It’s Not the Work …

It’s not the work. It’s the work it takes to do the work.

While probably true of most worthwhile endeavors, this statement has been a semi-mantra for me since January began and many changes occurred in my life as a Peace Corps volunteer.

The now buried lead to this post is that I’ve changed sites and therefore jobs. Since June I’ve been in Pocora working alongside a gift of a co-teacher (now friend) in the high school there and with a team working on the National English Festival which was hosted at nearby EARTH University in November. I was also squeezing in time with the national advisors of English and working on the English curriculum reform that’s underway.

As a result of my work on these projects we were able to introduce a new video at the festival that can be used with the new curriculum. Simultaneously, a proposed new volunteer that was to work with the national advisors of Ministerio de Educación Pública de Costa Rica didn’t quite work out. Since the advisors liked my previous work with the curriculum development and my work on the English video and festival, they asked if I could assist in the role left vacant. And that meant a site change from Pocora to near San Jose.

I’m now living with my first host family in a community called San Miguel and three days a week I commute to the MEP office to give input on themes, activities, vocabulary, etc. for the new curriculum. I am also assisting with the next national English Festival, video development, and a proposed new nationwide English campaign.

Being busy feeds my soul, so the fact that this was a hard first week had nothing to do with the amount of work that was accomplished (which was plenty).

The “ouch” is what you have to do to do the work – buses (LOTS of them), walks in heels (which I will be addressing in the future by changing shoes in the office), waiting on a computer that is connected to the Internet and therefore having to use mine and my phone data to connect, coordinating across cultural and language barriers with office mates and, to some extent, generational barriers with other volunteers.

Plus it’s rather expensive to live in the Capitol city. The other two days of the week will fortunately be out of my house so I’ll be saving on bus fares (sometimes taxis when the work goes long and it’s not safe to bus it) and some meals but I still have to pay rent and I hate that I can’t give my very gracious host what she really deserves.

So … this post finds me quite thrilled to be facing new challenges and slightly worn out as well.

Still the work is the thing and, gratefully, the work is rewarding. And, when all else fails to soothe or salve, I have time with friends … like today’s Super Bowl event, my yoga class, and a nice long walk!

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Started in Tennessee, spent time in Alabama and made way to Costa Rica after 20 years in Texas. I've focused on communications professionally in the worlds of church, government and nonprofits. Now I'm feeding my longtime love of volunteering as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica. Just in case you don't know me very well ... The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

2 thoughts on “It’s Not the Work …”

  1. What a fantastic time I had being able to experience some of the “what” and “who” of your life now in Costa Rica; I saw first-hand some of the work it takes simply to do the work. Wow. I almost kissed my car when I got back to the airport! I loved seeing some of the places and people that you’ve referenced over this past year. Finally, I now have an image to match the names, and more importantly, I was able to experience the impact that you’re having. Your joy is Texas BIG, and it’s contagious! Things are falling into place and you almost make it seems effortless–now, we all know better–but, you wear it well…even trekking miles in heels to get to a meeting. Hang in there, friend. Very proud of what you and all of the other volunteers are doing over there!

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