My first glimpses of hope of actually having a purpose here! I haven't started at the pre-school yet, that'll be Monday. BUT I met with the women's group today that farms on the land that the nuns have. I'm meeting again with them on Friday to guhinga (farm) and just try and talk to them to get to know them better. I'm hoping I can ingratiate myself enough to be able to start asking about their lives and getting info that I can use to actually help them. Part of the plan is to help them with nutrition classes, which are great...BUT I'd like to find out what THEY think they need. I do like that part of the Peace Corps model of development. I do think it's extremely important to sit down and hash out what's important for them, what they see their problems as, and what they see as their resources and what they can bring to the table. It makes it exceedingly more difficult because you have to reconcile their grievances with your capabilities and what's real and possible in 2 years. I think this might be the most difficult part of PC, because you want to help so much and they want the help...but first you have to figure out how AND you have to accept that it's not possible to do all the things you want to do and they want you to help with. It's so hard to look these people in the eye and tell them, "I have no idea how to help...but I'll figure it out!"
Part of the problem with the muzungu mystique is that they expect you to be able to solve all their problems, quickly and easily. So I guess the first part of my work is explaining that it's not easy and that we'll have to figure it all out together.