"...He prayeth well, who loveth well, Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best, All things both great and small;
for the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all..."

The Rime of the Anchient Mariner -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Saturday, November 19, 2011

National Conservation Week

Mexico's CONANP (equivalent of the National Park Service) commemorates National Conservation Week, and so I commemorated National Conservation Week. What started off as an idea to do a one-day event in the Plaza and maybe a Scavenger Hunt, grew into a week-long Environmental Exposition followed by several activities on the weekend.

The neat part was seeing how the idea grew as I socialized the idea at the municipality and community stake-holders. We held a meeting and invited over 20 people, and all of the came! They all had ideas and wanted to participate, which was awesome. The less awesome part is that not everyone was willing to be in-charge of the events they proposed. I was left with a miriad of activities and only two weeks to organize them.

Having had to coordinate and schedule an inauguration ceremony, workshops/conferences in schools, give workshops, coordinate an Expo in the afternoons, and a Scavanger Hunt, I am exhausted. The Week overall went well. I made a lot of connections and acquaintances that will be valuable in future endevers, and also friendships which is the best part. I will say that some of my events did not turn out well, and the fact that they didn't makes me feel inadequate. These emotions are still fresh and you can see the tired look in my eyes. Feeling the way I do, it really meant a lot to have been stopped by multiple people today to tell me that they really appreciated the event and that they thought the message of 'taking care of the environment' was getting threw.

Two weeks ago my dad asked me what exactly I do in the Peace Corps (my family strangely doesn't ask me a lot about my work). I told him I try to get people to take care of the environment. He said "Oh, So you're saving the world one country at a time!" A tear welled up and I said "Just like you Daddy."

During National Conservation Week I started typing up some thoughts I had. It's 'just flow of thought', but here they are:

"A time for self discovery and personal growth. A time to read. A time to travel. A time to learn about other cultures. A time to learn a language. A time to understand the realities of existence in another country. A time to celebrate other holidays. A time to fail. A time to succeed. A time to share success. A time to learn from failure. A time to step out of my comfort zone. A time to be 'some-body' who gives w/out obligation or expecting payment or political support in return. A time to give. A time to live-together with people...'convivir'. A time to realize that NO person can change the world, but we can change ourselves. A time to realize that if we as Peace Corps Volunteers come away from their experience with a feeling of having accomplished nothing, we have missed a big part of what it means to be a volunteer-we're here for more than just 'the job'. Maybe this is too idealistic?--Doing something in exchange for nothing is something that most people aren't used to in the US and even less abroad. Merely existing in another culture for the purpose to learn and help is something that host-country nationals appreciate...and just maybe they will be inspired to do something in exchange for nothing.--We are outsiders. We are judged. We are observed. We compare ourselves to other Volunteers. We are hurt by failure."