Can I Take a Breather? No? Okay.

Life has been beyond busy lately. Work-wise, I feel like things have finally kicked into gear. In the past month, things have started to come together and I’m starting to really see results for the first time in my service. GLOW, the girls camp I’ve talked about before, received a  grant from the US Embassy’s Democracy Commission program. It was a huge weight off as without that funding the camp wouldn’t happen. So, now we are on track and super excited. Camp will be in August which means we will spend the rest of the summer preparing for it. Then in the fall, we will focus again on developing the GLOW NGO itself. I’ve said this before, but if I accomplish nothing else in my service in the Peace Corps, establishing the GLOW NGO and getting it on solid footing will be enough.

But luckily, I AM accomplishing other things. I’m currently raising money for a renovation at our day care center that serves children with disabilities. If you haven’t yet, read my post about it. I’m really thankful for the support family and friends have already given but we still have quite a ways to go to reach our goal. I also learned this week that my organization won two grants that I helped write. One was from People In Need and will fund a project to buy new machinery for our social enterprise so that we can expand the business and employ more disabled and internally displaced people (IDPs). And the other was from the US Embassy’s Democracy Commission which will fund a project that will enable us to promote healthy living throughout the Imereti region with a mobile center. I’m looking forward to being involved in that initiative beginning in September. And last, I finally got back to work on the project that I had let languish for so long. I’ve developed a project plan and timeline for creating a new NGO dedicated to promoting social enterprises around Georgia which will hopefully culminate in having a store front in Tbilisi. Tomorrow morning I meet with my director to talk about next steps. Without her leadership, the project won’t succeed. Luckily she is fond of the idea. Unfortunately, she is a VERY busy woman. So, this is the moment where we see if this thing will happen or not. I REALLY hope it does. I also stay busy with other things like helping write our annual report and doing my English conversation classes. I’m also trying to find time to fit in a project working with an organization called NEO that provides small grants to Home Owner’s Associations in IDP settlements. I’m tasked with helping them come up with marketing plans. I just have to find the time to do that! So, that’s work.

Socially, my life has been insanely busy too. Tis’ the season of leaving and birthdays. So, we’ve had numerous birthday and farewell celebrations lately. Plus, with the group of PCVs ahead of us getting ready to leave any minute now, there have been lots of opportunities for PC get-togethers. I’ve just about reached the point of burn out and have taken to hibernating in my apartment all week in preparation for the weekend’s travels or shenanigans. For an introvert, lately things have been a bit much. But I’m not complaining and I wouldn’t dream of missing out, because in the coming month I’m going to say farewell to an awful lot of people that have defined my life here, both PCV and other. Unfortunately, things don’t really slow down after everyone leaves. Literally every weekend, save one, is already booked for the entire summer with travels, camps, and conferences. If things continue at this pace, my time here will be over in the blink of an eye and I may come out the other end a little less than mentally stable. 😉

Happy summer! Have a margarita and a grilled steak for me! And some corn on the cob, a braut, a mojito, some asparagus, a root beer float, a peanut butter milkshake…

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