So my uncle asked:Â “… how much of your mission is structured and how much do you just make up in situ? ”
Well, I essentially make it all up.Â I don’t have a job to go to everyday, I don’t have an office, and I am responsible for finding and developing my own projects.Â This can be hard; it means cold calling on school principals, NGO’s, and businesses, trying to figure out what they do, and then explain myÂ goals inÂ French to strangers who may think that Peace Corps are either a good source of money or we are agents for the CIA.Â Â (For the record, we are neither.)Â
Then, when starting a project it takes a while to figure out just what people are trying to get from you.Â It is not always clear if someone is actually excited about the project or they just want people to see them around town with the white person (oh the prestige).Â Men likeÂ spreading rumors that they are dating me.Â Some people don’t believe that I really don’t have millions of dollars and a room full of computers to give them, or at least considerable influence at the embassyÂ which will grease their way towards a visa.Â This creates an aura of yes men and I need to figure out who is genuine.
This is harder than it sounds, and I love it.Â Well, ok the latent racism and inferiority complex is extremely troublesome.Â But I love the challenges, the freedoms, and the creativity.Â I have several mini projects (most English related) and several bigger projects ( most computer related).Â Some are more successful than others, but I’m learning and laughing as much as possible.