Things are looking up! I haven't been writing much because...well...my situation had been pretty bleak and I didn't want to come off sounding miserable. However, that's exactly how I felt. I had written a journal entry about a month ago with the intention of posting it, but it was pretty harsh, so I decided against it. Just to give you a little idea, I was doing a lot of reflecting. I was thinking, I'm 28 years old and decided to join Peace Corps. I left a decent paying job, my friends who are all seeming to be getting married and/or having babies, family, my ailing grandmother who unfortunately has Alzheimer's...what was I thinking? A year ago I would've said I was searching for a job that makes me happy. You know, as the old Confucian epigram advises: choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Who doesn't want that? Well, after being seriously harassed by someone I trusted and having to change villages, moving into a seriously unfinished house with rodent roommates, my french STILL sucking, no potential work or reliable work partners and just seriously being homesick, I was wondering what the hell did I get myself into...this apparently wasn't the "job I love". Maybe I should be back in Maryland, working a 9 to 5 and settling down and starting a family. According to Togolese, I AM getting old and need to hurry and find a man before no one wants me *sign*. I was a bit frustrated as you can see ;-).
Today, however I feel much better and my outlook has changed. I have 3 projects I'm currently working on and ideas for future projects. I'm currently planning a vacation enterprise which is almost like a girls summer camp where I teach them business skills and help them make money during their summer vacation so that they can pay for school. Also, since I live in a tourist town/village, I'm also creating a website that showcase Agbodrafo's culture, beaches, hotels, etc. The 3rd project, I can't take credit for. I'm helping a Togolese counterpart with a school project. Will all these projects be successful? Probably not. The point is, I'm headed in the right direction and I'm happy about that. When it comes to development work, I've realized that things move SLOW and success can be hard to measure. You really have to find that happiness from within. Or as Blandine (our training manager) puts it, "happiness is in the heart".
Besides my projects, my house is FINALLY looking decent, lol. I've painted, placed a lock on my screen door, bought a fridge (pricey but sooo worth it), put in a window and placed bigger light fixtures in my living room and bedroom. It made a world of difference. Also, and most importantly, the friends I've made in Togo have been a Godsend, both Togolese and American. I can't even put into words how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life. Anyway, I'm excited for the future, whatever that may be. Till next time...
|My living room "before"|
|Veronica & Lucian (Fun Fact: this used to be Lucian's house)|
|"after" pic of my living rm|
|another "after" pic of my living rm|