Friday gave me some wonderful opportunities to take more frustrated selfies of myself, reminiscent of my last post on the frustrations of student research. Let’s just say that I am in disagreement with a few folks over the direction of the research, and after having worked on it for about six weeks now, I feel invested. And to have someone tell me that my conclusions aren’t valid made my face go like this: Without sharing too many details, I am now not as close to finishing as I thought. Additionally, I have a presentation on Wednesday with the mayor and oh, EIGHT OF THE OTHER TOP RANKING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. No big, something casual, I was told, about FIFTEEN minutes long with photos and EVERYTHING I’ve done so far. So no sweat. This process has taught me a lot about working with a government as a researcher–there definitely is an ‘end goal’ that isn’t just the pursuit of information.
It has helped me learn more about the work culture as well–when I was getting a bit upset as my supervisor told me about the presentation (HOW long have you known I have to do this on Wednesday!?) he told me not to worry, we can move it back a day or two if need be. The lack of deadlines and structure here are probably good for this Type A personality, but they also be drivin’ me crazy in the head. Friday I was bien upset, but I am here to do this project and I will do it to the best of my ability. Even if it takes me until the last day I’m here.
And actually, Friday was the day I felt the most encouraged about my progress with Spanish thus far because I was able to express all of these emotions and frustrations in Spanish, first to my supervisor and then to my host sister. I spoke to her the same way I would have complained to my mom if she had been available for a quick skype chat, but it was ALL IN SPANISH!
Though the morning started out difficult, Friday turned out to be the most fun I’d had all week. My host sister and I and two of my Wwoofing friends went to the last day celebrations of the hundred year anniversary of a nearby town, and it was, in a word, fabulous. We danced outside to the live band, we had some good rum and some awful rum, we danced in a discotec, we went back outside and danced in the rain, I got an invitation to marry one of the lead singers and date the other, and we danced until the night was spent. Come back next time for the stories of the night . . . this small paragraph doesn’t do it justice, as I feel like it was a quintessential Ecuadorian celebration that deserves to shared.
What have you done with you weekend thus far? I’d love to hear about it 🙂