O the random things
One we had an all volunteer conference and for all those wondering what I do, this quick video will give you a little taste. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auBHtyTYcYw
My project got permission! TACKLED THAT FIRST HURDLE like a boss! J I was approached to do a project that would help benefit widowed and divorced women. In the areas surrounding my town, if a woman is divorced she can only leave with her kitchen supplies. No furniture, no money, and no house. She cant even sell the kitchen supplies, not worth anything. So we want to do a small scale gardening project that will benefit the women. After my last big project attempt I was a bit nervous. Earlier, I was trying to do an IGA for people living with HIV/AIDS. But after coutnerparts changing jobs, deciding to open up coffee shops to make an income, fighting amonst co-op members, and just realizing how unrealistic it is (50 people for one business? I’d be lucky if they made 50 cents a week). Lately, I have been focusing mostly on students as I was tired of all the hurdles the government puts in front of people, and the lack of motivation of the community. But I’m ready to throw myself back in there
I’m realizing a big challenge I’ve had is redefining success. When I first came I felt like I would be putting together projects left and right. Didn’t really understand that there are other factors that can slow down projects, plus each volunteer’s experience is different. My new definition of it is as long as I continue to fight to make a project work and keep trying to put myself out there, I’m successful. I forget about goal 2 and 3, I’ve been a bridesmaid in Ethiopia, given a coffee ceremony, got together with the women of my town to help cook, held events at my school (right now getting ready for international women’s day). It’s something that I do believe I’ve been great at. Easy to forget about those tho. I think also I had to realize that I have my own limits as a person and I can stretch and try to work through them, but at the end of the day I have limits. It was difficult realizing that people have different limits and some people are able to go past my own. Does that make sense? But. I recently had a moment where I was so proud. There are so many bureaucratic issues that I face (which would happen no matter where I served), and when I first got here, I didnt
know how to work past it. Matter of fact, if I felt like you weren’t trying to do your job I would say “forget that! I’ll find somebody else or another project.” Basically, I couldn’t look past myself and the way we do things to understand that having this attitude would not
get things done. But, today I was faced with the same issue, people giving me the run around, and instead I decided to keep fighting. “I need to go to the mayor to ask permission to get a name of a co-op and a phone number? SURE! O mayor dude, you wont give me that info. you want me to go to my zone’s capital just to get the name of the co-op! I’ll be on the bus tommorrow!” lol! I just wont stop trying, ya know? My limits have changed, and while I still have them I’m growing. But it’s still a challenge.
You know I have a habit that I find hilarious but others might get annoyed. I got it from my dad,J I like to sing people’s name
“ASHLLLEEIIIGHH” I would say when I was in the kitchen and she was in her room. “What” she would reply..
And I would smile and keep going about my day. Same thing my dad did J I find myself having these same conversations in Ethiopia except in Amharic
“Mullleee!!!” I call to my landlord’s child
“Minim” NOTHING! J
He always gives me a strange look. Children are not used to adults (ha! Take that im an adult/elder) calling their name and not wanting them to buy a mobile card from the suk or grab some water, clean the shint bet or do SOMETHING J
A lil bit of cultural exchange, I enjoy calling their names!
On another note I have been selected for an opportunity to go to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe to experience the culture and observe the different challenges/ opportunities available in that area. I am so excited to be able to see another part of Africa and learn about different tactics they have used to overcome their own challenges and take that back to Ethiopia. I would really appreciate if you are able to contribute to this wonderful experience. I understand that times are difficult back home, so if you are unable to contribute I know that your good wishes are