Oh, my…it’s been a while. So, gentle readers (those of you who might still be around), please forgive the random direction this post may take. I’ve kind of lost my knack. Writing is something that grows rusty when one’s out of practice, and I’m indeed far, far out there. It isn’t just the blog…I haven’t written in my journal once since we landed in Ecuador. I’ve written a few emails to very close friends and family, but only sparingly, and that’s been difficult. I’m not sure that not writing has been the best way to cope, but I cannot say we haven’t grown, or that I haven’t learned.
In any kind of humanitarian work, one of the most vital aspects is monitoring and evaluation, or M&E. I have a healthy relationship with this – it’s the part of the work I find the most valuable, and I have applied it to my professional and personal life without exception. Over the years M&E has become, depending on the organization, MEAL (monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning) or PMEL (planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning). The common denominator there, and something I find indispensable, is learning. So let this post serve as my personal lessons learned workshop. You are invited. Coffee will be served.