Thursday, June 20, 2013

A day in the life of

There are good days and there are bad days where I work in Bolivia. There are good days in the bad days, and there are bad days in the good days.

I'll grin stupidly to myself when the kids tell me stories that make no sense, when they ask me what their names are in english, if they have cars where I come from and how come I have no hair. I'll laugh out loud when they say 'sayonara' to me even though I'm not Japanese, when they ask me silly questions and I give them silly answers, when we're playing games or when they want me to sing or play or push them on the swings. Those are the good bits.

I'll bite my tongue and blink back tears of frustration and anger when the afternoon rolls around, one kid is crying because some other kid hit him, the kid that hit him is yelling that it was because the kid who is crying hit him first, the other kids in the room are chanting and screaming and running around and dobbing on both of them and none of them are doing their homework and nobody is listening to my fumbling spanish commands to be quiet, to calm down, to stop crying and screaming and yelling and hitting and to just, pretty please, stop. Those are the not so good bits.

It's hard to measure the value of the work that you're doing when it is something that is meant to inherently add value to somebody else's life. It's easier if you work in the corporate world or a part time job where your KPIs, your monthly reviews and the contracts, projects or sponsors you get provide validation and a clear measurement of success.

A good day is when all the kids get their homework done and we get to play at the park or on the swings in the backyard. My only measurement is if there are more good days than bad days. If somehow I can learn how to make bad days good, if I can make everyday a good day, or even if I can just make it to work everyday - even if it is just for the little ones that run up and hug you as if you were the most special person in the entire world and they had been waiting all day for you to arrive.

That's how everyday begins; it never is a bad day with good bits, just a good day with bits that aren't as good as that. You can't compete with the pure affection of a child who thinks you are the bees knees and maybe that's more the value that's been added to my life rather than any homework I can help them with anyway. That was today anyway, a day in the life of..

No comments:

Post a Comment