Friday, July 2, 2010

On usefulness, or best use of skills and nuns

As a volunteer, i am frequently requested to help with a wide variety of tasks, about many of which i know little to nothing. When the opportunities arise for me to help in areas better aligned with my expertise, it has been a real joy. This past week, i was afforded several of these opportunities.

I was originally invited to serve as an information technology volunteer, and suppose that a good portion of my work does involve i.t., just not in the ways I expected. I assist another volunteer in making a monthly newsletter for all volunteers and staff in south africa, and the two of us, a few months ago, came us with the idea of having an i.t, workshop during the world cup school break (we get an extra week). Although the peace corps approved our idea, they said there was no money for food, lodging or travel, so we would have to arrange for these ourselves. Not to be dissuaded, my friend and drafted an itenerary of relevant topics, he wrote the proposal, found a venue, got some spouses to help with cooking, and away we went.

Three days were spent discussing best practices and advice for teaching computer literacy (that was me), cloning hard drives, virus and anti-virus, file sharing, among other things. I also helped cook on day 3, which was awesome. I adore cooking for people, and cooking WITH people is something i have learned to enjoy while i have been here. Taking it easy, better planning and timing, not taking it too seriously, and bonding time with different people was the highlight of the week.

The venue was the site where my friend and his wife stay during their service, and it happens to be at a catholic mission. The ladies stayed with the sisters in the convent, and they were super. Three of them come from ireland, and one is a local motswana. The fathers allowed us the use of the rectory for the kitchen space and utilities, and we had a great time there. It was so pleasant to be in an atmosphere of love and godliness all week. The grounds were full of flowers, trees, dogs and rabbits, and some lush mountains.

Wedged in a taxi like a tinned fish, i am now on my way home after a whirlwind three weeks of travel. It will be nice to be in one place for awhile, until the next time.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds awesome. I like the phrase, "wedged in a taxi like a tinned fish." I can really imagine what that would be like.