Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Malnutrition campaign, Site development

June 20th

I've been back in village for the better part of a week, but I still feel like I have yet to get back into the swing of my life here. Makes sense, I spent 2 days cleaning, 1 day with visitors, 1 day preparing for more visitors, and today waiting for visitors who eventually showed up. I've got this nice impressive list of stuff I want to accomplish in the next 5 months, so feeling like I'm sitting around doing nothing is making me a little nervous, especially considering I want to leave site again in less than 2 weeks.

The main village event today was the start of a campaign to identify malnourished kids. I didn't go help, ostensibly because I was preparing for my visit by Justin for site development, but he was so late I easily could have gone. I'm admittedly kind of burned out on the door to door campaigns. I feel obligated to go and help the ASCs, particularly after they helped me with the schools for free, but I now truly understand the absolute need for “motivation” money. It's not that they're unwilling to do the work for free, or don't understand how important and necessary the work is. It's that these campaigns are boring, hard, thankless tasks that have to be done. Knowing there's a reward at the end keeps people at least feeling obligated to come and help every time the call goes out for yet another campaign of some type, particularly during the rainy season when all they want is to be in their fields to ensure they can eat next year. I guess I've started shifting myself more into the paperwork and prep-work part of the campaigns so that I'm still helping in some way, but I do feel a bit guilty for avoiding the part that involves getting up early and biking long distances and having children cry when they see me.

In the afternoon we had my site development meeting at the Mayor's office, only starting 2 hours later than planned. I was nervous because I honestly didn't work with (or even know) the majority of the people who showed up, but they seemed to be saying good things about me, which was encouraging. Justin presented his points in Moore about community responsibility, that the PCV is like a flashlight that the village needs to guide to illuminate the path they chose to travel, and we signed some paperwork saying that the house I live in will be available for the next PCV as well. I don't really think they got too much out of it besides a forum to clear up that the next PCV will be health, and after that they can request another sector. But I assured Justin that I have big plans for making the next PCV feel welcome and hit the ground running, and I'm excited to work on that with my staff and CoGes.

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