July 16, 2007

After fielding numerous questions as to what exactly I’m doing here in the ‘Baijan this is the best explanation I can give.  You may skip ahead to the next paragraph if you really don’t care to know.   

Right now the whole lot of us is in our 3 months of training.  We are taking the all important language classes, (4 hours a day, M-Sat) attempting to absorb the culture and getting ‘comfortable’ with interacting with the community.  Additionally, twice a week we have meetings, bringing all the YD volunteers together, for sessions on how to work with the AZ youth, professional development for working with various organizations, and understanding where we fit in the community.  Along with all that, we have various books and resources that we read (are supposed to be reading…) detailing the demographics, issues, organizations, and people who have worked with/done assessments of youth in AZ and other countries.  We are given numerous mini projects, everything from planning out the best way to connect with a community to suggestions on how to gain trust with the AZ people. (Family is very important, and building relationships is done through talking and drinking Chy for hours).   And then each of us individually is required to asses our own strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to what we can offer the youth.  Did I mention the conversation clubs?  I’ll be working with four 15 year old kids, 3 hours each week until Sept when they go back to school.  My responsibility is to introduce them to English in a fun way, involve them in enriching projects and develop a meaningful relationship with each one.  Seriously.  I may have mentioned this, but I have to detail everything I do with the club; tracking what works and doesn’t; compiling all my info at the end; when by then my scribbles will have resulted in valuable information for my permanent assignment.  To clear confusion, I’m not in my permanent site, the language lessons from FL will not continue past Sept, nor will I be living with the same family.  I don’t find out for a few weeks where I’ll end up for the next 2 years.  Once at my site, I’ll be living with a host family for 6 months; at the end of 6 months I’ll have the option to find my own flat or stay with the family.  Did I miss anything?


To top it all off my body refuses to adjust to ‘Baijan time, so I find myself unable to sleep at night, then unable to wake up.  (I’ve never liked waking up anyway, b/c usually, right when I’m supposed to wake, is when the best dreams are happening).  I had a funny experience when I first got to my host home.  In the confusion of awkward sleeping arrangements, going from Matt’s to Parents, plane to hotel, bus to plane (and being propped up against Ryan, and DeeMoe with Katie sprawled across us all, violating every airline safety regulation on proper sleeping behavior), bus to new hotel, bus to new home, I work up and though I was back at Matt’s convinced the last 4 days had been one hella dream.  Thankfully, it wasn’t just a dream.  Tho I do kinda miss Neko!!

One Response to “explanation”

  1. Ben said

    Cool to know what’s up. I saw you a bunch of times on Saturday, hopefully the photos make it back to you.

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