Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lovely job by a fellow volunteer

Hi all,
Just wanted to share this video done by a fellow volunteer, Travis Meier. You can read about the project here. Travis left to go home today. It was really sad.

Things are going well this week. Danone came today (yes, the people that make Activia and Evian water) because they will mostly likely fund our causality study. I think we impressed them with our enthusiasm and the number of volunteers that showed up on a Sunday, though we are not paid nor were we obligated to go.

The drama has passed, even though things are still a little strange with the staff change-up, but I think it is (mostly) for the best. My colleagues on the Legal Team are really just as good as ever, and I am really pleased with what we have done so far. It took us awhile to get into the flow of the work, but now I think we are working at a good pace and our visions are aligned with each other. Also, I'm really happy to be considered an actual staff member now, and not a volunteer. It's better for the ol' resume, if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, despite finally reaching this happy place, I was thrown into a project that was never mine to begin with (after the other staff members were let go). I had to go to the community and conduct 8 interviews with current and former sugarcane workers. Because there are so few of us that can speak almost fluent Spanish, I was selected to go, even though it has nothing to do with my legal work. The Foundation collaborates with a man working on his PhD at the University of London, so one of us had to conduct the interviews for him. The results will take awhile to type up. So that sort of ruined my week for the legal stuff. Oh well.

As a reward for such a tough week, our boss is taking us to Esteli next weekend! Esteli is in the highlands of the country. The climate is much cooler, which I'm looking forward to. Also, it is quiet. There is no electricity or running water, however, sooooo that's always interesting!

I am beginning to worry about reverse culture shock when I return home to the states, especially after working with such a tough subject. The whole "first world problems" bullshit will most likely really get to me. So, as a warning to my friends and family reading this, please keep everything in perspective. The thing you may be freaking out about right now is nothing compared to what others have to deal with on a day to day basis. (Yes, that advice is for myself, too, as I often think about my law school grades and start having mini-heart attacks). I also want to start sharing more, complaining less, working out, eating right, and all of the other good stuff that I've been missing in my life.

A conversation that touched me today discussed between two other volunteers:
"Here, I bought you these from the market today."
"Oh, you bought them for me? Oh yay! I'm going to share them with everyone!"

And with that, I'm out. Peace. :-)

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