Wednesday, September 30, 2009

no more wasting time!

At this point in time it seems as though devoting a significant amount of my time to finding a job is pointless. We thought the momentum for Jason's organization in South Africa was starting to take off and we had even started house/apartment hunting in Pietermaritzburg so we could get ready for the next phase. We loved the idea of Pietermaritzburg because it's smaller and more manageable than Durban. Despite finding a gorgeous dream house that was within our budget and the city limits I had to let go of that dream, at least temporarily. All of a sudden Jason's bosses wanted to send him to Zimbabwe in order to make adequate use of Jason's time/skills. Although a great idea, at the time I didn't want to have anything to do with it because I wanted to feel settled. As fortune would have it, my trip home for Katie's wedding was right around the same time, so I was able to step out of that mindset and get some perspective on it. Although having a home base is an ultimate goal of ours, the idea of being able to head to Zimbabwe for a few months was more in line my original ideas for living abroad - being able to experience different countries and cultures. And here we have a perfect opportunity to do just that.

So my outlook has changed and I'm really excited about going to Zimbabwe. Jason's bosses are known to change their minds and all of a sudden I was really worried that they would change their minds again and we wouldn't get to go. But now, there's no going back and we're quite literally on the road to Zimbabwe. After the latest robbery incidents, I'm actually desperate to get out of South Africa for awhile.

Plus, here I am, jobless and honestly having no in-depth understanding of the work that I am trying to land. A lot of people have asked me what I want to do and all I can provide is a fluffy non-descript answer. Development work - but what exactly is development and how do I fit into the grand scheme of it all? Good questions and it's time for me to stop side stepping the answers. So I've created a plan, a curriculum so to speak, with the goal that I end up with a better understanding of the overall picture of International Development. There is no excuse for me to continue wasting time and avoiding this learning opportunity - I have a library of resources right at my finger tips because Jason enjoys reading books on this topic so I can start now. The next couple of months I've decided won't just consist of me floating around from day to day, with no real purpose. And actually, I've heard that there may be more job opportunities for me in Zimbabwe than South Africa so that's also promising and exciting.

My first assignment is already in progress: read and report on The White Man's Burden by William Easterly - catchy phrase on the cover: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. I've read the first chapter and I'm hooked. If anyone can recommend any other good reading material for my personal curriculum, I'm open to any and all suggestions! Discussions are welcome too.

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