Work is busy and driving me crazy, but I’ve finally got a shot at a real, sustainable, interesting project. This is incredible. What will be even more incredible is if work continues on it in my absence. We shall see.
My boyfriend is sucking up insane amounts of my spare time. Clearly, I’m enjoying the hell out of it, although the fact that I haven’t finished a book in two weeks is a little bit unnerving.
I am going on vacation. Tomorrow. For a week. After my vacation, I’m visiting some friends in the North, giving some formations, and working some Peace Corps stuff.
Today, one of my post mates asked me what I’m going to do with myself when my phone’s not ringing off the hook and I’m not getting bombarded by text messages. I replied “read some books and lose myself in crowds.” I’ll be out of touch. If there’s an emergency, Peace Corps knows how to find me, otherwise, I’ll catch up with everyone when I get back mid-November.
NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! I’d completely forgotten! Yes, I should be spending evenings studying for my LSATs, writing lesson plans, and generally being productive. But who wants to do that when I could be writing a novel?!
Yes, I’m going to try again this year. I don’t remember how far I got last year, but I think I was around 30 000 before life, Thanksgiving, and everything else got in the way.
This year, the frenzied writing will begin while I’m travelling. Can I write 50 000 words while hitch hiking through Burkina Faso and northern Benin? I’ll let you know how it goes.
The outline starts tonight!
I’m probably the only PCV on the planet who’s more worried about finding time than finding inspiration.
Edit: Don’t forget to close your goddamned links, Carpenter!
I complain an awful lot here, I mean, a LOT. And occasionally I’m arrogant (okay, more often than not). And I don’t always give an accurate picture of what life is really like here because I’m so damn negative.
The reality is that I fucking love this shit. Yeah, my primary project sucks big fat monkey balls sometimes. But other times it’s absolutely amazing, especially when I’m making progress on any one of the dozen things they’re having me work on.
Yeah, I could do this kind of stuff in the States, get paid good money for it, and have managers that don’t suck. I’d have an iPod, a nice apartment, and I’d be delightfully upwardly mobile. However, I’d be stuck in a cubicle somewhere. I wouldn’t have made the amazing friends I’ve made in the past year (both American and Beninese). And I wouldn’t go to sleep everyday, knowing I’d helped someone.
I’m rarely homesick, but the mornings when I just want to get the fuck out of here are more and more frequent. Fortunately, the mornings when I want to stay here forever are equally frequent. It’s certainly not getting any easier. The lows get lower every time. And the highs get higher.
And days like today, when I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something? They’re incredible.
Remind me to export my Google calendar so that the next time we lose our connection for three days, I’m not screwed as far as appointments go. ARGH.
In other news, please stop donating to Etoile Apprentissage. (background). It’s been funded for a long time, and they just haven’t gotten around to taking it off the site yet. In fact, if you did donate, you should write to the Peace Corps and get your money back.
The short is that we raised the money, but we can’t have it, because we didn’t raise it in time. So all that hard work is down the drain. I’d hoped to just do the project in 2007, but it turns out that because it has to take place at a certain time (summer vacation), and we’d been planning on using it for summer 2006, it’s against the rules to use it for 2007. Any money raised will go into a global reserve that funds projects too small to for a fundraising drive (under $250, I believe?).
I do appreciate your efforts, as do the girls. I appreciate somewhat less the Peace Corps. I understand their point of view, but it was by and large friends and family that donated, and it’s not right that your monies go elsewhere if you don’t want them to.
If you donated, you can get in touch with Peace Corps and request your donation back, since the project is no longer happening. I have absolutely no plans to use a PCPP for this or any other project again, so requesting the funds back will do nothing to help or hurt me in the future. What I do suggest, however, is that instead of just leaving the money for the Global Fund, request it back, and donate it to another worthy project, one of your choice.
It’s been kind of a busy week. Two weeks. Month. Year. But mostly a busy couple of days. I went North for the quarterly GAD meeting. Got there early, stayed with Lyle, did some great brainstorming with a couple of different people, got some work done, gossiped (a lot), and had a pretty good time.
So what’s GAD? GAD stands for Gender and Development, and is the Peace Corps program for encouraging equal education of children (read: girls’ education), basic human rights for all (read: the right of girls to go to school and not be sexually abused by their professors), and a dozen other things to promote gender equity throughout the world (and specifically, in Benin).
We, in Benin, have a volunteer committee to encourage volunteers to initiate projects that deal with gender and development. These projects can be as simple as organizing soccer teams for girls at local schools or as complicated as week-long education and empowerment camps for middle school aged girls. This weekend, we had about 20 volunteers show-up, none of which were from the new class (who are all still in their initial travel restricted 3-month period at post).
It boils down to the fact that educated women educate their children. No, universal education isn’t THE solution to poverty, but literacy and critical thinking help a hell of a lot. It also boils down to the fact that women deserve the same rights as men, both under the law and in practice. It’s about human beings showing that everyone has the same basic rights and responsibilities, and that everyone is capable of realizing their dreams.
I fucking love Mondays. I am an “up and at ‘em” type of woman, and I’m almost always at my desk around 7:30 on Monday mornings. I’m excited to start the week. I’m excited to get work done. I’m excited to fix any gaffes from the week before. It’s a wonderful fantastic feeling.
And every single fucking week, by 10:00, there have been enough frustrations and fuck-ups to make me throw my hands up in disgust, crave a (forbidden while at work because I’m a lady and this is still Benin, after all) cigarette, and leave early for lunch to get out of the office while I still have my sanity.
By the time Tuesday rolls around, I generally manage to get everything back under control and running smoothly. Nevertheless, the weekly disaster that is Monday morning leaves me tense, angry, and pissed off as hell.