Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shifting Gears

Gears have shifted a bit. I was revving up to get a latrine building project going, but due to the water situation everything has been put on hold. I’m going with my nurse and a president of an association here to meet with the president of the Commune to see what we can do to move the process of buying a pump along. That should be interesting. I had a 2 hour conversation with several individuals in the community the other day. Actually I should say I was present for the conversation. I tried to keep up but everyone was speaking faster than I could process the words and by the time I understood the word they had moved on and the meaning escaped me. I caught things here and there; suffice it to say that tensions were high. I got my input in there a bit and actually think I communicated quite well what I wanted to say. The gist is this…

I’m here for public hygiene and am not interested in who gets the credit for building the chateau. Right now there is no water and I’m going to work with whoever can help us get water.

I’m going to attempt something tomorrow which could throw everything off though. I’m not the most resilient multi-tasker on the face of the planet and I’m going to try and start setting up the latrine building project with the assumption that the chateau is going to get finished. It’s a risky move I know but a necessary one if I am going to make some headway before I go back to the States for Lee’s wedding and finish both projects by the time my service is finished next May. I’m going to a friend’s house about 3 km down the road where my new site mate will be hosted in a month. He doesn’t have a latrine and is having to build one, as Peace Corps policy won’t allow for volunteers to be in homes that don’t have latrines. I’m going to get his building schedule and try to track how this thing goes up, how much the materials cost and various other logistical details so that when the time comes to start this project, I won’t be completely taken off guard.

On a random note, I couldn’t think of the English word for “piping” when I was talking to my programming staff earlier today. I could only think of the French and Arabic words. It’s starting to get bad… the languages are all mixed up in there.

No comments: