Posted by: Thida | March 19, 2012

Paciencia, Seguridad y Resiliencia

Speed bumps. No, walls! Walls! I’ve been facing walls. Walls that I try to climb. Walls that make me want to give up. And just when I’m about to, I see a glimpse of hope. I find a way to climb over and continue my way. I’m light, happy, ready, until…the next wall.

This describes how it’s been since I’ve been here with regard to work. I used to always say “Paciencia”, and I’ve been known in the office for that quality. To be honest, I’m running low on patience.

It’s the end of the fiscal year and I’ve been writing my annual report. I’m supposed to fill out little boxes that show what I’ve done, what the impacts of my intervention are. The boxes are empty.

However, I’m writing a novel on all the reasons why we couldn’t accomplish what we have planned. These are not excuses but the reality of the situation here.

We first had trouble getting funding. I was working with the local health centre, the first partner in the project. We had to rewrite the project proposal a billion times – I know I tend to exaggerate but you should see how many versions I have of the project plan. We get rejected every time. Walls.

In December – yes, from June to December I’ve been working on the project plan! – we finally get funding for the project. One condition though is that we needed to change partners, one that is better known to the organization. How do I explain this to the health centre? A wall.

So I rework the project again with Fundacion Simiente, a great local NGO who works with small producers, especially women (to see Simiente’s website click here). The project proposal now includes a stronger focus on gender equality. The health centre is still involved but at a smaller scale. I honestly think that the proposal is greatly improved with the addition of Simiente.

All was going well. I was now living 3 days a week in Langue, closer to the communities. I started to know the population better. I was getting better acquainted with my colleagues in Simiente.

And then…A wall:  Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada emitted a new alert, a red one, which said to “avoid all travel” in certain zones in Honduras, one of which includes Langue. (see the advisory on-line here)

Travel advisory from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Our bosses then tell us that we can’t go to Langue anymore. Actually the new procedure is that we can go but only in Langue, in the centre…NOT in the villages… and ONLY half a day a week… and with TWO cars – we had trouble going to the community with just one car. And this is for our safety. Seguridad

We can’t go anymore?! What? What about our projects? What about the people in the communities? Are they okay? What’s the reason behind this alert? I mean, there are places in Honduras that are way more dangerous than Langue. One hundred times more dangerous! And here I’m not exaggerating!

The reasons are not clear. It’s a shock. Not only for me but also for my other colleagues who work in that zone.

Despite all that, the nutrition project is still on, barely breathing but still alive. My negative side tells me that perhaps this project is not meant to be but my positive side tells me perhaps there’s a reason why the project is not completely dead.

It took me a couple of days before I could grasp the situation. I felt like I was in mourning. I miss going on the field. I miss seeing my colleagues in Simiente. I miss talking to the people in the community.

So I’m still here. I’m still working. Sometimes with a heavy heart. Most of the time with the hope that all will be ok. Resiliencia.


Responses

  1. Oh Thida, j’aimerais tellement te dire quelque chose de super motivant et encourageant… mais en réalité, j’admire ton courage et ta volonté ! Tout ce que je peux faire c’est te donner une tape dans le dos virtuelle. Lâche pas ! Même si ça avance à pas de tortue, et que ça recule parfois, ce que tu fais est important. Je t’admire vraiment. Et je te suis d’ici. Bonne chance, xxx

  2. ha thida… donde estaria este mundo si no era por gente como tu? Quando las cosas estan dificile, tenemos que recordar las razones porque hacemos el trabajo que hacemos… It may be a developped country here but the red tape does not make it easier… and the outcome is not as significant either… You are making such a difference with what you do, what you beleive in, your perseverence… Fe… It goes a long way. Keep safe my friend and never forget what you are capable of with your witts, your strenght of caracter and your pasion. I admire you :) Paciencia, fe… and the comitment to what you set out to do… May them guide you in the right direction and never forget you serve a purpose for those who need such extraordinary people as you. You inspire me to be a better person, thank you.

  3. Thida me gustaria compartir contigo algunos pensamientos. Creo que nuestra contribución y aprendizaje no solo esta en los resultados y los informes, sino en el proceso. A través de esta experiencia has demsotrado muchas cosas a ti misma y los colegas que trabajamos contigo, incluyendome! Creo que la paciencia y la resilencia son dos factores claves que necesitamos para trabajar en el mundo de la cooperación y en nuestras vidas personal. Ahora vas a poder decir que tu expeirencia en Honduras te ayudo a fortalecer estas capacidades! Te mando todas las buenas energias y estoy segura que muy pronto veras la repsuesta, un abrazo. Liz.

  4. L’impuissance… quel sentiment frustrant lorsqu’on a la volonté et le potentiel dont tu possèdes pour accomplir de grandes choses. Mais comme dans tout projet qui se respecte, il y a des aspects qui sont hors de notre contrôle alors il faut apprendre à vivre avec les obstacles (les murs!) et focusser sur ce que nous pouvons changer en donnant le meilleur de nous-même en tout temps. Ton attitude positive, ta patience, ta résiliance… ces qualités sont certainement très inspirantes pour tes collègues et pour la communauté. Parfois on espère de gros changements, de gros impacts, des résultats incroyables qu’on aimerait tant mettre dans un rapport annuel… alors qu’on ne se rend pas compte que tout cela est en train d’arriver, mais à un autre niveau, à un niveau très important: au niveau personnel et humain. Ton passage au Honduras aura changé le cours de la vie de plusieurs personnes que tu auras cotoyées, et ce pour le mieux (sans oublier le changement dans ta propre vie). Ne sous-estime pas l’impact que tu as sur les gens et sur le projet, même si c’est difficilement mesurable. Tu es inspirante et admirable. Je t’encourage à persévérer avec le sourire et n’oublie pas que l’important, c’est le voyage et non la destination….. et que le voyage est fait de rencontres qui tracent le chemin. Bonne réflexion! Marianne XXX

  5. Merci Thida de partager toute cette réalité avec nous. Ton courage est inspirant pour nous qui te lisons mais sans doute aussi pour les gens qui t’entourent en ce moment. Avec le recul du temps, ces moments de ta vie s’avéreront certainement d’une grande richesse. Je te suis de loin avec admiration et affection. Suzanne Lemire


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