Thursday, December 17, 2015

Failure Report

There's this thing some organizations do now where they issue failure reports. The idea is that we always publicize our successes, even though much of what we do is not clearly good, or even neutral. Imagine a water tank being installed--three years later, is that tap working? If it isn't working, and no one's gone to fix it, that's a failed project. So, to sum up a few things in my life, I want to add some balance to this blog. I don't always succeed with what I try to do, and I think it's interesting to talk about what hasn't gone well here.

One thing that hasn't gone so well is my extension. I've been working for the National Disaster Management Office in Malampa Province. Honestly ... I don't even think I've exchanged more than four or five emails with anyone from that office. So I don't think I can actually say that I work for NDMO. I work with my counterpart ... and he works for NDMO... and I work with another colleague, who has recently gone on suspension. But it's really actually a little unnerving feeling like I work for an organization I have zero contact with. I'm proud of the awareness events my colleagues and I have done in our province but I often feel like I'm an independent volunteer. I mean, who do I even work for? The only people who contact me are Peace Corps, and I know that this is silly, but I got this phone call inviting me to the NDMO Christmas party several hours after it had started. That burns. My friends who extended have had their challenges but at least they get invited to their Christmas parties.

Another thing that's not been going so well is my grant project. I have this grant to do awareness events, and we've done a lot of them, but there's over $2,000 left at this point and not a lot of time to do them in. It's been hard to schedule events, harder to actually go and do them, and it makes me feel pretty bad that it's been this hard to do. I was pretty excited to start it but the whole experience has been like pulling teeth. It has really cured me of the desire to continue working in this field.

On a positive note, I'm going to Tongariki tomorrow! Or, rather, I'm boarding on the barge tomorrow night and I'll get to Tongariki in the morning. I will be there for some indefinite time frame, preferably 3-7 days, and it'll be really great to see my host family and all of my friends there. And then there will be Christmas! And then it will be another month and a half and I will get to leave.