Funding woes and village effort.
So, as tech savvy as I like to consider myself to be, I have apparently managed to miss the fact that I have been recieving comments on my blog for the past year. Apparently my settings are such that I have to approve them before they are published or whatever and I somehow always managed to miss the fact that I had a bunch sitting there waiting to be moderated. But some new changes to the blogger dashboard interface brought this to my attention. So today I went through and read and moderated all the comments and I just want to thank all of you who have posted your words of encouragement and appreciation. It's nice to know that people enjoy reading what I post. I also want to appologize to anyone who made comments in the past to which a reply was either requested or just appropriate. My bad and I now that I know, I will be able to respond to people who contact me through my blog.
So...hmmm...life in the bush...well, I have a fiddle now, thanks to my dad. I've spent a fair bit of time teaching myself to play it over the past two weeks and can almost play 16 bars of Ode to Joy nearly in tune! Go me! Aside from that, life is pretty slow as usual.
I think I've mentioned it before but not really elaborated much, but I am currently working on starting a cereal bank in my village. This would be a great help to the food security situation in my village and the villagers themselves are very keen on getting it started. I have to say I am thoroughly impressed with there display of kokari. We've already begun building the magasin and a committee of villagers is all set up to oversee it. The one catch is funding.
Peace Corps has very specific ways that we are allowed to go about looking for funding. The bad news is that the review process for proposals is very brutal and only happens once a month. This is awkward when I'm also told that I'm supposed to stay at post as much as possible because I cannot work on the proposal at post, or atleast I can't do anything with it when I'm there. So I've basically been trying to get this thing through since October and having to slog my way through bureaucracy and lack of information. It's very frustrating but I will get the money some how.
The only thing we need the money for is to cement and buy good doors and roofing for the building itself and then to buy millet to stock it with. That's the easy part. From talking to other volunteers the hard part is actually getting the villagers organized to build the thing, and to make sure that all the people who want to be a part of the project actually contribute to the work. My village has been amazing in organizing themselves without my intervention. They even had an announcement at a wedding (to my surprise) telling people that if that didn't come help make bricks they were going to be cut out of the grain bank and wouldn't benefit from the cheaper millet. I was blown away.
They are starting to get a little frustrated with the long time it's taking me to get the money. But the other day I sat down with three of them and actually carefully explained the process I have to follow and why it may not even be until next year that we are able to really get the grainbank operational. They seemed to understand. I was then floored when the next day another villager started hassling me about the money (again) and the ones I had explained it to came over and explained it to him and told him to have patience, and he left me alone. It's stuff like that that boosts my motivation to keep fighting to get my proposal through and get the money. It's awsome to see that they really do want to better their situation and are willing to help themselves and not just expect me to do everything and bring them money.
Things are looking up as I may be able to shunt my proposal into a slightly different funding funnel and get the funds quicker with less stringent guidelines. I may even get the money in time to buy millet after then next harvest (it's already to late to buy for this year). In sha Allah.