Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recovering Mode

Summary of the past few weeks:
New workplan
New objectives
Friends visiting

So work has been going well. I'm excited about having some new things to focus on but I've really just been organizing myself and wrapping up some loose strings from the past project "attempt".
What I've really been excited about has been having a full house for the past few weekends.
Two weekends ago Eric and Lucia (friends/colleagues) came to visit. We had a few other people over and had a grand ol' time BBQ'ing, playing dominoes, drinking beers, bitching about life, watching football and tennis, and not thinking too much about work.
This past weekend one of my favorite peeps, Aaron, visited from Philly/Nashville and brought over a few other cool friends as well. We had been planning the trip for a while, and apparently I planned well cause its been a few days and my voice is still not fully recovered and my body is in shut down mode. We partied, tanned, partied, hiked, hung out, swam in caves, hung out, hit a few golf balls, chilled, went to a shooting range, chilled, had a few drinks - just a few, danced, went to a turtle hatchery, and others which I am likely not to remember. OH…there was cigar smoking as well. I tried but given that I really don’t look too hot doing so - Aaron just smoked all the tobacco in the DR. My Peace Corps friend Dilana was also over with puppy and boyfriend and all - so fun! So yeah…it was a great weekend.
Although….. I am a bit sad cause my friend Marisabel got married in PR this weekend and I could not go! I felt really bad about it but there was not much I could do… but I am super happy for her and need to remember to get her a wedding gift (nice little reminder to myself).
This weekend I'm going to Santo Domingo to hang out with Lucia and maybe Ashley if she is around (another friend/colleague) and talk work as always.

So next entry I promise to be a bit more thoughtful… but I think my brain cells are still coming back from the weekend so this is the best I could do this time around. Hopefully the Spanish will come back to me by then as well...

El "coro" de visita este ultimo wiken
O como le decian las dominicanas, "el grandulon"

La balsa de flores la paso de show este fin de semana...
Al final del wiken el carrito de golf quedo hecho trozitos...

Cuidao que ando con un rifle. En una de esas me emocione pq le di a un disco yo solita sin la ayuda de Don Antonio (el coach) y empeze a brincar como loca con la pistola...sin el "safety" (que no se ni donde esta, pero eso fue lo que me dijeron). De mas esta decir que al corillo por poco le da un ataque de corazon.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

En Espanish Please...

Me parece que poco a poco se me ha ido perdiendo algo de la "poesía" al hablar castellano que solía comunicar con facilidad. Tanto García Márquez, Borges, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Lorca, Cervantes… tantos ensayos y monólogos… tanto defender mi idioma a toda costa, ¿y quien diría que llegaría el momento en que me encontraría pensando en Ingles en vez de mi lengua materna? Creo que un poco de mi siempre temía que eso llegara a suceder. Del tingo al tango entre los EEUU, Australia, PR, estaba propenso a suceder. Y acá me encuentro (¡al fin!) en un país donde se supone que me de el gustazo de hablar día y noche en Español… y me paso el día tratando de traducir palabras básicas del idioma menos deseado al materno.

A veces lo justifico diciendo que en temas de negocio se me hace un poco mas fácil expresarme en Ingles. Puede que sea cierto…pero que sucede cuando quiero expresarme y que me salgan palabras "del alma"… ¿pues que creen? ¡Me sale el JODIO' Ingles!

Me preguntan por la conjugación de un verbo…tan sencillo como "satisfacer" y me encuentro incapaz de hacerlo correctamente. ¡Que frustrante coño!

Por ende le voy a poner fin a estas malas costumbres: fin a escribir por placer en Ingles; fin al Espanglish entre amigas (OH OH); fin a pensar en voz alta en Ingles. Y para contrarrestar: a la dieta y los ejercicios se sumaran nuevamente los libros clásicos en castellano y se descartará cualquier muchacho que no sea latino.

He dicho.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Survived- barely

Just a note to say I survived the day. I did not get eaten alive by communities or Cluster people. Things are not looking horrible - they can be worst.

I'm so tired that this is about all I can contribute today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Day When It All Imploded

Emmm.. I need to write. No doubt about it. But to be honest, I don't know where to begin. So maybe long story short: No go on the community product development. I'm super confused and frustrated. Not happy - or maybe partially happy. Augh... ok...I'll just go on and explain.

Turns out that the products suck (the trails and artisan workshops) because there is really no clear market demand for it, and the boss people dont want to take the risk to embark on this now given this. Especially given that it would involve a lot of time that honestly we dont have...
Also because we would like to embark on another thing... helping the Cluster become a steady and productive organization - which is really where my interest and expertise lie.

So from my part... this is something I should be thrilled about. Don't get me wrong... I am. BUT (and this is a big BUT). The situation I am in right now is kind of sucky.

I have to go to the communities and tell them that this isnt going to happen right now (community expectations get so high so quick, that just after 1 meeting I am going to have to do major damage control). This is the reason why I really didnt want to hold a community meeting last week - but the Cluster person I am working with (who is awesome by the way) organized it and sucked me into it. She was really pushing the project real quick when I was trying to be cautious and wait for full approval from "boss people". I should have been stronger at that point - and rationalized it more.

Well, and the other thing is that I have been asking for a response from "boss peoples" for such a long time now... and while we have had conversations about the subject (a couple) I was never told not to move forward. So I kept trying to figure things out and do whatever was in my power so that when we needed to get working on setting this up in a short time- at least we would have some backing and some stuff done. And now- 3/4 into the game -I am told no -go.

Additionally, this requires facing the Cluster - OOF. Well it essentially means telling them that their idea sucks, that we cant help them with what they asked us to help with and that we have another way to help them which we think is better. Mind you, there is background story to this all, as the Cluster is not too thrilled about some things.

And who is the face to this all? ME.

So I am definitely feeling good that some awesome opportunities are in front of me, and that the confidence has been given to me to address this appropriately... but at the same time... this all sucks. Once we pass this stage of facing up to a big boo-boo (don't get me wrong - I'm taking responsibility for a lot of it!), it will be good. But...I am wanting to hide in a cave right now. (OOO... I have a cave! It's one of the sucky products!!! Isnt that convenient?). And I dont even know if it is a boo-boo or it is jus a better approach to things. I think a little of both.

In summary, I feel like I wasnt given some support I needed at crutial times when I asked for it, I also feel I was pressured by the Cluster to take some steps I should not have taken, and finally, I am more than anything dissapointed at myself for letting all this happen. I should not have let the community expectations run high, I should not have moved forward as confidently as I did, and I should have thought things a little more carefully. I feel like a rookie. And this is definitely a rookie move I just pulled here. I hope to learn from this. I think I already did. I hope tomorrow goes well and I can present all this coherently both to the Cluster and community. I think the latter will be a longer process.

Hasta Luego... me despido con Presidente en mano (cerveza). Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight and be ready for what is ahead of me tomorrow.