Sunday, March 14, 2010

2 months in!

Hello friends.

It's been a while since I posted a blog, but I don't really feel like I have all that much to report.
HOWEVER, 2 great things did happen on March 13th:
1. It was my official 2-month mark (1/3 of the way through already!!)
2. I found out that I was accepted to Columbia University to pursue my Masters Degree!!

So this was a landmark weekend... relatively. In addition, I also potted some plants and hand washed some clothes. It is such an exciting life, let me tell you.

Living in the big city is actually much more difficult than living in a village. I mean, physically, it's obviously much more comfortable with my A/C, running water, good food, etc... but socially, it's not that easy. When you are the only stranger in a village where there's no electricity or other entertainment, it's really easy to make friends. Actually, you are immediately everyone's friend, whether you like it or not...

But I don't really have much of a social life in the capital. Having a bicycle and my 2 feet to get around doesn't make it any easier, either. Additionally, there's road work literally surrounding the area where I live, which now physically cuts me off from the rest of the city. I have to traverse an obstacle course to get to work, climbing over and under fences, and jumping over ditches. To get a taxi, I now have to walk 10 min from home and wait for a taxi for no less than 15 minutes. He'll try and jack up the price every time, too, because not only am I white but I am also living in the part of town that's practically inaccessible. :(

Work is going pretty well. At this point, I've become the center of it all. Every day I field calls from, and solve problems for, beneficiaries, construction workers, material suppliers, construction inspectors, and colleagues who're helping with the project. It's great to feel so involved and to troubleshoot everything going on. But sometimes it's just frustrating because all the solutions that I can come up with are completely out of my control. Whether it's internal bureaucratic procedures or government protocol, eventually it just becomes a waiting game.

Overall, I'm learning a lot with the project and getting great construction management and project management experience. Combined with a Masters in Urban Planning, I think this was the right move to get a career in the field I want - (planning and international development). If you know me at all, though, you know I just go wherever life takes me. I'm not much of a planner, and while things are working out as I "planned" so far in 2010, who knows where life will take me next? :)

Oh - one fun thing I get to do this week is Skype with my friend's classroom in Chicago! One of my friends from the Israel trip asked me to talk to her kids about Africa, so we set up a Skype date. I'll be up on their big projection screen, answering questions about what's going on on this side of the world. Should be fun... and I'll leave out the really gross stuff.

Hope to hear from you soon... It would be great to hear some news from you all, too.



At March 22, 2010 5:19 PM, Blogger Rick said...

I know exactly how awesome / frustrating it can be to be in the middle of everything but dealing with issues beyond your authority...

Glad to hear everything is going according to "plan." If all goes well I might be joining you at Columbia in fall 2011 :) Assuming I can get into the Sustainable Development PhD program and nothing else crazy happens in the interim...


Post a Comment

<< Home