Anyone who’s ever been or known a Peace Corps volunteer (and gotten an honest assessment out of them) or who has a decent sense of imagination, probably knows or has heard that life as a volunteer can involve a LOT of ups and downs. You might not hear about the downs, especially in a public forum like this, but I’m trying to write about the things that have gone well. Whether it’s an event or something I’ve done or a relationship I’ve made, these are the things that make me think that I could be effective and survive for two years. These are the good days. Read what you want into the fact that blog posts have been pretty sporadic.

Anyway, today was a good day. I helped the local home based care organization recreate a really, really complicated reporting form. They worked closely with the last volunteer in my village and I was super impressed that, after I made all the tables that were needed, the staff member took back the computer to enter all of the labels and the data. It was very “thanks for your help and I can totally do the rest of this!” I sat with her to help dictate the data and with tweaking the tables (and taught her how to put shading in some of the boxes), but it was really gratifying to see someone here be so very independent. Their old volunteer really taught sustainability. Sometimes it’s nice not to be needed. 🙂

My second engagement of the day was to attend the ward committee meeting for the villages that surround mine. It was so exciting to be in an environment that I actually know something about. Thanks to my time with the Lib Dems, I feel like I do understand how local government can and should engage with its constituents. I feel like I have something to offer if I work with these ward committees, which is a big change from my usual job. Plus, they asked for my help! Which, for me, is huge. Anyway, the ward councillor is a cool guy and he actually reminds me of my friends (who are about the same age as him) who are councillors back in the UK.

Ok, that’s about it. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes with the ward committee. Now, I’ve just got to convince my supervisor that I’ll get a lot more done if I’m deployed to them, rather than being forced to sit in the office.

Now, I’ve got to attend to my dinner (I’ve eaten more Ramen in a month and a half of Peace Corps than I did in four years of college) and figure out how to ignore mentally disturbed drunk guy from next door, who has a habit of showing up at all hours of the day and night and loves to talk “to gogo,” no matter how often he’s told to go away (and stay away). Ugh.

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