Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trying to make sense of things

Moldovan government is still trying to find their new President. Last night, my host family had a very interesting conversation, where I had a really tough time trying to wrap my head around.

In the midst of great corn mush, with homemade goat cheese, and grilled fish in tomatoes sauce, the conversation over dinner was heated. Everyone had a thing or two to say about the current political situation, besides me, really.

There were shouting of one another that a person's opinion is allowed and though we are a family, we can have different opinions. Then someone said that they wished Japan would invade Moldova, to colonize it, because Japan is a rich country. Then there were talk that if one were to become president that they would declare war on America and then when America's soldiers arrived, they would act helpless and have America take care of them.

The concept behind all of this is ridiculous to me, really. I don't really know what to think or how to react, thus I remained quiet at the table. Somehow I can understand that the morale's for one's own government is down and the never end search for an outsider's help is needed. However, I don't ever think that I would want my country to be colonized and taken over by another's empire. But then again, I am not Moldovan. I can't possibly know the depths of what it's like to be Moldovan, ever.

This want to be colonized talk makes me ponder, and that paralleled with the talk of not going in to vote this next time around, because "why should the citizens vote, if Parliament couldn't do so in the decision of getting Moldova a president?" question is still a defensive reply I get.

Another puzzling situation, yet another subject altogether:

I was in tutoring earlier today. She asked me how is work? I replied that I am in the process of planning a Project Strategic Planning seminar for my Mayor's office, and I will invite two volunteers to help me with it. Her sudden reply was, "You really want to do a project before you leave, huh?"

That totally caught me off guard. Am I hear for my own ego, or am I here to help? Shouldn't her reply be, "We should get all your help before you leave, huh?" But that was not the case. This has put me in my place, yet again.

My reply was that my goal in being here is not to finish a project before I leave, it is to be better prepare, equip the Mayor's office and my village with resources for better development in the future.

That sounds awefully broad doesn't it, but that is what I am here to do. I am not going to beat myself upside the head everytime when my very ambitious thought in trying something fails.

I need to remember that it first need to come from my community, as a need, a want, a desire to work with me to get to those places. There needs to be an cooperation, a collaboration.

Lucky me, I have a list of the keys to a successful collaboration with me. I am going to list those things, so I can make sense of all of this:

Keys to successful collaboration

Take time to understand each other

Not every person has grant writing/project development experience

Every volunteer and every parnter has a different set of skills. Find out each other's strengths and weaknesses and build from there.

Agree on expectations that you have from each other.

Make lists of tasks and assign responsibilities.

Share responsibilities.

Create a work schedule.

Agree on times when you work together and keep to them.

Notify each other of any changes.

Does the organization that is applying for funding have the capacity to implement the project?

If not, work with the parnter to build the capacities of the organization so that future projects will be attainable.

Work together to train implementation team.

Be open to each other's opinions and ideas.

Be realistic about the project.

Be flexible.

A change of course is not necessarily negative, but it is important to discuss it.

In conclusion, this is a contract that involves two different sides to be in agreement to work together. I have my side, ready and now let's go!

The best thing happened today: My Mayor and I actually sat down for over 20 minutes looking over a funding website and wrote an email and made phone calls together. Now that is progress!! Yeah!

Signing out!

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