07 October 2009

Traveling again

7 October 2009
Traveling again. My APCD (program director) came to visit me in village last week to check in and see how things are going mid-service. It was exciting to welcome him to the CEG Kovie. The last time he visited me, the CEG was still open-air mud-floor “buildings” with palm frond roofs and no walls. Now we’ve got these shiny tin roofs and tall concrete classrooms. Plus the teachers’ room – with my very own ‘locker’ – It’s a cute little wooden bureau with individual locking boxes – there’s even a slot cut into the top to facilitate passing letters, homework, etc.
I’m kind of ridiculously happy about this little symbol of permanence. It is just so nice to know that I don’t have to lug books and supplies back and forth on my bike every day. It’ll help with the lending library, too. The books will be secure but accessible there. Okay, I’m done rhapsodizing about my pretty wooden box now.
At my meeting with my APCD, I brought up the fact that I travel a fair amount for my work – due to two national projects. Happily he recognized the importance of the work I do and the necessity to be flexible about the “Out of Site Policy” where volunteers are supposed to be in their assigned site as much as possible. It’s not that I’ve abandoned Mission Tove – quite the opposite as you can tell from my earlier posts – but I find my national projects both more compelling and more relevant to the work I want to do after Peace Corps.
Which is why I was particularly happy to be able to present my Camp UNITE work to our Mid-Service Conference yesterday in Pagala. The conference was announced to the volunteers very late. It was a bit frustrating canceling projects, classes etc. But I’m glad I did. Because all four sectors were at the conference I heard about all the amazing projects volunteers are doing in all different subject areas from planting Moringa trees to weighing babies to developing mentoring centers for students. Plus it was an opportunity to meet and chat with the GEE and NRM volunteers that are posted far from me and I’ve never gotten to know before.
Also – in the evening we did a “talent show” – I put together a rewrite of the opening song from Beauty and the Beast with the help of a couple other volunteers. It was ridiculous, funny and awesome. And we ‘won’ the applause-o-meter too.

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