The last few months have been both agonizing and passing too quickly. Project status/progress has been looming and weighing me down as I not only try to finish the physical project but try to leave with confidence that community members will be capable of the necessary duties once I am gone. So much responsibility ends up on my shoulders, I feel like I’m getting old and tired trying to manage it all. In a way I am tired – I’ve been working hard for two years to create behavior change and alter people’s point of view. These things are much bigger than the actual water or latrine project in construction. If the people of Barreras begin to understand the importance of community collaboration, begin to have hope for change and have higher expectations for their community; this would be a huge success.
Meanwhile, I am obliged to continue construction, because my time is coming to a close (too soon!!). I took a break after two weeks of both success and frustration to go hiking and find some peace and quiet in the central mountains of the DR. Three of us spent three nights climbing mountains, camping, eating food and sitting by the campfire. It was amazing what some peace can do for the soul. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the project, stressing about what is left to do, and the soon approaching end date for it all. Hiking was a beautiful distraction, and I have a renewed sense of hope for the next few weeks of work in my community. We will be starting construction on a 4000 gallon water tank on Monday, followed up by the construction of the pumphouse, valve boxes and household water spigots. A lot of work, and I have to get it all done by May 30!! My hope is to get 95% done by May 25 so that we can have our water inauguration, with drums (sticks), pork, dancing and all. It would be an amazing way to end my service, assuming everything goes as planned (does it ever?).
I remember there being times when time wouldn’t go by fast enough, and now I find I’m trying to slow it down. At least to an extent. It’s a constant battle between the present and the future. I am SO VERY excited to come home, see old friends and family and relax. BUT, I can’t let my mind go there, because I have to keep my mind on the task at hand in order to have a chance to get things accomplished this month. I find myself constantly wishing that I had another 3 months to finish, but I know that my time is done here and that my place is back home come June. I can’t wait to see all of the beautiful faces back in Seattle, enjoy the perfect summer that is defined by the NW, and be with my beautiful girlfriend in the bay area come the fall.
I’m realizing that the time to say goodbye is now starting. I’m with my old host family in Manabao, and I know that I will not see them again before I head out. It will be the first in a long list of goodbyes, so I better start getting used to it. It doesn’t feel too real yet, but I know it will in time.
Please pray for my health in my last month, along with project success and community motivation. Specifically pray for this week of work with the tank that everything goes well!! Love you all as always.