Sunday, April 26, 2009

there's nothin' that a hundred men or more could ever do

(more Liberia-thinking updates)

I've been wanting to write this update for a while now, but would not let myself till I finished my class! It was due today, so I'm done! I can't tell you how great it is to have that off my mind and be able to focus on other stuff now.

So the plan has changed: apparently "prime" - the main organization we'll be partnering with - still needed to get some documentation in that just wasn't going to be doable, so they're asking for an extension of the initial project date to July or August. However, they are planning to send someone (who's currently in Bogata!) to Liberia in May to start getting things organized. Once that was known, Shelter and the other partner organizations pretty quickly decided that that would be a great time to get set up as well.

The change is great for me. I'm actually going to be able to go with Mustafa in May, so I'll get to be a part of all the initial planning and set-up and contact making, along with him. Then (if I sense that this whole 2-year thing is a "yes") I'll be able to go in July or August and actually start with the start of the project rather than coming in midstream and taking over from an interim project manager, which the original June plan would have entailed.

The bad news is that the shift to May puts the trip smack over our upcoming Pictured Rocks backpacking trip. :( We're trying to sort out right now what to do about that - delay it, or do it anyway... I don't want them to delay it on my account, but I'm super-bummed to miss as well. Why do good things all have to happen at once?! :)

In the meantime (and in the midst of mad studying, and trying to somewhat-train for the upcoming 5K Soleburner run), I've been trying to sort out immunization stuff (this egg allergy things really makes things ridiculously complicated! - but just try to infect me with polio or Hep A or B now!) and read/learn more about the country. I've contacted one person who's lived there and now is back in the States, and I'm hoping to talk with her this week.

A few cool updates on the country: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (the president) has been going around the U.S. taking interviews and promoting her new book. Just this week Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart hosted and interviewed her - and it's worth watching if you haven't seen it (click here if the video below doesn't work):
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor
Also, I thought this was a really informative interview of her by NPR: - it's really informational.

Jen got me This Child Will be Great for my birthday and it came in the mail this week - so I started reading it last night as soon as I hit "submit" on my last homework assignment. So far, it's great!

Regarding the decision: several things have fallen almost eerily into place. Example: I stopped by my eye doctor on a whim, just to see how long my last contact exam was good for. It was expiring the next day! So I was able to order contacts for 2 years (don't tell them I'll stretch it out that long! :) without needing to pay for another exam. Don't want to read too much into stuff like that, but I am grateful!

I did tell my boss & coworkers about this possibility on Friday - which is a relief. I don't like feeling like I'm hiding information. When I get back in May - decision (hopefully!) in tow - we'll try to figure out succession planning for my role. That will be interesting!

So, the plan is that Mustafa will get tickets for May 16-28 tomorrow - if that changes again, I'll let you know!

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