Thursday, September 17, 2009

Meaty Curve

"Right in that meaty part of the curve, not showing off, not falling behind." -George Costanza

That is how I described my service today to a friend. I keep trying to find out if this is normal. If there are other volunteers leading a mob of enthused, tool-wielding public to a barn raising for the new library that will be named in their honor. It's hard to know where I stand. There's no Peace Corps valedictorian.

So I've been probing, a little. I made a joke about how my service is going slow to a volunteer on her way out and she said, "Well, apparently I just came here to make soap." I asked another volunteer about her youth group and she said, "It's going so-so. It's hard." I'm sorry to say their disillusion gave me reassurance.

But like a man religiously using his Rogaine, I'm starting to see sprouts. I got two very nice e-mails from people who are listening to the Guarani podcast. Yesterday during my computer class my friend typed and sent me her very first e-mail. We're starting to get orders over the internet at the co-op, and the secretary there said that people are impressed when they see we have e-mail.

The truth is I'm really just teaching five women to use the computer. That's it. But I'm teaching them to use it well. They're even writing formulas in Excel. And I can see that it's changing the culture of the co-op to include computing. I can't be more than a drop. The hope is that it will ripple out.

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