Sunday, May 20, 2007

Vacation and work

Well, I'll be honest with you, it's good to be back in Niger. I never really thought I'd here myself say that, but it's true. (not that it wouldn't be better to be back home, mind you) Vacation had it's high points and it's low points, just like any other part of Peace Corps. I definitely learned that the gender count has to balance for a successful trip, and one must be willing to go on one's own if the need arises. I spent the first week with just Alison and Rachel. They are very nice girls and good friends, but I felt like a third wheel. They also tended to get plenty of attention from the local males, and didn't seem to mind. That left me to either tag along and be bored, or go out on my own, which was difficult as my french was horrid, and the Beninese weren't so great with the English. It was still a pretty relaxing trip, and it was very nice when Seabass came and met us there 1 week in. It gave me someone to talk to as well, and it was easier to break into groups. Unfortunately, I ran short of cash a few days early and ended up going home by myself, which is a long story you don't want to hear, and I don't want to rehash. If I were doing it again, I would ditch the girls, stay in the cheap rasta hotel on the beach for half the price, and eat street food. On that plan I could have stayed there a month! maybe next time...

I seem to have that problem a lot on vacations, though. I tend to not like to spend exorbitant amounts of money on vacation, and like to go with the cheapest accommodations and food around. Often that's the only way I can afford to go in the first place. I'm perfectly happy to slum around and just enjoy a new backdrop. I must not be very good at explaining that ahead of time to other travelers, though. Either that or I just end up going with the group, even if I can't really afford it. I'm starting to think I should just get a trusty hound to bum around with and call it good.

Work wise, I'm still waiting to start the RR position. I know the bureau has plenty to deal with right now, but I really would like a satisfying job, something I can do that will make me feel useful. I'm hoping to find something out tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. The frustration really gets to me sometimes. Not just with the job, but with pcv's in general. I would have thought they would, as a group, have more respect for others than they show here. Don't get me wrong, the vast majority are great people, especially on an individual basis. It's when there is anything unmarked siting around and people take before asking, or you get a large group and they get carried away with the partying. Arg. I really need to get a different house, the hostel is nice and all, but I don't think I can take living there for another 10 months. I am supposed to get a house as the RR, but as with any bureaucracy, I don't think it's gonna be this week... Micheal did offer to let me crash with him for a while. It would be a nice break, a mini vacation at the very least.

I'm not really complaining, well I am, but not for sympathy or anything. I pretty much have my own self to thank for this situation. It's amazing sometimes how lots of little things and decisions end up together and you just stop one day and think, " How on earth did this happen?!" It's not always a bad thing, but sometimes it's just one of those things and you just have to step back and figure out what to do next so you don't end up worse off than before. Overall, I'm doing okay, and don't worry, if things go wonky, I've always got the option to wash my hands of the whole thing.