Saturday, December 26, 2009

My life such as it is

It's been a busy couple weeks with very little time around the ol' computer, so I've kind of continued the downward spiral on blogging. Beyond simply being busy, I have noticed that lately my mental capacities seem to be in decline, and I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of my time staring at walls. I had heard that this is normal (not the wall staring but the mental decline), considering this is the first time I've spent a full year away from structured learning since I learned to count. My experience may be a bit exacerbated by the fact that at the same time I have been forced to go cold turkey on a pretty crippling case of Internet Inspired ADD. When I arrived here, it took the epitome of effort to do only 2 or 3 things at once. Thankfully, with a lot of dedicated noneffort and hard nonwork, I made it to the other side.

I can now comfortably say that I could hold my own with the best of them in a do-nothing contest. Sit in the shade and eat sweet fruits? Done. Stare at a wall pondering the best way to fry an egg for 45 minutes? Way ahead of you. Trace little circles on the desktop with the cursor? Cancel all my appointments for the afternoon. In short, its basically my Dad's worst nightmare and I'm unlearning 18 years of indoctrination to "go out there and be somebody." Instead I think I'd rather just take it slow and lazy. If anybody hears of a job opening for a surf instructor or tiki-bar manager (it would have to be no experience necessary) send it my way. Graduate school, probably someday. For now I'm cool to just be.

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea, I'll also stand by my skills on the open market at plopping down in a random 3rd world country with a few thousand dollars and a small handful of phone numbers and setting-up a functioning NGO in several months. I came here to nothing with very moderate prospects, by the time of my departure we will have had 14 employees from 6 universities and 3 countries through the project, conducted innumerable trainings and one day seminars, and obtained a solid inside-out understanding of development and microfinance in practice in Africa.

*By the way, the conversation I just had at this moment:*
My roommate: Have you written a resume with your Uganda work on it yet?
Me: Nope. That's what I'm supposed to be doing right now.
Roommate: But instead you're sitting on the couch with a tshirt-turban on your head writing a blogpost about how lazy you are?
Me: Yup.

I guess a quick update on my situation is in order. On the 31st of this month my term as Field Director of this organization comes to an end. After the initial 6 month stint that ended in September, I signed on for another stretch which was great. Despite a heap of reservations, I won't be accepting the offer for another 3-6 months on the job. This is not because I don't like the work or the organization, but because I think it's just time for me to move on to a new challenge. Part of me knew it was time to leave Uganda the first time I successfully took a matatu from one place I'd never been to another place I'd never been for the proper price without any significant disasters. So come January first I'm out of here and going to hit the road. The plan is to essentially go the next few months with as little planning as possible. I'm still piecing together my travel plans, but right now I'm thinking I'll head mostly South. First on the list is Malawi because I've heard its really cheap- even by Africa standards. I have this little idea bouncing around in my head of walking/canoeing across a significant portion of the country, since its 1) really small and 2) bordered along one full side by a tropical Lake. And they say Malawi has some of the best freshwater scuba diving in the world. To get to Malawi I'll have to go south through Tanzania, maybe stopping in Zambia for a bit. Then on to Mozambique to hit the pristine beaches and switch my mango eating to coconuts. Finally, since I'm going to be in Southern Africa I'm going to do my best to cash in on the lifelong dream of sharkdiving (You here me calling Noah?). Other than those, I'm just going to be taking it as it comes. If anybody wants to quit whatever they're doing and join me for a week or whatever, I love travel buddies.

So that's my life in a nutshell. It's Christmas, it's easily 80 degrees in the shade, and I have not a care in the world (aside from feeding myself) (and the hiv). I hope everyone at home wherever they are is having a great holiday with the people they care about. And lastly, finally, of course, Happy Hanukkah Dad (and anyone else of the Jewish persuasion).

1 comment:

  1. Just ran into your blog. It sounds like you lead a very interesting life! I love your sense of humor and what a great way to spend your time!

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