a bit of an explanation before i explain myself:
when chris told me he had found a project he wanted to work on, i began looking in the area in which his project would be based to find something that would suit my experience and skill set. this proved difficult – i found exactly zero organizations with websites, and only a list of registered NGO’s on a government website. but as they all had bisayan names and no description, I had no idea who they were or what they were about…not very helpful. i was getting ready to just turn up here and figure it out from there when one day, whilst sipping cider at our brixton local, i happened to meet a very nice woman who worked for an international development organization whose office was based at the time right next door to an organization i supported. i told her that i had seen on their website that they work in the philippines, but had been unable to find out more specifically what they do, so she told me she would put me in touch with the person who handles that region. things were looking up! after a few emails and a couple of meetings, i had met the person who handles things out here and agreed to reconnect once we arrived. a couple of projects – we’ll call them organizations A and B – i might be interested in were mentioned, and although i knew neither of them were exactly right for me, i thought, hey – i’ve got nothing else so far, so at least this is something.
[at precisely this moment, some excellent advice provided to me by someone who knows a lot more about this than i do had flown right out of my head. he said this: ‘your best bet is to wait until you get there so you can scope the area, know where you are and what will be accessible to you.’ but anyway – that was forgotten and i had a lead!]
so we arrived in mindanao and the idea was this: i would get in touch with this organization toute de suite and get working! i rang as soon as we got to manila and it took until two weeks after we’d arrived to sort out a meeting, but we had one! and of the two organizations that had been mentioned, the more appropriate option (A) seemed to now be entirely inappropriate as it is located in an area that’s a bit difficult to access due to some disagreements here between people, and so i met – and was completely and overwhelmingly inspired by – the founder of organization B, and just like that, i agreed to work for them. now this posed two major issues – one, i had never worked in the precise area in which they work, but no sweat – i’m up for learning new things; and two, it’s based like kinda far from where chris is based…like roughly three and a half hours away.
gee whiz…this is getting kinda long. i guess i shouldn’t have waited so long to update on my work, eh?
we decided to move to a city that was half-way between the two…thereby giving chris a commute of between 2 1/2 and 3 hours and me a commute of between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. we thought we’d only work two or three days per week in the office, and would spend the rest of the time working from home…this was going to work out fine. except we only have one computer. and the internet connection where we lived didn’t work. and we didn’t really like where we lived (for a number of reasons that necessitate a separate blog). this was compounded by the fact that things were only sometimes going well for me with organization B…more often than not i was feeling really confused about how i was supporting them, and i was really being asked to do the impossible. those of you who’ve had the chance to know me know that i am (horrible to admit this, but the truth will out anyway) a brown-nosing overachiever who has been called a perfectionist (although i’m sure that’s entirely inaccurate and the impression was mostly the inadvertent effect of my terminal tendency to procrastinate). but i do work hard, and i really do thrive off of positive feedback. and the nasty twist with the work i’ve been doing for organization B is that i’m completely and totally the wrong person to do it, i have none of the necessary tools or knowledge to do it well, and so the outcome is…well…not what i’m used to professionally, let’s say.
so. i have resigned. this is a record even for me – roughly five weeks (i think?) working with organization B and i’ve already written the dear john…and i’m not sure exactly how that will be received…my gut is telling me that it won’t be good – or at least i won’t have made any life-long friends out of the deal…but it’s done. and it is a serious relief because my battered and bruised ego simply could not take another failure. i suppose in retrospect i should have seriously not forgotten my friend’s advice (see bracketed foreshadowing above)…but then calmly waiting things out until the right thing comes along, allowing things to take their course and having faith are things i simply do not do. and i gotta be me, right?
to round off…i’ve been lucky enough to finally come across a more appropriate organization, based in CdO, where chris works…which i will henceforth refer to as organization C. now we’ve only met just the once, but it went well, i think. things there are not perfect…they’re about to lose funding and the founder isn’t in the best health. but they’re doing really great work, and i finally feel a bit of sense sneaking into my life here…not much to tell, but hopefully will have more news as the week progresses. oh, and we’re moving. so there’s that. hehe…guess we’ll have a lot to tell very soon.