Stepping Back

This week at MPOW we are learning  a new piece of software to manage our library webpage. Myself and three others were trained by the company. As usual I will train others and work with Lisa, Shirlee-Ann and Pat who went to training. That feels good and right. I get this stuff, I am a good teacher and others look to me for help with technology.

What’s  weird is that usually I would continue to be there  for  staff to come to with a problem. And they would have me to rely on to do the things  that are too technical. I would usually push myself to learn all the features of the software. Well I’m leaving and that makes my learning and  my teaching so different. This time more important than making sure I know all the ins and outs of the software I need to know that at least one and hopefully  more know the software well. Also i want to encourage them to work together to solve problems and answer questions so I’ll have to build that into the training.  And I’ll have to step back from the fun of transforming the webpage with this new software and  instead encourage others as they do the transformation.

I have high hopes that my partner in crime in tech, Sue S, will be one of the go to people and that a couple of others will join her.

I really am teaching myself out of a job this time!!!

-vc

3 Showers a Week

There is a water shortage in the world. Americans use  way to much.  We use it on ourselves, our lawns, our pets, our cars. According to  Water Partners International

The average American individual uses 100 to 176 gallons of water at home each day. (67)The average African family uses about 5 gallons of water each day. (7)

So to try to conserve water and in preparation for having much les water available to me I have been showering about three times a week. (okay when my favorite author came to the library i did shower even though that day was  not a shower day!)

There has been an interesting result. My skin and my hair are much less dry this winter than in the past.   The natural oils of my skin longer and protect my skin from the dry winter air.  It is said that Napoleon encouraged Josephine not to bathe for up to five days before his return from a trip.

Another benefit is that i have more time in the morning before work. I can sleep later on no shower days or read more of the paper or send an extra morning email or two.

What interests me a lot is my reluctance to share this with you all.  And my desire to  say to you “I’m not dirty, really!”

-vc

I’m not pregnant but it feels like it!

Both my babies were late, so during the last few days  of my pregnancies everyone was asking “When is the baby coming?”. Of course I had not idea when each of them were coming.  I didn’t know the sex of my children before birth. I hoped my kids would come before my birthday.  I realized on some level after my kids were born my life would change.

stork.gif

How does this apply to the Peace Corps? I have a the equivalent of a  due date, June 2008, but that is as flexible as a baby’s due date. The government will finish my paperwork in its own time.  I know I am going to Africa, like I knew I was having a child, but I don’t know where, like I didn’t know the sex of my child. Kind people ask me if I have heard anything and I try reply that I hope to know before Christmas but I really have no more control over that than I did my babies coming before my birthday.  And I imagine that my life will change as drastically as it did after my children were born.

So I am experiencing many of the same feelings now as I wait for the Peace Corps as I did when I was waiting for the birth of my girls. I am eager for the day to come. I am impatient. I don’t like feeling of not controlling my destiny. I have so many things to prepare before I go but many of them depend on the country I go to.  I am wondering how my life will change and trying with limited knowledge to figure out how to adjust to those changes. So I have the conflicting emotions of anticipation and aggravation.

To my friends I say keep asking. I’ll not take my frustration out on you and your asking shows your care and concern. maybe you could ask “is the baby arrived yet?” and we could laugh about it!

-vc

I love my family

My family is crazy, loving, supportive, funny and loud! I am going to miss the convergence of personalities that make my family. They  better come visit me!

-vc

OLPC On Order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I bought the cute little green computer created by One Laptop Per Child. I set my alarm for 5:45 a.m. so I could order the minute it became available at 6:00 a.m. this morning. AND I GOT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This will be another lesson in patience! They hope they can ship them all by Christmas! oh my! So instead of a birthday present for myself I guess it will be a Christmas present for myself.

I of course want this computer because it was designed for just the conditions I will be living in when I am in Africa. It’s practically indestructible, open source software, loaded with video, audio, networking etc.

I will of course share what I find as I play with this new toy/tool.

If you bought on and live in the Hartford Area please join my Facebook Group OLPC Hartford CT.

-vc

Settled In

I have settled in to my new place and am actually spending some time here. It’s because I got that bug that’s going around but never the less I am getting physically and emotionally acclimated to my new space.  No regrets about leaving the apartment.  My downstairs neighbor was a horror. I could never be quiet enough to pass a week without her pounding on the ceiling or stomping around in her apartment after i got up from my recliner or went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I will not miss her. I also won’t miss Fish Enterprises. Please don’t rent from them. They are so big they have forgotten who, the renters, has made them so big!

I have not regrets because  this is getting me one step closer to my goal of going to Africa with the Peace Corps. I may have said before but I’ll risk repeating myself – I know this room in this house could feel like a luxury suite in the finest hotel. I have a garage, a garage door opener, running hot and cold water, central heat and air, a mattress, a fridge, a washer and dryer etc.  My house mate is very friendly and personable.

Just waiting on my medical clearance to find out where and when for sure.

-vc

Moving Day

Today is moving day. Of course I wish I didn’t have to move. I like my own space. I like my stuff. BUT this will be a good first transitional step from the land of plenty to the dark continent. Heck I’ll probably look back on renting this room as still a huge amount of space. it will be in a house with a basement and two floors. there will be indoor plumbing and running water. and i’ll be living with someone who speaks my language. maybe this is only a baby step in my transition!

Again I have loving family and friends who are helping with this transition. Always a blessing!

-vc

Organizing

Was up late watching the Red Sox. Saw my favorite author at the game! So i got up late and organized my papers before I picked up my granddaughter for the afternoon. Do I really need every bill I have paid for the past four years? isn’t that all online for me now? I found receipts that i forgot i had! and threw away a whole bag full of JUNK! And that was just from my files and stuff to be filed! oh boy do I have a way to go.

onward to the kitchen tomorrow!

32.5 pairs of shoes

One of three boxes filled with caitlin’s shoesYesterday I cleaned my closets and dressers.

The new place only has one closet double wide but still only one. I had four all to myself here in the apartment. 32.5 pairs of shoes. Does any one person REALLY need 32.5 pairs of shoes and 4 pair of slippers? This is what I am trying to learn when I join the Peace Corps. What do I NEED and what do I WANT and what is outright extravagance? No these are not new questions but they are questions I need to ask myself. And should I feel better that I only have 15 pairs of shoes and slippers after my clean out and that 9 or 10 pairs are going to someone else via Salvation Army? And at this point 5 boxes of clothes are going to someone else same route?

And why after that embarrassing display of over abundance do I still feel the siren call of a fall shopping expedition? Better hide the Lane Bryant charge card!

Thanks Stegoby for a great illustration of my point. Check out Stegoby’s Photostream on flickr

Moving

This weekend I found a wonderful room to rent in a great house in a perfect neighborhood. The house is lovely. The neighborhood is quiet and friendly. There’s a lovely deck in the back of the house over looking a big back yard. I have my  own room and my own bathroom with kitchen and house privileges as well as laundry room access.

Another step in living with less.

-vicky

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