Saturday lunch time. Taking a break from working on the walkway. Can’t be out there for more than an hour at a time as it is now 94F and will be 102F in a few hours. So I’m taking advantage of this necessary down-time to blog at y’all. (Is that apostrophe where it’s supposed to be?) I’m not sure I’d do anything at all today if it weren’t for our A/C. Washed yesterday’s dishes and made myself a peanut butter with apple sandwich, halved some huge “cherry” tomatoes (larger than walnuts) sprinkled with salt and oregano, pulled up Randy Travis hits …and Bob’s your uncle! I am excited that I’ll see Barbara on Tuesday after over 2 1/2 weeks without her. She’s been in Cincinnati for some medical testing, all of which she aced. I miss her a lot, but I’m glad she had the check ups and confirmed she is still in such good health. Plus she got to see many good friends in the process…and snow! As for my volunteer work, it has been a struggle. I am constantly wondering why so many Namibians do not keep their word and yet expect to succeed. It just makes me want to jump up on the ole soap box and SCOLD! “Namibians! You want your country to thrive, to reduce unemployment, to improve the quality of life and standards of living. You seek economic strength and freedom to buy property and run businesses successfully. Your government and others spend billions in assistance. You want free services and support from volunteers like us. But how can you expect any of those things when you don’t keep your word! As a recruiter for nearly 20 years I found it abundantly clear and shared this with many people: honesty and hard work can compensate for many shortcomings in education or talent. Namibians people and organizations would be moving forward at a satisfying rate if people did what they said they would do and respected others’ time and schedules.” Trying to get things done in this country is extremely frustrating, even for me. People don’t keep their word in business or socially. And “different culture” seems like a lame excuse. When you do keep a promise it is often without any timeframe. If one expects a person to respond within a few days and they never do or wait four weeks to revert, anxiety slithers in. To much uncertainty creates anxiety, so wondering who will really do what and when is very stressful…for American business professionals especially. I have had to stop chasing people. To filter out the problem people one must only work with those who keep their word and are happy to set up a schedule. That is true anywhere, but in Namibia the proportions are shifted. On the other hand, some of the Namibians I work with do exactly what they say they will do and don’t waste my time or disappoint me. Several decades ago I learned the “lump and dump” method of maintaining mental health. So this rant was lumping it all together. Now I will drop it all in the dumpster and start afresh. [click a pic to enlarge]
March 14, 2015
By Steve Link
About Steve Link
In Namibia with the U.S. Peace Corps July 2014 - July 2016. View all posts by Steve Link
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 14th, 2015 at 8:15 am and posted in Peace Corps Experience. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.