Month 18: suck it up kid, it’s needed
[Insert post about being on vacation for ten days in
Oops! I mean Little America. No. That’s not right. Oh! The touristy part of Cape Town sounds more like it.]
Vacations don’t really relate to my service and thus, I don’t see the point in writing about them. But hey! School has started up again. I’m ready for my last six-seven months of service!
What do those months entail, you wonder?
That. Cataloguing, categorizing and shelving all the books we recently received. I’ve catalogued 1,000 books or so now, and I’m only half way done. I can power through one box (about 100) books a day. Sitting in the same position. At the same table. Listening to the same music. Like a robot.
Yes, it drives me crazy. I’m not the type of person to have a desk job. (Unfortunately, my co-workers can’t help me with this process because it involves Microsoft Excel; many still don’t know how to use a computer.)
But in the Peace Corps, sometimes you just have to do things you don’t enjoy because your community needs it. My school needs a functional library, so I gotta suck it up!
Boxes that are done
Boxes to go
Anyone want to take a wild guess how long this will take me? I’m hoping to have them all numbered and typed into Excel by the end of January. (Winner gets Shania Twain’s autobiography from the 90s I found in a box!)
At the end of the day, we PCVs understand why we are needed. We are flexible and open to such projects because we may have the time, resources and skills to do so and help our communities take a step forward. We forget about the mundane process and remember the end result. This project is quite a big leap forward for my community. And after all, that’s why I’m here, even if it can be boring sometimes.
I’ll keep chugging along until these books are done. After that, guess what? We’ll be getting another container of books for more Peace Corps schools that didn’t benefit from our first container. No joke. This is possible through a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Books for Africa and Peace Corps South Africa and a generous grant from the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation in Nigeria. I’m taking the back seat on this and just gave the DOE a list of Peace Corps schools to deliver to in due time.
The book craziness will dwindle soon; I know I have to plan more activities that are on-the-spot, hit the heart rewarding with my favourite colleagues and learners.
I plan on doing after-school youth development activities with my grade six girls, an arts and crafts club with my counterpart, teaching my principal computer skills, helping make English assignments for grade 4 and 5 and any other fun activity I can whip up. I’m not teaching a class this school year and will be focusing on secondary projects. (Hallelujah!) Sky’s the limit for project ideas! If you have any for me, send ’em my way.
On the Peace Corps timeline, seven months is nothing. (Only two school terms until my close of service conference.) Wait, what? TIME! Hai bo! Uyaphi?! Stop it! Where are you going?
Back to the grind refreshed and motivated.
Yours in service,