Sunday, March 10, 2013

Another milestone passed

Already its time for my last training to get ready for working on projects in the village. The past 3 months have gone by so fast. Life in the village is going well. Lots of stories which I will try and get better at writing down in the future. But mostly I've spent the past couple of months settling into my village and getting to know the area/people.

One major update that will probably help my presence online is the edition of ELECTRICITY in the village. I didn't think I'd be so excited about getting daily access to electricity, but now that it's becoming a reality I've decided to take full advantage of it. I always thought electricity was one of those things I was just going to have to give up for the next couple of years, and I was completely fine about that. I have been in country for about 6 months by now and most of that time has been spent living without access to electricity, which has actually been quite enjoyable and I've adjusted accordingly. But now all of a sudden the power company has chosen my village as one of the villages in the country to be eligible for a special promotion offering to hook up houses to the power lines for an extremely low rate. Best of all its courtesy of a U.S. development program. Because of this the village government asked me to help finance the installation of all the necessary wiring within the house and they offered to pay the rest. My house is technically owned by the village, and since the promotion is only good for the next couple of months, they were worried if they didn't hook up the house with electricity now they wouldn't be able to afford to do it in the future. So now my house has got outlets and light sockets... (even in the outside bathroom!) and now I'm just waiting for the power company to come and connect the house to the power lines. Don't think I'll be totally spoiled now though. I'm still living on a budget and I can't afford to get a fridge or tv or anything like that. But it'll be nice to have some more light at night and be able to charge things more easily. Which possibly means more updates to the blog!

Overall though I'm hopeful that the availability of electricity will help give more opportunities to people in the village to possibly take on small businesses and help them get more income instead of relying on just what they harvest. We'll see what direction they take though... Already the first few villagers with electricity have used the opportunity to invest in rather nice speaker systems so that music can be blasted for the better part of the day... Starting at 7 am... I'm hoping this novelty will wear off once they see how fast they're going through their electricity credit.

In other news, as I said earlier I'm starting my last training before I get started on actual projects, which means I've finished my report of the village, which has been what all of my work has revolved around the past couple of months. To get the information I needed for the report I got to visit all of the sub-villages in my community, talk with lots of families, and I even tried a bit of farming. Turns out using an ox powered plow is significantly harder than driving a tractor. I think I did more harm than good by "helping" my friend plant peanuts and sunflowers. Although after a couple of tries I got the hang of scattering peanuts in a straight line while speed walking ahead of a pair of ox and hoping they don't catch up with me. If those peanuts don't grow well though I fully plan on denying any involvement in their planting... Or just say it must have been the bad weather, which is probably a real reality this year...

Excited for a change of pace and looking forward to learning how to actually create projects in the village. Also the mama that's been helping me out a lot is coming next week as my counterpart to learn about how we can effectively work together to get stuff done. Should be a good time.

That's all I've got for now, until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are adjusting well and doing ok. Interesting to hear about the electricity! I am sure you will take full advantage, it sounds like they are :) I hope your last training/projects go well. Hope to hear from you soon!