

What is your most treasured possession?
My family.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Sky diving.

What is your greatest fear?
Not being able to protect our children.

On what occasion do you lie?
If the person doesn’t want the truth.

Who are your favorite writers?
Hifiz, Joan Chittister and children’s book authors.

Which artists do you admire most?
Photographers.

What is your favorite hobby?
Photography.

Where would you like to live?
Africa.

Who are your heroes in real life?
The sisters in my community; they pray for us and make what I do a success.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Nelson Mandela.

What’s something interesting that you just learned?
I’ve been having fun learning about different kinds of birds and trees.

What are you most looking forward to?
My next trip to Africa.

What is one thing you wish would happen?
That we would eliminate extreme poverty.

What is something you still want to learn?
I want to learn more about energy work and how we are all connected.

What is one thing you want to do before you die?
I’m so blessed to be already doing it.

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?
You go, girl!

'Archetypes' are off-the-cuff interviews with St. Louis' most inspiring, well-known personalities based on the 19th century Parisian parlor game known as the Proust Questionnaire.

 

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Photo credit: Wesley Law

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