18 July 2010

Last post as a volunteer?

Maybe. I COS soon, and my last week will be filled with paperwork and travel. So this may very well be it. But I had to choose my words carefully - because it almost certainly isn't my last post from Burkina.

In September, I'll start my new job with the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Ouagadougou. This is development work at the other end of the spectrum - big money, large projects, high-level government involvement. It's really exciting work, and a jumping-off point for a real career in international development. My focus will be on agriculture development (mostly with irrigation), though I'll almost certainly interact with the other projects as well: land management laws, road paving, and primary school construction.

Note that while the Peace Corps actively encourages volunteers to blog about their work, as a contractor for the MCC it will be somewhat inappropriate for me to discuss the details of my job. That's not to say they're secretive about what they do; quite the opposite, the way you're money is being spent and how the decisions are made is a reasonably transparent process, as you'll see if you go to their website. But since I'll be working at the interface of two governments, discussing any particulars would just be a bad idea. This is all a long-winded way of saying that if you're interested in what the MCC does, read their website. If you're interested in my personal life outside of work, continue reading this blog. Stalker.

As for my impending COS, what to say? My last two agriculture projects fizzled, due to a bout with dengue fever followed by a schedule of meetings that forced me to miss prime planting time. So I have no projects to wrap up; all that's left for me to do is go home, pack what I want and give away what I don't, and come back to the capital to finish up my paperwork. The sting of leaving is considerably less, since I'll still be in country and able to visit - and able to visit much more easily to boot, since my second order of business (first will be getting an apartment) will be to get a moto.

Of course, I'm excited to get the chance to visit home, though the trip isn't nearly long enough. Still, I should get to visit with a large number of friends and family before coming back. We'll just have to squeeze in as much fun as possible. Part of that fun will be shopping for a couple suits to bring back with me - the dress code for a government job is a far cry from that for a volunteer!


carson said...

Didn't know you'd gotten a new job—congrats!

Sorry I've been such a poor correspondent the last year; lots of (mostly good) stuff happening. But I have been reading the blog.

eileen said...

3rd paragraph, 5th sentence..."the waymoney is being spent"?
Most times it is "your" that is improperly used. Just had to be different, didn't you? Must take after me ! luv, mom