I have just finished a very discouraging week. Well….actually, I’m not done yet. I still have a day and a half to go. This week I’ve come to the realization that volunteer work is still work—just as mundane and frustrating as any other job, only you don’t get paid for your efforts.
I just finished trying to teach the group of home-schooled teenagers…impossible. These are the kids that Didi didn’t send to school because she was afraid they would get involved and gangs and drugs. I went in to teach them believing fully that if I just went in there with enough energy and preparation that things would go smoothly. Wrong. These kids are masters at slouching, ignoring, and speaking about things that have nothing to do with the English lesson (although, I can’t honestly say they weren’t, because they were all speaking in a different language). Sigh. I only teach them for the next week until Paul gets back from his visa run in Cambodia….but I really want to TEACH them….not just bore them for an hour every day. I can’t decide if I need to be more creative or more strict—maybe both. I came up with educational games for the kids to play, and they simply refused to cooperate. They seemed to respond better when I had them sit around the table and lectured to them about the subject. Isn’t that a little abnormal? I thought kids were supposed to learn better with hands on, interactive things….I’m really confused.
Also, I’m MAJORLY struggling with the fundraising end of things here. The internet here is not reliable and is often not working for half of the day. The information I need access to is not easily available, and, to make matters worse, I’ve never written a grant before in my life. I’m the only person they have working on fundraising right now, and they’re asking me to raise 21,000 dollars for a tractor before we run out of clean water in March. Needless to say, I’ve been feeling kind of frustrated at times (yes, that was an understatement.)
Why am I here? Am I even making a difference? Can I do this day after day for six whole months?
On a happier note, I saw this the other day:
It made me smile.