Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Whatever you do...

"Whatever you do, do it with all your heart and soul."
- Bernard Baruch, Huletts sugar packet in the Kgale Views Motel
I wish I could show you guys the tan lines I have on my feet. It looks like I've been marked by Zorro. Over the course of IST (Training) I managed to splash on some neon pink nail polish and I have to say, my feet rock.

Living in the big city without a permanent home is certainly an experience. I eat out at every meal and try to choose the healthiest foods in the smallest portions and most valuable price. Surprisingly, it's not too hard to find. I'm starting to enjoy it. No friendly neighbors poking in at all hours of the day and night.... but I do actually miss it too. I hope I haven't stayed away too long. To be honest, I'm already forgetting people's names. I'm glad I've been taking notes here and there, hopefully when I get back I'll spend my first few days getting reoriented again.

At the recommendation of some of the staff here who know what a Type A personality I am, I have been spending most of the day in the Peace Corps resource room, reading through manuals and doing research online. There is little I can do outside of my own village talking to my own people, but the much I have done is giving me a much better perspective of what exactly I'm doing and the cultural significance and value of the people I work with it. It is an honor and a privilege to have been placed in such a unique area and all difficulties with money, transportation, and wildlife aside, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity I have in front of me.

I must safeguard against myself though. i have a tendency to think too large, to dig too deep, to go too far and plan too big. In the works I have a Youth Center, an Alcohol Awareness week, a Healthy Eating and Drinking Support Group, Exercise classes for prenatal women, a mentor/tutoring program for hostile children, a support group of Orphans, and Career Counseling/ Computer classes in mind. Of course, all this takes resources and community mobilization skills that I have yet to acquire, but like I told my program director this morning, "it looks like we're just going to have to become what we need..."

God help us all.

Oh and P.S. on my limited Peace Corps budget, I decided to treat myself to a movie today, I watched inception all by myself in a large theater and when I came out, I was greeted by a tiny motswana child asking me for money "for the orphans." She held a ratty tatty ledger with names and donation amounts on it, I took a look at her and said, perhaps a little too quickly, "Sorry. I don't have money"

She looked me square in the eye and said, "Check your bag." I was so dazed that I almost did check my bag and then I realized-- now way am I going to take orders from this child, even if it is for the orphans. So I stopped and said pretty firmly, "NO. Sorry." and walked away.

My little Jimminy Cricket inside said nothing and my guts said, good freaking job. So next time you good do-ers out there are asking people for money and they say no, please don't judge us. They just might really be strapped for cash and possibly have already donated 2 years of their lives to live in the desert to help out the orphans anyway

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