Tuesday, October 2, 2007

That old post title schtick was stupid. Or: Wait eagerly for the return of the old post title schtick!

Hello there. Just wanted to give a quick update and mention the new feature on the sidebar. This is my sixth week at site. Things are going okay; it's still taking a while to figure out what my role is going to be here. And, for some reason, it's become kind of difficult for me to keep learning the language. I feel as if I've kind of hit a bit of a plateau, which is obviously bad news because very few people around my organization speak much English. Hopefully, if I start getting tutoring with an actual English speaker, as my coworkers have promised to arrange (until now, my tutoring has been with the very nice but not-much-English-speaking accountant here, which makes lessons difficult), that will kick-start my brain again.

The work that I'm doing, since many of you have been asking about it, has been quite variable both in subject and success. I've been building my organization a website (www.progresi.site.ge -- although I haven't finished it yet, so some of the links won't work yet), which took much of my first month here, due to a whole bunch of problems (including but not limited to: my organization really had no idea what goes into building a website, and they STILL haven't gotten me all the information I need for it); that's been a mild success, I suppose. I've also started trying to introduce the idea of time management, which requires having a strategic plan for the organization going forward. Both of these are foreign concepts here (I was met, at what turned out to be quite a raucous meeting I called yesterday, with almost literally blank stares when I started talking about these subjects), and it's going to be difficult to do anything but present the information to them. Whether they decide to form a strategic plan and to start managing their time accordingly would then be up to them.

I am also starting a club called "Document Your World Club," which if it goes as planned will get kids to start thinking about their lives and the problems that they see, and will help them write about those problems and use photos and video to augment that. So I've been spending a lot of time working on that, but it hasn't started yet, so I can't say whether or not it's going to work like I hope it will. The kids I've talked to about it seem excited, so it may end up being a problem of resources -- I'm doing this club at my organization and another organization in a nearby town, which had a previous documentary club, which means that the other organization has a bunch of resources for the club's use, whereas the organization I work at doesn't have any. I haven't figured out a solution to this problem yet. We shall see.

In other news, I've actually gotten to IM with a couple of you in the last couple of days, since the internet connection for my laptop has finally been set up at my office, allowing me to use ichat instead of AIMExpress, which never works here. So that's an excellent development personally, but I'm going to have to limit the time I'm on AIM, since I have, you know, actual work to do for which I am being paid a TREMENDOUS amount by the taxpayers of the United States of America. Haha.

Finally, if you look to the right of this post, you'll see a new icon for a podcast that's being put together by volunteers here about life in Georgia. I'd describe the podcast to you, but I haven't downloaded the first episode yet because my connection is terrible. I am sure that it is terrific and informative and hilarious, however, and I require all of you to download it immediately -- I am contractually obligated to strenuously recommend this, because cultural education of America about Georgia is one part of our job description in Peace Corps. So, do that, and download the future episodes of the podcast as well, because I'm sure the people working on it are working quite hard. That is all.

This post was disjointed, poorly written, and not particularly informative, I think. Next time I'll do better! Life is all about improvement, friends. This is what you learn when you work in development. Case of improvement in point: Illinois football, 4-1. I cannot believe I am excited about Illinois football. They haven't been decent since two years before the last time the Cubs made the playoffs, and now Illinois football is relevant AND the Cubs are in the playoffs, and I'm across the god damned world. I'd say that God hated me, but then the BBC World at my house might go away.

1 comment:

ruth said...

My friend who is a die-hard fan of the red socks was in Germany when they won the world series. So that's sports for you.

Document your world club sounds awesome! Good luck with it.

I hope you don't pin too many hopes on the people there taking up your time management plans. I mean, hopefully they will, because they sound like good ideas. But we Americans have a completely different concept of time compared to people in other countries. It may be like living in China -- you just need to be patient and realize just because something makes sense doesn't mean anyone will follow your logic.

Good luck with the language. I think having an English speaking tutor will make an immense difference. I would not get a tutor if this person did not speak English because I need things explained to me so I can understand them. I am behind on the language learning front. It took my neighbors catching up to me to realize I should start systematically studying.