As a volunteer in a new community life can be pretty intense. There are moments when you just want to shut down and stop meeting and engaging people. There are moments when you get rather frustrated at the acceptance in things that can easily change. You sometimes just do not want to leave your home. Going out will just invite all that unwanted attention to yourself. The constant barrage of sexual innuendos or blatant requests can just make you want to shut your door and never come out.
Hiding, however, is not really part of my personality. I like to face things head on. So I go out and create projects and hope that somehow the community figures it out. There are those certain interactions that require being faced head-on and those are the ones that I pull on all of my resources to avoid conflict. I have had a conversation with a man who turned into a very uncomfortable situation and I have been avoiding him. He made a fool of himself and made me realize that even an innocent conversation can turn ugly very quickly. Sorry man, there is no way in the world that I will ever have more babies and I certainly am not in love with you so pulling that card out was a foolish move.
One thing I have been trying to accomplish is to get the community to become involved. One of the tools Peace Corps has given to us is a Needs Assessment and prioritization. I have tried on several occasions to get this done, but it seems that it will never happen. Just like a seasonal calendar is not going to happen, nor are any other types of assessments. However, something way more important is beginning to emerge. Out of my bi-weekly meetings a potential Citizen’s Association is forming. If we can get this group diverse enough to represent the majority of the community, great things can happen. I am thrilled to see this at least being discussed.
I have been on a mission for the past month to really get a multi-purpose court and a playground built. The Citizen’s Association would be the group to spearhead such a project, and it could easily be the catalyst too much bigger and meaningful projects. There are so many things that are needed, that sometimes it feels hopeless. I do know that getting a court would increase my interactions with the girls and ladies in the community, and that would make my life more meaningful!