Ok, so these are a outdated a bit and written when I was having a rough week.... whatevs!
Blog June 7th 2012
The schools here suck. Testing time has begun, which means it is like pulling teeth to get anything done, then, there is a three week break- then a new term. It is week one of testing and the school is already off the timetable, and no one really knows what is going on. The grade 8 and 9 classes didn’t get the tests on time, so they aren’t going to school- because why on earth would a teacher teach? Why would they want to make use of valuable class time? My org supervisor hasn’t been in the office all week, and it only takes so much time to argue with the cooks and explain how to divide the food to make it last 13 days instead of 6… I know the bottom line with that is when they cook too much food they get to take it home, then we run out at the end of the month, then no one has to come to work. In the words of the coordinator “It’s no problem, we’ll just close and not feed kids” yeaa… actually it is a problem… Our funder is pulling out at the end of the month anyway, so I don’t know why I continue to try and “build capacity”… capacity shmacity.
But, that is why I work with the schools. Department of Education is not exactly ideal, they are pretty horribly corrupt and the system is broken, but at least at the schools there is some resemblance of structure. I have also met a couple teachers who seem to be fairly motivated and want to expand the clubs/after school program so that is a plus… but it has to wait until mid July…
The only productive thing I will do today is go to another organization and continue a nutrition/HIV lesson. It is funny how projects start, I was leaving the school when three women (the org is next to the school) came up to me and asked me to teach them. “Sure!” I said, then looked at the “homework” they had to do (I think from a class the Dept of Health is giving). The questions were pretty specific about nutrition and how to treat different kinds of patients, so I asked if they had a book. Nope. Notes? Nope. “Did the department give you anything? Any notes, or a manual, any book?” I asked, but nope, the department told them to research it. I suggested going to the library, but that would involve transport money… After a couple minutes I finally got the message across that I would not do it FOR them, but I would gladly prepare some lessons for them. They got excited and said they could open a classroom so I could teach… now… WHOAAA… I need to prepare! I knew most of what I needed to know, but I need more than five minutes to become a nutrition and diabetes expert. At least an hour… so anyway, I prepared a lesson and went to the org the next day and got through about one third of it before I knew it was time to stop. So today I will go back and hopefully the connection between carbohydrates, sugar, and diabetes is still clear. Then, apparently, I will be preparing a new lesson for next week (topics TBA-next week).
So I have about three weeks until my mom gets here (YAY!!!), three long weeks. I will push through with going to the school and hoping some girls want to meet, being a food nazi and rationing the food so the kids can eat, and explaining the food pyramid (and too much pap does not make you strong, it makes you fat and diabetic) to the other drop in centre. What can I say, Peace Corps, saving the world since 1961.
June 13, 2012
Two weeks until my mom gets here, thank god! This week has been pretty crappy, thank goodness Wed in almost over. Peace Corps would make lives for the volunteers a lot easier if they would explain to our organizations that we are community volunteers, not pets of these non-functioning organizations. PCSA sure is providing a lot of very overqualified chair warmers and clerical worker. We are treated like children while simultaneously expected to work miracles.
Today was particular frustrating, actually, it was the first time “maybe I should just leave” came through my mind as my first instinct, which considering the last year you’d think I would have thought that much earlier. As quickly as the idea of quitting came through my head it left. I don’t want to leave, I am just annoyed. I think because I had such excitement coming into this new site that when people do dumb stuff, lie, or are just lazy I am even more disappointed. At least at my last site I knew people were stealing money and they sucked, but now I have to go through all the disappointments all over again.
Thank god for my girls. I am in love with the two little girls that live near me and I think when the new term starts my girls clubs will be great. My garden project is on hold until next season, but that’s ok- it will be better then- until then I am just hoping the Gogos don’t burn my compost pile…again. So after a rather frustrating day I got back to my house, snuck in the gate without my little girls seeing me, got in my house and shut the door hoping for some peace and quiet. As soon as I got my hair in a ponytail I hear shrieks of excitement and confusion at my door, the first thing I usually do is greet the girls and give big hugs- this shut door was new to them, and I felt way too guilty ignoring them. Five seconds after I opened the door I was giving big hugs and smiling, what can I say- I’m so PC.