Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mid Service Frustrations

I've been here a year now, and what have I done???????????

This is a question that I pose to myself, and I´m sure other volunteers do the same, almost everyday. Honestly, I haven't organized many activities, I haven't formed any women empowerment groups, I haven't tackled literacy, so what have I done?????

Concrete things that I've done. Taught 4 basic computer classes, maybe inspired a board change for our volunteer group at the youth center, organized a few activities (hikes, volunteer stuff), started monthly employee meetings at the youth center, and volunteered at a soccer school. That's about it. Have I made a difference???

As I go through all these mid-service trainings and hear about 0ther volunteers activities, I am constantly judging myself against the other volunteers to the point that it becomes stressful. Some are doing life skill summer camps, some building tanks of water and others starting english conversation clubs. What can I do?

I know now that I don't like organizing events, too much hustle and bustle and stress. I don't really like teaching english, nor really promoting the learning of english. I really don't want to directly teach life skills to kids that just want to play soccer. So, where do I go from here????

I recently turned down the opportunity to teach another computer class for a multitude of reasons, but principally because I want to do something different. Like many organizations and people, I think the youth center is stuck in its ways. They do what they know and are fairly hesitant to try anything that they haven't tried before. Very risk averse. So, I have to take that risk for them. This next year is about being different. I won't being as concerned with trying to fit in and will try to assert myself a little more. Start some new ideas. Maybe they don't catch on, but hopefully the idea and the intiative catches on.


1 comment:

  1. I've been there buddy and you're right, it's all about spreading new ideas and taking the risk on yourself :) You're already an integrated member of your community... once you take the lead amazing things will begin to happen. You've done everything right in the first year... now you've set yourself up to stand out.

    Also, you forgot about your radio show! :) A first in Cape Verde and a model for Volunteers throughout the country.