Drums keep pounding…

Time is flying – one day at a time, but it rushes so quickly…it seems incredible to me that in less than four months we’ll be sitting in France trying for the life of us to figure out what next…although, who knows?  Perhaps the answer to that question will come sooner than we think.  For the moment, I’m just not over-thinking the future…

And with good reason – my present is chock-full…rarely do I check everything on my to-do list off before closing up shop for the day.  My work with Organization C has really narrowed to the ESOL jail course.  We’re still attending fortnightly, and I’m still struggling to find funding, but there has been a lot of progress.  For one, the prison warden has requested copies of the lesson plans so that she and the other guards can work with the young people when we’re not there, which is excellent.  And we’ve been able to convince a local university to send us some of their students needing on the job training (OJT) as part of their curriculum to work with the program.  I’m spending the whole of this week finishing off the roughly 3.7 gazillion worksheets, dialogues, vocabulary lists, spelling tests, procedure and guidance notes, etc. so that when they do commence it will be a bona fide course with all its many parts in place.  If we can somehow come up with enough funding to cover weekly attendance for three years, my heart will swell and I will walk away from Organization C satisfied.  3 1/2 months and counting…

Organization B…sigh…frustrates, but not as much as before.  As has previously been mentioned here, the arrival of L truly changed my outlook on it – she has since become a dear friend, and I had a bit of an epiphany about our relationship the other day:  she is my German Shoshana.  Having now had the chance to meet several of her friends, I have been able to see that she is one of those extraordinary people who attracts all sorts, and simply sees right past all the drama into the hearts and minds of those around her.  At any rate, it will be what makes her life endlessly successful, I’m sure, but she, like Shosh, is ever indifferent to her own mad skills in this department.  But back to our regularly scheduled ranting…

The feedback sessions have been going swimmingly.  Staff have raised concerns; these concerns have been addressed.  But now two of the four project officers have found new positions…and I fear N is still nowhere near conscious of her personal contribution to staff retention, nor the significance of retaining staff in the first place.  It’s not as though those who have left only just arrived – they’ve both been with the organization for years, and in many ways I’m very happy to see them moving forward with their careers…it’s just that I know the impetus for their decision to look elsewhere was mired in the feelings produced by their supervisor.  These are not feelings of inadequacy as such, but more a deepening lack of respect for someone who cannot appreciate the skills of the staff she supervises.

N has big hopes for a publication that would chronicle the work the organization has produced since its inception five years ago.  To that end, a committee has been formed and meetings have been held.  I’ve been tasked with (and happily accepted) the administrative side of things mostly…L and I switch off on taking and circulating minutes, but as I’m not part of the hands-on work and she is, she has a number of articles to produce for the publication and I don’t.  So I’m responsible for chasing people for their articles, keeping track of where things are, light editing, etc.  The truth is that we’re miles behind where we should be if the publication is to be launched by our target date, but then that’s often how things role here, so I’m not really stressing about it too much.  N continues to amaze me with her overwhelmingly contradictory character traits:  a fierce passion for working to improve the lives of others and a complete insensitivity for the impact of her behavior on other people’s lives…Case in point:  I traveled to Iligan for a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning that had been agreed roughly one month ago.  At 10:30 pm on Monday night, she texts to cancel.  Remember – it’s four hours both ways for me…so, yes – I traveled for 8 hours out of 24 for no reason…do you think she even hinted at an apology?  Ha.  Still, it is teaching me not to take myself so seriously, and to roll a bit more smoothly with the unceasing punches life offers…

I guess that’s it for now…not sure how I feel about the work I’ve done here so far…I suppose it wouldn’t make for a very exciting film, but I also know that I’m still learning on a minute-to-minute basis…out of one hand will hopefully fall some useful tools for some extraordinary organizations that it’s been both my honor and my hair shirt to support; into the other I will take lessons I could never have learned otherwise…and the beat goes on.

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3 thoughts on “Drums keep pounding…

  1. Mom says:

    Very insightful and informative. Excellent. Love you, MOM

  2. Shoshana Levin says:

    I just now read this. I am a little behind on my blog reading. It made me all warm and fuzzy. =)
    You’re awesome.

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